Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Sechs tänze

ballet in one act

Recommended age 12+


Concept, choreography, sets and costumes: Jiří Kylián
Musical director: Honoured Artist of Ukraine Viktor Ploskina
Lighting design: Joop Caboort
Assistants to the choreographer: Shirley Esseboom, Joost Biegelaar, Henk Palmers
Ballet masters and répétiteurs: Honoured Artist of the Republic of Belarus Kanstantsin Kuzniatsou, winner of international competitions Olga Kostel
Running time: 25 minutes
Premiere: 8 October 2013


Two centuries separate us from the time, Mozart wrote his German Dances. A historical period shaped considerably by wars, revolutions, and all sorts of social upheavals.

With this in mind I found it impossible to simply create different dance numbers reflecting merely the humor and musical brilliance of the composer. Instead, I have set six seemingly non-sensical acts, which obviously ignore their surroundings. They are dwarfed in face of the ever present troubled world, which most of us for some unspecified reason carry in our souls.

Although the entertaining quality of Mozart’s Sechs Tänze enjoys great general popularity, it shouldn't only be regarded as a burlesqué. Its humor ought to serve as a vehicle to point towards our relative values. Mozart's ability to react upon difficult circumstances with a self-preserving outburst of nonsensical poetry is well known. A fragment of a letter to his cousin is the finest example of this.

Fragments of a letter which Mozart wrote on November 13, 1777 - he was 21 at the time - to das Bäsle, pet name for his cousin Maria Anna Thekla, presumably Mozart's first love. [W. Hildesheimer, Mozart, Frankfurt/Main (Suhrkamp) 1977].

Ma très chère Nièce! Cousine! fille!
Mère, Sœur, et Epouse!
Poz Himmel Tausend sakristey, Cruaten schwere noth, teüfel, hexen truden, kreüz = Battalion und kein End, Poz Element, luft, wasser, erd und feüer, Europa, asia, affrica und America, jesuiter, Augustiner, Benedictiner, Capuciner, minoriten, franziscaner, Dominicaner, Chartheüser, und heil: kreüzer herrn, Canonici Regulares und iregulares, und alle bärnhäüter, spizbuben, hundsfütter, Cujonen und schwänz übereinander, Eseln, büffeln, ochsen, Narrn, dalcken und fexen! was ist das für eine Manier, 4 soldaten und 3 Bandelier? -- so ein Paquet und kein Portrait? -- ich war schon voll begierde -- ich glaubte gewis -- denn sie schrieben mir ja unlängst selbst, daß ich es gar bald, recht gar bald bekommen werde.