Jiri Kylian, associated artist

Opéra de Lyon

Lyon Opera House ballet company

Jiří Kylián, associated artist

There has been a long association between Jiří Kylián and the Ballet of the Opéra de Lyon. It might even be called a long love story, so much the two of them have, for the past 30 years, discovered and understood one another intimately. The classical and contemporary training of the troop from Lyon, its impeccable technical baggage, and its vast repertoire covering the entire second half of the 20th century, and up to the dance of today, mean that it is the favoured interpreter of the Prague-born choreographer’s complexly figured ballets

Interview with Jiří Kylián, choreographer

Bella Figura
"The italian expression Bella Figura literally means "Beautiful Figure", and this suggests "looking good". To put it another way, the audience does not know if the dancer in front of them that evening is in a difficult situation or not" Jirí Kylián, 2007

It is possible to see Bella Figura as a series of tableaux which are as beautiful as they are enigmatic...

A sequencing of trios and duos with men and women, in which the entire palette of loving relationships is played out...

The evocative corps à corps of two women reinventing, gesture by gesture, the very idea of sensuality…

A tender, cruel parable about the voluntary slavery of a couple whose every member becomes, one after the other, a tamed animal walking alongside the other...

But, as the choreographer himself has emphasised, these sumptuous images are also expressions of a reality sublimated by the art of representation.

A show within a show, offered up by those whose job is it, come what may, to “look good”…

Bella Figura by Jiří Kylián
Clip of Bella Figura featuring Lyon Opera House Ballet company

Heart’s Labyrinth, Jiří Kylián’s tenth piece to enter the repertory of the Ballet of the Opéra de Lyon, was born from a painful, personal questioning: after one of the female dancers in his company had committed suicide, Jiří Kylián started to compose this ballet. It was a way for the choreographer to sublimate artistically the pain of this tragic loss and also occasion to explore new pathways in the knowledge of the human heart.

This labyrinth of the heart explores the endless chain of human feelings, the subtle nuances of their arrangements and their infinite combinations.

Over this ballet, there hovers the mystery of an afterlife, symbolically represented by a cube of endless light.

Duos, trios and other figures evoke the countless sensorial combinations which mean that each individual is a unique, mysterious being...

Clip of Heart's Labyrinth by Jiří Kylián featuring Lyon Opera House Ballet company


In the very title – which simply reproduces the length of the piece – rhythm and space are united in the same movement. 
In the score, specially composed by the musician Dirk Haubrich, there can be found the sensual, pared-back dancing, which is the choreographer’s signature.

Jiří Kylián uses virtually cinematographic effects, while playing with shadows and his performers...

The duo becomes a fusion, skin against skin, in an amorous rush. The couple of dancers wrap themselves up in one other, as if they had forgotten the surrounding theatre and life.

Clip of 27'52'' by Jiří Kylián featuring Lyon Opera House Ballet company

Credits: Story

Lyon Opera House

+33 4 69 85 54 54

Serge Dorny, general manager

The Lyon Opera is subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the City of Lyon, the regional council of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and the Metropole of Lyon.

Photos © Stofleth

Credits: All media
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