The Washington Ballet to Premiere DIRECTOR'S CUT, Among Others, Today

WASHINGTON, D.C. -The Washington Ballet (TWB) premieres Director's Cut February 24-28 at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, a collection of works that centers on legendary choreographer William Forsythe's masterpiece In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and also features Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's PRISM and Septime Webre's State of Wonder. Webre's work includes live piano performed by S&R Foundation'sPrincipal Artist-in-Residence Ryo Yanagitani, one of Canada's most promising concert artists.

"Forsythe's revolutionary work, created in 1987, electrified the ballet world with its fierce physicality and subversive approach to classical ballet, while always remaining faithful to the basic principles of classicism," says Septime Webre, The Washington Ballet's Artistic Director. "It continues to inspire choreographers to create daring and provocative works of their own, so it works well alongside PRISM and State of Wonder, two bold and inventive pieces to round out the performance."

Director's Cut

In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated

Originally commissioned in 1987 by Rudolf Nureyev for the Paris Opera Ballet, this piece was critically recognized as an instant masterpiece. Set to electronic music, this sleek and aggressive choreography is concentrated in the traditional formula theme and variations. The main theme, danced by the ballerina, increases progressively in relation with the number of dancers, until the result of the group becomes much more complex variations and pas de deux. The pretended disdain of the dancers contrasts with the strict technical demands.

Thom Willems' music is based on urban sounds and is made of contrasts between aggressive turbulences and soft sonorities. The title of the ballet refers to two golden cherries, which hang above from the center of the stage.


Created for 10 dancers of The Washington Ballet, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's work is set to a 1975 iconic piano jazz improvisation by musician Keith Jarrett's The Köln Concert. The title of this work refers to Keith Jarrett. Like a prism, reflecting light into different colors, his music reflects different moods and atmospheres. Ochoa's steps are choreographed but still carry an improvisational feel as a tribute to the music.

The Köln Concert

Due to a problem with the piano available for the concert at the Cologne Opera House in Köln on January 24, 1975, Keith Jarret improvised continuously for 28 minutes. Following the concert, Jarret did not want to write out the music he had played. The recording of the concert was released in the autumn of 1975 and went on to become the best-selling solo album in jazz history. The actual concert was not translated and written down until 20 years later.

State of Wonder (Featuring Pianist Ryo Yanagitani)

Septime Webre's witty piece of 32 intricate dance translations is set to J.S. Bach's iconic Goldberg Variations performed to live piano by S&R Foundation's Ryo Yanagitani. This abstract work was inspired by the idea of how ballet relates to Bach's life. The work was performed as part of The Washington Ballet's Bach/ Beatles Project in 2006.

Performance Schedule

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 7:30pm

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 7:30pm

Friday, February 26, 2016 - 7:30pm

Saturday, February 27, 2016 - 1:30pm

Saturday, February 27, 2016 - 7:30pm

Sunday, February 28, 2016 - 1:30pm

Sunday, February 28, 2016 - 7:30pm

Learn more about Director's Cut here, or visit

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