Ballet diptych A Viennese Evening premieres at Cankarjev dom

Ljubljana – Cankarjev Dom, Slovenia’s biggest arts and culture centre, will host the premiere of the ballet A Viennese Evening on Thursday night. The ballet diptych, choreographed by Renato Zanella, is a co-production of Cankarjev Dom and SNG Ljubljana Opera and Ballet.

The performance, which reflects the historical period and the influence of music on European history, will feature music by Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Strauss, Johann Strauss Jr, Josef Strauss and Gustav Mahler. The conductor of the performance will be Kevin Rhodes, who hails from the US.

For the first part of the full-length ballet diptych, the idea behind the choreography to the music of Beethoven’s Piano and Orchestra Concerto No.5 in E flat major, Op.73 was to create a work dedicated to classicism in dance. The second part of the evening will be dedicated to the tradition of the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year concerts.

Zanella, as the former leader of the Vienna State Opera Ballet Ensemble and as the event’s choreographer (most recently in 2017), has had the opportunity to create choreographies to many of the most popular melodies by Austrian composers, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under world-renowned conductors.

Enriched by this experience, he created a ballet for the Vienna State Opera Ballet, which became the hallmark of the ensemble and with which Viennese ballet dancers performed all over the world.

“Among the most recognisable musical works included in the performance are the Pizzicato Polka by Johann Strauss Jr and Josef Strauss, the Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony No.5, and Johann Strauss’s Radetzky Chorale,” reads the press release.

In addition to a selection of well-known tunes, Zanella has included other elements, such as speeches and recordings, to create a pleasant atmosphere for the gala evening.

Uršula Cetinski, the director general of Cankarjev Dom, said at the press conference before the premiere that the performance was a great opportunity for the Ljubljana Ballet Ensemble to perform on the slightly larger and more acoustic stage of the Gallus Hall of Cankarjev Dom.

All spectators will have to abide by the recovered-vaccinated-tested protocol, and fewer seats than usual will be available in the Gallus Hall.