Serious and humorous at the same time – Latvian National Ballet presents “Two Metres”

On September 30 Latvian National Opera and Ballet invites to the premiere of the new ballet production Two Metres in the New Hall. It was created by the choreographers Elza Leimane, Antons Freimans and Aivars Leimanis in cooperation with the set designer Andris Freibergs, costume designer Kristīne Pasternaka and lighting designer Kārlis Kaupužs.

Two Metres is a reaction – serious and humorous at the same time – of choreographers Elza Leimane, Antons Freimans, and Aivars Leimanis to the experiences of a ballet dancer during the pandemic. The common element for all three performances will be the spoken word of the dancers.

The etude developed by Elza Leimane Līdzcilvēks (Fellow Human) with music by Kaspars Kurdeko, Edvard Grieg and Robert Schumann is the story of a person who fails to find the exit from the theater and at the same time from himself. It is a dancer’s attempt to deal with what is most complicated, the relationship with himself. The leading roles will be performed by Ieva Rācene and Jūlija Brauere or Kristaps Jaunžeikars, in other roles – Annija Kopštāle, Sabīne Strokša, Antons Freimans, Darius Florian Catana, Robert Naje, and others. Pianist – Natālija Dirvuka.

“My ballet is called Fellow Human. The person may not have found a way out of the theater, he wanders around hallucinating a little, he is lonely and is talking to himself. We often see things differently when we change the viewpoint, and in my work it happens in a literal sense. The protagonists are the dancers themselves – they are talking about themselves. We talked about the isolation, how they felt, what was important to them, what happened to them, and reaffirmed how important a fellow human being is,” tells Elza Leimane.

Antons Freimans has created a dramatic performance Go! Go! Go! involving the emotional and physical problems a dancer faces when resuming dancing after a long, involuntary hiatus. He’s used music by Leo Delibes, Pyotr Tschaikovsky, Adolphe Adam and Ludwig Minkus. Soloists: Aleksandrs Osadčijs, Sabīne Strokša, Justīna Teličena, Māris Spriņģis and Anna Russke.

“My ballet is about dictate and submitting to a dictate. It’s about how people make decisions together, about the democratic process – whether it’s right, whether the decision making tactic matches the democratic ideal we are pursuing. There is one main protagonist. They don’t have a name or even a title for their role. This character represents what an epidemiologically safe dancer would look like,” explains Antons Freimans.

In it’s turn, Aivars Leimanis’s etude 2m experiments with the mandatory rules, trying to imagine what ballet would be like if the dancers had to observe the 2-metre distance. Baiba Kokina or Jolanta Lubēja, Viktors Seko or Philip Fedulov, as well as Aleksandra Astreina, Laine Paiķe, Anna Russke and Krista Štrausa will dance by the Pyotr Tschaikovsky’s music.

2m is a divertimento on what it would be like if all the obstacles and rules, which dancers continue to work around in order to continue with their profession, remained in place. Two of the fragments play with distancing and other epidemiological rules.  What would dance look life if the dancers really were to observe the 2-meter distancing and couldn’t even touch each other physically?” tells Aivars Leimanis.

The new production was created with the support of the State Culture Capital Foundation.

The following performances will be on October 1, 2, 29 and 30.

Tickets available at the box offices of LNOB and Biļešu paradīze, as well as online.