St Petersburg, Concert Hall

Kiev Modern Ballet

III New Horizons festival

Ward No 6
Music by Arvo Pärt

Underground /first performance in Russia/
Music by Pēteris Vasks

Artistic Director – Radu Poklitaru

Ward No 6 is, arguably, the most chamber-like and rational opus by KIEV MODERN BALLET, where pure spectacle cedes to capricious mind games… We were faced with an utterly Chekhovian tale of what freedom and love actually are. And to the comforting lamentations of ‘We love you! All is well with you!’ just one thing remains – the leap from hell on earth to somewhere rather deeper below.”
Yulia Bentyai. Kommersant, 28.11.2008


“The choreographer turned to essentially cult literary material – Anton Chekhov’s story Ward No 6, creating a plastique drama with the same title. But Radu Poklitaru’s ballet is less of a staged work and rather more of an image of associations…
“The choreographic etudes – now harmonious in terms of movement, now broken, like fragments of emotions – remind us of some alchemic event during which the participants find their own philosophy, their own world, and, not stopping at that, they continue their search. Moreover, the limited number of characters may be seen, in a way, as some kind of unity, synchrony of actions, movements and plastique tricks.”
Elena Varvarich. Dyen, 18.12.2008


Underground is constructed on music by world-acclaimed Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks, specifically his Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra. The composer named his work Far Away Light. According to Pēteris Vasks himself, this is his favourite opus. <…>
“The Concerto is performed by numerous soloists, and six choreographic compositions were created to the music of Far Away Light which have been performed in America, Mexico, Sweden and the Netherlands. The last of them is the work of Radu Poklitaru: the premiere of Underground took place in June 2008 in Kiev in the presence of the composer.
“Poklitaru himself says that he was stunned by Pēteris Vasks’ music. And the spur for the production’s conceptual idea was provided by Jean Paul Sartre’s renowned phrase “Hell is other people.” In Underground, the existentialist motifs of the French writer are closely interwoven with the melodies of the Latvian composer. <…>
“Poklitaru’s directing concept embodies Pēteris Vasks’ symphonic drama so visually that the conditional border between the music and the stage images all but disappears. In contrast to the horror of fatal danger and the destruction of life, there is the extremely tender melody of the violin and, as its reflection, images of young lovers in the underground and protecting their love. The distant world, like a ray of hope, materialises in the form of a rope lowered down from someone above them, giving them the opportunity to escape from the underground…”
Lesya Oleinik, Doctor of Philosophy (art)


Age category 6+

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