The ballet's title refers to a musical motif used by Shostakovich to represent himself, with four notes that, when written in German notation, stand in for his initials in the German spelling (D. Sch.). Concerto DSCH, which premiered in 2008, was Ratmansky’s second ballet created for the Company.
- World premiere: New York City Ballet at New York (USA), May 29th 2008
- Premiere by CND: Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatro Real de Madrid (Spain), November 19th 2020
With its thrilling Shostakovich score and dramatic texture, Ratmansky’s acclaimed 2008 creation excels with classical ingenuity and contemporary stylishness.
Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his Piano Concerto No. 2, the score of Alexei Ratmansky’s Concerto DSCH, in 1957 as a birthday gift for his 19-year-old son Maxim. The concerto displays the composer’s optimistic energy after the repressions of the Stalinist era. The opening allegro evokes a brisk military march with the piano referencing the British melody “Drunken Sailor,” contrasting with the soulful nature of the andante movement for the strings, piano, and solo horn. The brief, invigorating allegro finale takes on a 7/8 meter as the entire orchestra sprints to the finish. The ballet’s title refers to a musical motif used by Shostakovich to represent himself, with four notes that, when written in German notation, stand in for his initials in the German spelling (D. Sch.). Concerto DSCH, which premiered in 2008, was Ratmansky’s second ballet created for the Company.
Alexei Ratmansky was born in St. Petersburg and trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow. His performing career included positions as principal dancer with Ukrainian National Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet. He has choreographed ballets for the Mariinsky Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Kiev Ballet and the State Ballet of Georgia, as well as for Nina Ananiashvili, Diana Vishneva and Mikhail Baryshnikov. His 1998 work, Dreams of Japan, earned a prestigious Golden Mask Award by the Theatre Union of Russia. In 2005, he was awarded the Benois de la Danse prize for his choreography of Anna Karenina for the Royal Danish Ballet. He was made Knight of Dannebrog by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in 2001. He won his second Benois de la Danse for Shostakovich Trilogy in 2014.
Ratmansky was named artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet in January 2004. For the Bolshoi Ballet, he choreographed full-length productions of The Bright Stream (2003) and The Bolt (2005) and re-staged Le Corsaire (2007) and the Soviet-era Flames of Paris (2008). Under Ratmansky’s direction, the Bolshoi Ballet was named “Best Foreign Company” in 2005 and 2007 by The Critics’ Circle in London, and he received a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for The Bright Stream in 2006. In 2007, he won a Golden Mask Award for Best Choreographer for his production of Jeu de Cartes for the Bolshoi Ballet. In 2009, Ratmansky choreographed new dances for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Aida. Ratmansky joined American Ballet Theatre as Artist in Residence in January 2009.
For American Ballet Theatre, Ratmansky choreographed On the Dnieper (2009), Seven Sonatas (2009), Waltz Masquerade, a ballet honoring Nina Ananiashvili’s final season (2009), The Nutcracker (2010), Dumbarton (2011), Firebird and Symphony #9 (2012), Chamber Symphony, Piano Concerto #1 and The Tempest (2013), The Sleeping Beauty (2015), Serenade after Plato’s Symposium (2016), Songs of Bukovina (2017), Whipped Cream (2017) and Harlequinade (2018). Ratmansky was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow for 2013.
Music:Dmitri Shostakovich - Concerto No. 2 in F Major, Op. 102 (1957)
Original editor:Musikverlag Hans Sikorski, Hamburgo
Costume Design:Holly Hynes
Lighting Design:Mark Stanley
Assitant to the Choreographer:Tatiana Ratmansky