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Stabat Mater

  • Choreography: Petr Zuska
  • Music: Antonín Dvořák
  • Sets: Jan Dušek
  • Costumes: Petra Lebdušková
  • Light design: Petr Zuska, Pavel Kremlík
  • Duration: 20 min.
  • Number of dancers: 12
  • World premiere: 17. 4. 2014 - Czech National Ballet

Stabat Mater, an extraordinary ballet to Dvořák’s music, cumulates the quintessential traits of Zuska’s artistry in conceptual purity.

Treating the motif of death, the piece harbours magnificent, ritual music, works with female bodies and expressiveness, the female archetype refined by tradition – a young long-haired woman clad in a long white dress, with her arms bare and breasts impressed in satin. Women multiply like sisters, flooding the stage, on to which they fall, strenuously and painfully, from the opening in the foot of a large cross that dominates the backdrop.

The extremely dynamic composition is an entanglement of movement loops, whose motives keep reoccurring, propagating, superimposing, intensifying. It centres on a single subject – the irrepressible grief of a mother. Permutations of and variations on the movement of identical women, along with the totally empty stage, come across as minimalistic even. They actually resemble the spectacular minimalism and repetitiveness of the classical ballet blanc style.

Foto: Martin Divíšek, Pavel Hejný