A dream-like show to pay tribute to Robert Gerhard, directed and choreographed by Antonio Ruz
Soirées de Barcelone is Robert Gerhard's second ballet. It was composed between 1936 and 1939 for the Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo in response to a commission from Colonel de Basil. They never premiered it, however, because the troupe itself was disbanded. Choreographer Léonide Massine wanted to create a "Catalan ballet" based on Catalan dances and folk festivals and travelled to Catalonia to see the midsummer festival, marked by fire in its various forms, which takes place in Berga on 23 June, the eve of the feast of Saint John. The result was a ballet with a scenario by Ventura Gassol which originally bore the title Els focs de Sant Joan (the Fires of Saint John's day). To make the source of inspiration easier to identify, the title was later changed to Soirées de Barcelone.
The basic theme of the magical midsummer night is illustrated by a dance of torchbearers, which arouses the libido of the couples of dancers. They pair off and the ballet concludes with a dawn wedding.
The Liceu presents this coproduction with the Juan March Foundation to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Gerhard, one of the best known Catalan composers the world over. Created by dancer and choreographer Antonio Ruz, it offers a refreshing, dream-like interpretation and a unique chance to enjoy his music.
- Approximate running time 1h 5m