Toccata e due canzoni

Photographer Steve Wilson.
Photographer Steve Wilson.

Choreography: Paula Weber
Music: Bohuslav Martinu

Paula Weber began creating this work when she choreographed Canzone II for Kansas City Ballet in April, 2003. This neoclassical/contemporary ballet is a reflection of human relationships. The dancers consistently inter-weave and interact as if they have become the rhythms and phrases of the polyphonic score. The Martinu music inspired Ms. Weber to create this work to showcase the athleticism of the male dancers, the beauty and fragility of the women and to portray a sense of celebration and fun. In the new version, Weber adds 6 female dancers totaling 9 women and 9 men. When she createdCanzone II two years ago, she liked how it ended musically and choreographically and so she has kept that section as the final movement to the ballet as it is in the music. She has now added beginning (Toccata) and middle (Canzone I) movements to complete the work.

Martinu’s music (1946) was partially completed when he suffered a serious accident that left him with a fractured skull and impaired hearing and balance. He finished the second Canzone (the Italian word for song) several months after the accident and its eventual somber tone, especially in the unexpected Adagio, reflects the seriousness of Martinu¾’s condition for the remainder of that year.

World Premiere: Of Canzone II, April 10, 2003, Kansas City Ballet, Lyric Theatre, Kansas City, Missouri

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