An analysis of the choreographic works of Jiri Kylian and how his style evolves throughout
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Jirí Kylián is a choreographer, resident at Nederlands Dans Theatre. In an interview with Harkarvy (1994) Kylián says that he is opposed to the notion of a 'Kylián technique' "I like my work to go in different directions. I think our task as choreographers is to search the extremities of our souls. I don’t think we should find a place where we feel comfortable, and keep walking around that place until we die. I think that the search for what we are and what we want to say should be as expansive as possible" (Kylián in Harkarvy, 1994). Smith-Autard (2005) suggests that there is a recognisable look to Kylián’s work. However, Kylián tries to move away from any such trademark. "I prefer to think I didn’t have a style. I like to change my ways from ballet to ballet, but of course, you cannot avoid your own handwriting" (Kylián cited in Kisselgoff, 1979). This study looks at Kylián’s background as well as a selection of his choreographic works. Three of his pieces are studied in detail using Adshead’s four part system of analysis (1988). These are La Cathédrale Engloutie (1975), Stamping Ground (1983) and Falling Angels (1989). The study clarifies how Kylián’s style has changed and developed throughout his career.