Latvian Ballet drama premieres

  • 2000-05-11
  • By Vineta Lagzdina
RIGA - Composer Juris Karlsons' new Latvian ballet Sidraba Skidrauts (The Silver Veil) premiered April 19 and 20 at the Latvian National Opera.

The Silver Veil is based on a 1905 play by Latvia's leading lady of literature, Aspazija, and is quite a weighty drama about personal and national relationships. The music is conducted forcefully and convincingly by Normunds Sne. The music dramatizes the story and characterizes the personalities but somehow fails to engage the imagination.

In contrast, the choreography by Polish born Krzysztof Pastor brings new expressiveness and interpretation from Latvia's ballet dancers, and makes the music reach further. There's a warmth, depth, flexibility and emotionality to Lithuanian prima ballerina Egle Spokaite's title role performance which portrays the core symbolism of the ballet, as well as presenting a lifetime of passion and conflict on stage.

Pastor now lives in The Netherlands, which he calls "the paradise of modern dance," and has found working in Latvia tough because the new language of modern dance is less familiar here, though he added there is a stronger sense of spirituality in dancers.

The Silver Veil is not for the light hearted, but a significant marker for the Latvian world of ballet. Final performance this season at the Latvian National Opera, May 17 at 19:00.