Internationally-acclaimed Canadian ballet icon Evelyn Hart joins the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in the world premiere of James Kudelka’s Vespers, a new ballet choreographed to Claudio Monteverdi’s ‘Vespers, 1610’.
Vespers means “evening prayer” and has stood the test of time for over four hundred years- a true testament to the music’s remarkable power. Vespers combines dramatic atmospheres with creative classical ballet technique, contemporary styles and perspectives on relationships, nature and the spiritual world.
Claudio Montevardi’s stunning score is performed by a live choir accompanied by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Vespers is alive with vibrant character, colour and texture with all the richness of a renaissance painting. This emotionally powerful ballet features iconic ballerina Evelyn Hart in a role created especially for her.
Photo: Former RWB Prima Ballerina Evelyn Hart and RWB Corps de Ballet Dancer Liam Caines; Photo Credit: David Cooper
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“The first Book to be given Man - at the Creation - was the Book of Nature. In it all created things are like letters of the alphabet; they can be combined into words and sentences, teaching Man truths about God and himself. But with the Fall, Man was blinded to the sense of the Book of Nature. He could no longer read it aright. Nevertheless, that book remains common to all.” (From the forward to the translation of Michel de Montaigne’s ‘An Apology for Raymond Sebond’.)
Part one Vespers puts forward the premise of a mythological world where People and Nature live in a community of mutual respect and tolerance. There is ritual, love, sex and death, but at its core there is harmony and joy in existence and association.
Part two of Vespers is more narrative and takes place in a contemporary urban world “after the Fall” where Nature and People exist in their own silos. The community of part one is now two worlds. But for one Everywoman, wise beyond her knowledge, the appearance of Nature to her that seems like madness at first, becomes a vital part of her life force and becomes a thrilling journey of personal discovery and connection to the world.