Critical Analysis of Jiri Kylian’s Choreographic Style in His Black and White Ballets

803 Words Dec 1st, 2011 4 Pages
Anna Kisselgoff a professional dance critic believes; Jiri Kylian’s choreography resulted in ‘scores of younger choreographers being influenced by the emotional and kinetic thrust of his signature style, a highly physical fusion of ballet technique with the idiomatic freedom of modern dance. As an artist, he has been remarkably deep and original.’ Jiri Kylian’s ‘Black and White’ ballets, premiered on May 7, 1988, have a number of defining characteristics which create a unique contemporary style. Elements of movement, theatrical elements and themes are carried through all six dances which creates a number of motifs throughout the series of dance works.

All six dances in the ‘black and white’ ballets are based on sexuality. The male
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Another common feature of all the dances is that the music is an irregular rhythm, creating suspense and standing out as individual. Kylian’s choreography uses the ability to isolate and coordinate different body parts as well as the use of hands to communicate meaning in all of his dances. Humor is often created as a result in over the top facial expressions like in ‘six dances’. Kylian as a contemporary choreographer uses stillness as a choreographic device in all of his dances. Another unique element to his dance style is the entrances and exits of the performers. He explores space’s limitations and capabilities making the entrances and exits part of the dance. In all of Jiri Kylian’s dances, the dancers enter and exit the stage into darkness rather than through wings. The dancers in all Jiri Kylian’s Black and white ballets, dance predominately in a large group, with individuals or pairs breaking off to do their individual movements before soon joining back in with the group.

The use of theatrical elements in Jiri Kylian’s dances is a defining characteristic of his style as a choreographer. He chooses to use plain, often nude coloured costumes in all his dances, for example in ‘Sarabanade’ and ‘Petite mort’, the dancers look naked. This is a personal choice and was done to reinforce his views that dance should be about ‘dancing not the costumes’. Also this nude costuming matches the
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