Petite Mort

Jiří Kylián

The prestigious Czech choreographer Jirí Kylián relies again on the Spanish groupto perform one of his most impressive choreographies. This is the work Petite Mort that was staged for the first time by the Nederlands Dans Theater in 1991. Jirí Kylián created this ballet especially for the Salzburg Festival in commemoration of the second centenary of Mozart´s death. For this work he chose the slow tempos of two of Mozart´s most beautiful and popular piano concertos. "This deliberate choice should not be seen as a provocation or thoughtlessness, but as my personal way to acknowledge the fact that I am living and working in a world where nothing is sacred, and where brutality and arbitrariness are commonplaces. This work should convey the idea of two ancient torsos, their heads and limbs cut off - evidence of a deliberate mutilation - however unable to destroy their beauty, thus reflecting the spiritual power of their creator".


The choreography presents six men, six women and six foils. The foils play the role of dancing partners and sometimes seem to be more rebellious and obstinate than a partner of flesh and blood. They visualize a simbolism which is more real than a line of argument. Agression, sexuality, energy, silence, foolishness and vulnerability – all those elements play a significant role. Petite Mort, which literally means small death, is also a euphemism for orgasm in languages such as French and Arabic.