How About Jazz?
How About Jazz?
© Anna-Maria Löffelberger

How about Jazz?

Andreas Heise / Filipe Portugal

Uraufführung: 8. Mai 2024 / Probenzentrum Aigen


How about it? Are you in the mood for jazz? This season, ballet director Reginaldo Oliveira invites the choreographers Andreas Heise and Filipe Portugal to take audiences at the Rehearsal Centre in Aigen into a very different world of dance: jazz!

Like no other musical genre, jazz combines the diversity of improvisation with spontaneity. Jazz first emerged in America’s southern states around 1900 and has its roots in African American history. And yet – or maybe because of it – jazz is not just heartrending, melancholy blues but also pulsating life. Its lyrics are saturated with deep emotions (such as Sarah Vaughan’s “Misty”), African American traumas (“Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday) or dangerous devotion (Nina Simone’s “I Put a Spell on You”) but also with a zest for life or delicious irony (just listen to “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” by Ella Fitzgerald). Its stylistic variants range from New Orleans Jazz (defined by Louis Armstrong) to Swing, Free Jazz, Ethno Jazz and all the way to today’s Smooth Jazz or even Jazz Rap – to name but a few. In this two-part ballet night, the two choreographers explore a great diversity of rhythms, emotions and expressions of dance. Andreas Heise studied at the Palucca University of Dance in Dresden. He has danced at the Leipzig Ballet and the Norwegian National Ballet. It was there that he embarked on his career as a choreographer, which for instance took him to the Yekaterinburg Ballet Company, the ballet ensemble of the Graz Opera, the Stuttgart Ballet, the ballet company of the Theater Vorpommern and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. He has worked with director Christoph Loy (e.g. at the Salzburg Festival) and gave his debut as an opera director with “Dido and Aeneas” in Oslo in 2019.

Filipe Portugal has danced at the Portugal National Ballet and the Zurich Ballet, where he became a soloist under the direction of Heinz Spoerli. He has worked as a choreographer for the Junior Company and the ensemble of the Zurich Ballet, the Charlotte Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet as a part of “Noverre: Young Choreographers”, the Linbury Theatre in London, the Shanghai Ballet in a co-production with the Yen Han Ballet Company at the Shanghai Arts Festival, the Cannes Junior Ballet, the Delattre Dance Company and the Portugal National Ballet.