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12 January 2022 (Wed), 19:00 Mikhailovsky Classical Ballet and Opera Theatre (established 1833) - Modern Ballet Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness. (ballet in two acts)

Running time: 2 hours (till 21:00)

The performance has 1 intermission

Schedule for Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness. (ballet in two acts) 2022

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Choreography: Nacho Duato

Orchestra: Mikhailovsky Symphony Orchestra
Ballet company: Mikhailovsky Ballet

Modern Ballet in 2 act

Premiere of this production: 21 March 2012, Mikhailovsky theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia

The ballet Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness is one of Nacho Duato’s best-known works. It immediately caught the attention of the critics and brought its creator the prestigious Benois de la Dance prize. The ballet was composed in 1999 for the theatre in Weimar, where Johann Sebastian Bach lived and worked for several years. It is Bach’s music that forms the basis of Duato’s work, in which he tells the story of the great composer’s life and work through the medium of eurhythmic dance. The two-act ballet is a combination of baroque music and modern choreography. It is virtually a biography and, unlike most of Nacho Duato’s ballets, which have no plot, features specific characters — the Composer, the Woman, and Death. The audience accompany the characters through the main stages of the composer’s life and observe the miraculous creation of the music of a genius. The Mikhailovsky Theatre’s production will be the first performance of the ballet in St. Petersburg.

This exuberantly beautiful two-part work by Artistic Director Nacho Duato is inspired by genius; the music of Johan Sebastian Bach.

World Premiere in Weimar at the Viehauktionshalle on the 23rd of April, 1999. Pre-premiere in Spain at Teatro Calderуn, Valladolid, on the 9th of April, 1999.

Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness is the result of the co production between the city of Weimar -European Cultural Capital in 1999- and the CND. A ballet was commissioned to Nacho Duato which somehow had some special link with the city. For Duato the answer could only be one: Bach. Nacho’s ballet is therefore inspired in the music and life of Johan Sebastian Bach and is divided into two parts.

The first one, Multiplicity, is a choreographic reflexion which arises mainly from the wonderful music of the brilliant composer. This first part is characterized by a choreographic variety and diversity which matches the linked different musical excerpts by Bach. Continuos changes in costumes and settings highlight visually this musical collage.
The second part, Forms of Silence and Emptiness, maintains a more introspective tone, more mystic and spiritual, reflecting upon the subject of the death, so present in the work of Bach. Musically speaking it is based mainly on the Arte of Fugue.

Folding: towards a visual conception

Stage design, J.S. Bach Vielfaeltigkeit, Formen von stille und Leere

Vielfaeltigkeit, i.e. multiple-folds, diversity, multiplicity, labyrinth, refers to the processual idea of folding. The Baroque refers not to an essence but rather to an operative function to a trait. It endlessly produces folds. The Baroque trait twists turns its folds, pushing them to infinity fold over fold, one upon the other. The Baroque unfurls all the way to infinity.
An architectural conceptions invisions the thematic of Baroque music of J. S. Bach, through the process of folding. In architecture, the fold provides a model for theories of metamorphosis and covering (Bekleidung, Gottfried von Semper). Folds are maneuverable borders which separate an interior from the exterior, yet also create an interior within the exterior and an exterior within the interior. Considered abstractly, it is only the type of bend -concave or convex- that determines inside and outside, meaning the gender of the space. In this unfixed state, the fold provides a model of transformation.

A scaffold set at the back of a stage acting as building retaining a curtain wall, that transforms itself from opened to closed entity. This architectural gender of the Baroque, represents the separation of the façade (exterior) and the closed room (interior), the outer facade of reception and the inner rooms of action. Baroque architecture is always confronting to principles, a bearing principle and a covering principle. The geometrically ordered scaffold enhances several floors all connected through ramps creating a fluid movement. These ramps represent vertical folding, spatial continuum, all set in diagonal relations (dynamic) within a rigid structure (static).
In contrast to the building, the façade consist of an elastically membrane that transforms itself through contractions and extensions. These contractions provide literal models of folds, simulating zones of intervals and densification.

Jaffar Chalabi

Compania Nacional de Danza. Artistic Director - Nacho Duato  



Schedule for Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness. (ballet in two acts) 2022

Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness.
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Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness. (ballet in two acts)
Mikhailovsky Classical Ballet and Opera Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia

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