Wrocław Opera House invites for the premiere of two ballet performances Card Game / The Rite of Spring with the music composed by Igor Stravinsky. Although both performances differ in content, they do have one aspect in common – each of them was very badly received and turned out to be a failure at the time of premiere, and still, both of them managed to stand the test of time. Initially discarded, after some time The Rite of Spring started being considered as a masterpiece that forever changed music and dance history. The oncoming Wrocław premiere of Card Game / The Rite of Spring links both music compositions with the choreography of Jacek Przybyłowicz (Card Game) and Ivgi&Greben duo (The Rite of Spring), in a very unique way. As a result, the audience will have an opportunity to experience performances having different aesthetics that enable Wrocław’s corps the ballet to embody and present two dance styles that require different technical and theatrical abilities.
Card Game, according to the original libretto, is a metaphorical story about the unpredictability of our life, where even the strongest can be defeated by the weaker. The story of The Rite of Spring, on the other hand, is rooted in the legends about the pagan Rus’ beliefs. Authors of the oncoming Wrocław performances turn away from the original narratives and interweave Stravinsky’s music into a complex musical texture which is both contemporary and universal. By doing so, they catalyse the dialogue between the demanding score and the history of both masterpieces. Card Game and The Rite of Spring – the game and the ritual, the game viewed as a ritual, the ritual viewed as a game...
Conductor: Sebastian Perłowski
Choreography (Card Game): Jacek Przybyłowicz
Choreography (The Rite of Spring): Uri Ivgi and Johan Greben
Light design: Paweł Murlik
Video projections (Card Game): Ewa Krasucka
Set design (The Rite of Spring): Karol Dutczak
Sebastian Perłowski – graduated with honours from the Departments of Opera and Symphonic Conducting in the class of Professor Jan Wincent Hawel and Composition in the class of Assistant Professor Dariusz Janus in the Jazz Institute of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. He polished up his skills of the Jarvie Academy and under the tutelage of Jorma Panula, Jin Wang, Adrian Gnam and Yuri Simonov. He won the I Prize at the International Competition for Conductors in Atlanta, I Prize at the International Competition for Conductors in Cordoba, II Prize at the International Conducting Competition at Lisboa, II Prize at the Krzysztof Komeda International Composition Competition, III Prize at the International Competition for Conductors in Bucharest, the Special Award at the second International Conducting Competition for Chinese Music in Hong Kong. He was a semi-finalist at the International Conducting Competition “Lovro von Matačić” in Zagreb too. Sebastian Perłowski was also nominated by music critics, journalists and the public for such awards as: Award for the Best Conductor of the Krakow Opera in the last five years and for one of the most prestigious awards – Nestle Salzburg Festival Conducting Award. In 2017 he was credited the title of the Personality of the Year 2017 in Kraków in the Culture category, as well as the Personality of the Lesser Poland Region in the same category. He worked with numerous orchestras in Poland and abroad, such as: Sinfonia Varsovia, HK Philharmonic, NOSPR, Metropolitana de Lisboa, Sevilla Symphony Orchestra, The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra or The George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra Bucharest and with such renowned soloists as: Julius Berger, Jose Cura among others. He has recorded for labels such ECM, Warner Classic, DUX or Kameny. In 2016 he held the position of vice artistic director at Poznań Opera House. Currently, he works as the artistic director of Kameny Agency and composition teacher in the Jazz Institute of the Karol Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice. He also gives regular classic, jazz and musical concerts in the country and abroad.
Jacek Przybyłowicz – dancer, choreographer, deputy director of the Grand Theatre’s ballet in Poznań. He graduated from the State Ballet School and the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw – in pedagogy. Worked also as curator of the dance programme promoting Central European dance in Asia organised by the Chinese Ministry of Culture. Chairman of the Advisory Board for Dance in the Institute of Music and Dance. In 2009-2014 he worked as Ballet Director in Poznań Grand Theatre. Since 2010 he has been the curator of the Poznań Ballet Spring taking place in the Grand Theatre. The co-author of a promoting and educational cycle Teren Tańca – Reinterpretacje organised together with the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. In 1987-1991 he worked as dancer in the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw. At that time he made his debut as a choreographer, creating Negotiations set to music by Alessandro Marcello. Since the very beginning of his artistic career he has been paying a lot of attention to his interest in the art of choreography; he created, among others, choreography to Verlorenheit and Orient Express that were staged within the framework of Dance Extentions 2002 in Limassol (Cyprus). He also worked as guest choreographer for Lambros Lambrou Dance Company. In 2002 he went back to Poland to produce The Dove’s Necklage (2003) at the Polish Dance Theatre directed by Ewa Wycichowska. He directed Oedipus Rex (2013) commissioned and produced by the Grand Theatre in Poznań. He created five choreographies for the Polish National Ballet. He also continues to cooperate with numerous dance companies in Poland and abroad. W roku 2015 przygotował Piece in Old Style, a w 2017 Lacerta – choreografie dla Wiktorii Nowak i Pauliny Bidzińskiej, polskich zwyciężczyń Konkursu Eurowizji dla Młodych Tancerzy. His performances continue to feature in the lineups of numerous international festivals in Italy, France, Cyprus, Germany, Romania, Norway, Spain, Hungary, China, USA, Russia and Ukraine. He received numerous scholarships from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. He was also awarded the Gloria Artis Medal for Merit to Culture. Curator for the Wrocław Opera House Ballet in the season 2018/2019.
Uri Ivgi, Johan Greben – already during their individual dance careers with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and the Dutch National Ballet, the Israeli Uri Ivgi and the Dutch Johan Greben each started a successful career as choreographer. After his first piece Isch-Ischa Ivgi was repeatedly invited to create for the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and the Suzanne Dellal Centre in Israel. In 1998 he received the Award for Upcoming Choreographic Talent from the Ministry of Culture in Israel. In 2001/02 Ivgi won the Public Award with his duet Longing during the International Competition for Choreographers in Groningen (Holland) and the second prize during the Choreographers Competition in Hannover (Germany). Greben received both the Encouragement Prize Choreography from the Amsterdam Foundation for Arts as well as the Wim Barry Perspective Award for his first piece Straks for the Dutch National Ballet. In 1996 he won the third prize with his duet 610 during the Choreographers Competition in Gelsenkirchen, DE. The first collaboration of Ivgi&Greben took place in 2003 with a new version of Carmen for the Szeged Contemporary Dance Company in Hungary. Carmen was received with great success on several international festivals. Since 2003 they created for Ballett am Rhein (Germany); Dansgroep Amsterdam, Introdans, Scapino Ballet (Holland); It dansa, (Spain); Korea National Contemporary Dance Company, (South Korea); Modern Dance Turkey, (Turkey); National Theatre Ballet, Prague Chamber Ballet, (Czech Republic); Provincial Dances Theatre, (Russia); Phoenix Dance Theatre, Scottish Dance Theatre, Scottish Ballet, (UK); Skånes Dansteater, Norrdans (Sweden); Ballet Junior de Geneva, Tanzkompanie Theater St. Gallen, Tanzcomagnie Konzert Theater Bern, (Switzerland). In 2011, Ivgi&Greben won The Golden Mask Award in Moscow in the category – Best Choreographer-Ballet/Contemporary Dance. They received this most prestigious Russian Theatre Prize for This Is Not A Love Song, which they created for the Provincial Dances Theatre in Yekaterinburg. In 2014 and 2015 Ivgi&Greben worked as artistic leaders of the Rozbark Dance and Movement Theatre in Poland. The recreation of their successful production This Is Not A Love Song was nominated as best production of the year. To develop audiences for contemporary dance in Poland, they created I Give You My Heart, a production presented in public spaces, in- and outdoors. They also initiated the festival Rozbark in Motion combined with a training program for dancers and choreographers. Ivgi & Greben presented the company in Germany, France and The Netherlands. In 2018 Ivgi&Greben produced the full-evening production We Are In Trouble in Holland with a very successful premiere in the European Capital of Europe Leeuwarden 2018. In 2019 they will be producing their second independent work The Dreamers with a planned premier in September 2019. Ivgi&Greben present their ideas and thoughts through an imaginative body vocabulary combined with poetic images that build and break, and touch and confront. They consider their work to be a mirror for their audience as well as themselves and so invite the audience to search for a personal reflection of reality. Using themes such as oppression, tension between individuals and groups, longing for freedom and love, and sexuality and acceptance, Ivgi&Greben create a visual world blending movement, music, light and costumes into an aesthetic of their own. By breaking boundaries and using intense physicality, their choreography achieves a tapestry representing control, power, strength and endurance interwoven with moments of softness, intimacy and tenderness.