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DANCE NOVIE NIGHT | Jirí Kylián - Sechs Tänze & Petite Mort

  • Flux+Flow 200 Crestview Road Columbus, OH, 43202 United States (map)

Dance Movie Night : A series of dance films curated by FluxFlow Dance Project with an introduction and discussion about the featured work. Each night will highlight a different choreographer exploring concert dance ranging from classical, contemporary, and dance theater from various parts of the world.

This Month : 

PETITE MORT | Jiri Kylian

Jiří Kylián created Petite Mort for the Nederlands Dans Theater for the 1991 Salzburg Festival on the second centenary of Mozart's death with six men, six women, and six foils. It’s been popular ever since. 
Petite mort, translated from French, means “little death”, and is generally used as a euphemism for orgasm. Kylián’s Petite Mort plays on this meaning with subtle sexual symbolism.

SIX DANCES | Jiri Kylian

The piece to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Six German Dances" KV 571, like all the others is new and witty. Many of the 8 dancers' actions are coarse and speedy , full of threats, unrest and absurdity. The men wear powdered periwigs above their naked torsi. The ladies are clothed in drastic skirts. And in the illumination of the spotlights, scintillating soap bubbles fall from the rigging loft in cascades down upon the dancers. The equally witty and bizarre scene is a winking paean and pomp, ending in clouds of wig powder and soap bubbles. Images full of humour and comedy prove once more what an imaginative, charismatic power Jiri Kilian possesses. The delicious humour of the piece moved numerous viewers and reviewers to remark that the Salzburg composer would have enjoyed it. Even if "Six Dances" appears to be no more than a sparklingly witty assembly of nonsense carried out in costumes designed by the choreographer himself, who calls them "Mozartian underwear", there is still a dark, ominous undertone. As "The Scotsman" wrote: " ...that is what's so wonderful about Kylian's work: it is never quite what it seems to be."


The world-renowned choreographer Jiří Kylián (Czechoslovakia, 1947) has been artistic director and house choreographer for of Nederlands Dans Theater for more than thirty years. Throughout his career Kylián created 75 choreographies for NDT. The piece "Mémoires d’Oubliettes" marked the end of his work for NDT in 2009. Since then his creative focus has shifted to more small scale projects. Kylián created various other pieces for companies worldwide such as the Stuttgart Ballet, the Paris Opéra, the Munich Bayerisches Staatsballett and the Tokyo Ballet. Kylián received many prestigious, international awards and honours.

Jiří Kylián started his dance career at the age of nine, at the School of the National Ballet in Prague. In 1962 he was accepted as a student at the Prague Conservatory. He left Prague in 1967 when he received a scholarship for the Royal Ballet School in London. Then he left for the Stuttgart Ballet led by John Cranko, where he made his debut as a choreographer with Paradox for the Noverre Gesellschaft. After having created three ballets for NDT ("Viewers", "Stoolgame" and "La Cathédrale Engloutie"), he became the company’s artistic director in 1975 together with Hans Knill. During the 1978 Charleston Festival in the United States Kylián put NDT on the international map with Sinfonietta (Leoš Janácek). That year he and Carel Birnie founded NDT 2, which was – and is – meant to offer young dancers the opportunity to develop their skills and talents. In 1991 he initiated NDT 3; a company that created opportunities for ‘older’ dancers. NDT stood out as the first company worldwide that showed the three dimensions of a dancer´s life. After an extraordinary record of service Kylián handed over the artistic leadership in 1999, but remained associated to the dance company as house choreographer until 2009.