Middle Duet (Contemporary Ballet by Alexei Ratmansky)

This work is called, Middle Duet, choreographed by the renowned Russian choreographer, Alexei Ratmansky. It is performed here in this video at a Gala performance in South Korea by two dancers from the Marinsky Ballet, Igor Kolb and Korean born Jiyeon Ryta (Ti Yon Riu). Jiyeon Ryta is the first “foreign” dancer in this company. The music was composed by Juri Khanin, and is called the Middle Symphony Op 40.

Ratmansky is a contemporary ballet choreographer who was trained as a dancer at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Russia. During his performing career Mr. Ratmansky danced as a Principal dancer with the Ukraine Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet. He has become a renowned and prolific choreographer having created works for all major ballet companies and has been an artistic director of the Bolshoi. He is now the resident choreographer for ABT in New York since 2009.

This duet is one section of a three part ballet, and as we see, it stands well on its’ own. It begins in darkness except for the minimal lighting outlining the dancers in a dappled confined space to which they are bound. The light slowly expands resembling mottled sunlight pouring into the darkness that shifts in response to the dancers’ movements through space. We see the dancers moving in and out of the confining light, which to me, heightens the sense of a claustrophobic and tension filled mystery.

The movement language is harsh. It is based upon familiar classical patterns that lead into surprising and unsettling twists and endings. The partnering incorporates fascinating holds, twists and turns with bound repetitions with whipping legs, broken drops and crazy off centered balances and turns. This creates a disturbing tension and passionate dynamic between the two. There is an ominous dramatic undercurrent that builds in emotional and sensual physicality that explodes into the final surprise of all, when the dancers suddenly dead drop to the stage!

The dancing is beautifully clean, articulate and full of passionate suspense.

Here is another great duet for you to enjoy and SHARE


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