L'Enfant et les sortilèges by Jiří Kylián, music by Ravel

Nederlands Dans Theater

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Jiří Kylián — Choreographer, stage director

Marly Knoben — Child

Roslyn Anderson — Mother

Stephen Sheriff — Easy-chair

Leigh Matthews — Arm-chairr

James Vincent — Grandfather clock

Program notes

Ravel and Colette's fairy ballet choreographed and designed by Jiří Kylián.

A seven year-old boy, grumpy and unwilling to do his homework, is scolded by his mother. In an outburst of anger, the young boy takes it out on every object around: a tea pot, a kettle, a book, a clock... until he slumps on an old armchair, worn-out. Suddenly, fantastic events happen. Objects come to life, animals start to chat, and they all plot revenge. Terrified, the young boy calls his mum, but gets no response. The creatures rush at the young boy. However a squirrel, hurt in the battle, is rescued by the child. Full of regrets, the creatures cease to torment the young boy, and forgive him for his past wrongdoings.

An atypical piece in Ravel's repertoire, L'Enfant et les sortilèges combines the waltz with the ragtime, a ballet with lyrical arias, a classical orchestra with wood-blocks. Supported by Ravel's orchestration genius, L'Enfant et les sortilèges explores the fairy world of childhood, its enchantment, its invitation to discover beyond the reality an infinite efflorescence of fantastic wonders.

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