By Jo Anne Triplett for LEO Weekly
Death, the final frontier (props to “Star Trek”).
Whatever your personal beliefs are on what happens after your body ceases to exist, here are two more ideas. The Louisville Ballet, in collaboration with the Kentucky Opera and accompanied by the Louisville Orchestra, is telling tales about mortality and the afterlife in “Requiem” and “Project Faust.”
As excited as Louisville Ballet’s Artistic and Executive Director Robert Curran is about these works, he is just as enamored with the collaboration. “It means a lot to the city, [to have the Ballet, Opera and Orchestra] working together in a vital way,” he said. “It hasn’t happened in decades.”
“Requiem,” with choreography by Stephen Baynes and music by Gabriel Fauré, is first on the program. It premiered at the Australian Ballet in 2001 when Curran was with the company (he danced there from 1996-2011). The costumes and scenery are from its productions.
Fauré composed the “Requiem” music in 1887, revised it in the 1890s and finished it in 1900. “The inspiration for the ballet is drawn solely from the sublime music of Fauré rather than any interpretation of the Latin text used in the Requiem Mass,” said Baynes. “Unlike some famous Requiems which emphasize the fear of the Day of Judgment, Fauré wanted his to be an affirmation of his belief that, rather than something to be feared, death should be seen as a welcome release into eternal rest.”