Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort is one of my all-time favorite contemporary ballets. Kylian is globally renowned and has a huge following amongst professional dancers. He’s best known for his musicality and innovative partnering techniques. The dancers of Nederlands Dans Theater (seen in this clip) are also among the best in the world.
When you watch this footage, observe how smoothly the movements flow from one into the next. This kind of lyricism speaks not only to the dancers’ training, but their comfort with the choreography. It often seems that dancers “digest” Kylian’s choreography in a way that is unique among other dances. Truly, the choreography appears to pour out of their bodies (and spirits) in a way that seems improvisatory. You can really see this in the partnered moves in Petite Mort Part 2, the next blog entry.
If you’ve ever been skeptical as to whether you enjoy watching classically trained dancers, this is the piece to watch.