Work of the Week - Christian Jost: DnA
What is the DNA of love? A question Christian Jost examines in his new work DnA – Six Images of Love - which will receive its world premiere on 24 May at Oper Graz, one of the biggest opera house in Austria. The new ballet will be choreographed by Darrel Toulon and conducted by Johannes Fritzsch and follows the successful premiere of the composer’s opera Rumor which took place in March earlier this year.
The title comes from Purcell’s famous opera Dido and Aenas and Jost’s ballet uses textual and musical material from the original work which will also be performed during the concert. However, rather than re-telling the same story, Jost analyses individual scenes to focus on the ideas of love found in Purcell's opera.
The new work is based around a ‘movement-score’ whereby the dancers’ movement is strongly connected to the tempo and timbre of the music. In addition to the dancers on stage the ballet also includes six voices which link the human voice with dance to add another dimension to the emotionally charged work. Also, to bring the Baroque foundations of the work up to date, Jost concludes the performance with Dido’s aria 'When I Am Laid Earth' arranged in an intimate Jazz style; comprising a vibraphone, electric bass and a flugelhorn.
I could describe DnA as a lied cycle in which two singers reveal their individual views of their relationship in poetic scenes. This intimate structure of the work makes it highly suitable for a theatrical or choreographic performance.
Further performances take place at the Oper Graz on 2, 6, 8, 14, 15, 20, 30 June and 1 July.