Repertoire Tipp: Dancing Sibelius

The work group “Ballet” is completely missing in Jean Sibelius’ oeuvre.

Nevertheless, his music has repeatedly fired the imagination of choreographers. The images of his tone poems and symphonies are powerful, and the emotional spectrum of his musical idiom is enormous. Though occasionally inspired by Finnish mythology, Sibelius generally eschewed detailed programs pertaining to his music. He was well aware of the dangers of blatant descriptiveness, and thus gave choreographers the freedom to treat many different topics with his music.

Sibelius’ music literally begs for choreographical treatment, whether in abstract form or in large ballets with fully developed scenarios. Particularly worth mentioning are the ballet productions “Artus-Sage” by John Neumeier, “Shannon Rose – eine Liebe in Irland” by Youri Vámos and, most recently, the production of the Salzburg Landestheater, “Tanz der Nordlichter – Sibelius-Fantasien” by Peter Breuer. On the occasion of the imminent 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth on 8 December 2015, we would like to stimulate further projects relevant to the “Dancing Sibelius” topic, and to inspire new ballet productions.