Czech National Ballet ready to open season 2021/22 in Tel Aviv

For Filip Barankiewicz, artistic director of the Czech National Ballet, international tours are at the heart of the work. Spreading the works of choreography and the love for ballet around the world is an inseparable part of the company’s mission. When Corona put not only tours but performances on hold, Barankiewicz had to take a deep breath and prepare his team for the unknown. Now, two years later, the company is gearing up to open the 2021-2022 season at the Tel Aviv Center for the Performing Arts and, as Barankiewicz described, the excitement is palpable.

“I don’t think we all understand what’s going on right now with dance and cultural performances,” Barankiewicz said by phone. It’s early afternoon and the former ballet dancer is away from his base in Prague, visiting friends at his old home in Dusseldorf.

Barankiewicz, 45, spent most of his career in Germany as a soloist with the Stuttgart Ballet, and it is a great pleasure to visit again. “I cannot express how wonderful it is that you in Israel are fighting for us to come, and how important it is that the world opens up on stage and that companies abroad are back on stage. It is an enormous privilege to be invited and to see the cinemas open again ”.

For your visit to Israel, the Czech National Ballet will present a four-part program with highlights from the rich work of legendary Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian.

“We will perform 6 Tanze, Gods and Dogs, Bella Figura and Petit Mort,” Barankiewicz said. “I feel very connected to Kylian’s work because I was a dancer in Stuttgart for my entire career. I was there from 1996 to 2014, and we had Kylian pieces in the repertoire. Some people would say that Kylian’s work is abstract and doesn’t have a story, but I find that it expresses life and death. That’s what all Kylian pieces are about. Plus, it has the most beautiful duos on earth. Of all the choreographers you could find, he has the best. “

The flag of the Czech Republic is seen waving. (credit: PIXABAY)

In 2014, when Barankiewicz stopped dancing, she turned her attention to the needs of the larger dance community. Since taking over the reins of the Czech National Ballet in 2017, her mission is to ensure that the company’s repertoire is relevant, enriching, engaging and challenging for both dancers and audience members.

“I’m not a choreographer myself, so I can select a repertoire that is not mine,” he says. “The company is now in its 139th season and we play on three venues in Prague alone. I consider that my artistic vision and goal is to advance the company with the heritage. Our base is the classical repertoire and we have expanded our repertoire in all directions ”.

Along with time-tested works from world-renowned choreographers like Kylian, Barankiewicz brings newer and more contemporary voices to the repertoire, even when it means a little less than full. A recent show featuring works by William Forsythe and Wayne McGregor generated less enthusiasm than a rendition of The Nutcracker, yet Barankiewicz understands that these ups and downs are part of the package to keep the company’s audience interested.

In the next season, it will present a new work by Sharon Eyal and Guy Behar. “I am very happy with this program,” says Barankiewicz. “They are two voices that have not been heard in Prague, and it will be a wonderful opportunity for us.”

The Czech National Ballet will perform at the Tel Aviv Center for Performing Arts on November 25, 26 and 27. Visited

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