Bayerisches Junior Ballett München

Appalachian Spring

Music »Appalachian Spring« (1943/1944)
Costume Susanne Stehle

Contemporary choreographers who have the courage to work with large ensembles of dancers are rare – and those who work with pointe shoes are even rarer. But Maged Mohamed is not one to shy away from a challenge. When artistic director Ivan Liška invited Mohamed to create a work for the entire company, he ran with it. The youthful vigour of his new ballet «Appalachian Spring» is a tribute to his bravery. A large creation for the entire company, it invites the ensemble to build its artistic identity as a company and share the process with its audience. The dancers’ pride in the piece is palpable. Since its premiere at the Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung’s Spring Matinee, audiences have been transfixed by the buoyant spirit rising from the stage.

The musical choice for the ballet emerged from the fruitful collaboration between the ATTACCA Jugendorchester of the Bavarian State Orchestra and the junior company. Following a previous collaboration in 2018, Allan Bergius suggested Aaron Copland’s famous ballet score, which was originally created for the “mother of modern dance”, Martha Graham. Up until shortly before the premiere in 1944, the work was affectionately known as «Martha’s Ballet», until Graham herself uncovered the title «Appalachian Spring» by turning to the American lyricist Hart Crane’s poem «The Dance»: “O Appalachian Spring! I gained the ledge; / Steep, inaccessible smile that eastward bends / And northward reaches in that violet wedge / Of Adirondacks!”

From early on in his career, Aaron Copland was searching for a national style of his own. He found the so-called “Jazz-Age” best suited to the excitement of New York City and the pace and activity of urban America. What we now experience as Copland’s undeniably American style emerged only after the Great Depression. His music is so rhythmically and energetically charged that it is no wonder his compositions were frequently adapted for dance over the years. With its accentuated dances and idyllic interludes that fade into nocturnal slumber, «Appalachian Spring» is a prime example of a ballet score and an inspiring musical springboard to showcase the diversity of the current generation of the junior company.

Maged Mohamed began his career at the Cairo Opera before moving to Europe to dance at the Meininger Theatre, Semperoper Dresden and the Bavarian State Ballet. His choreographic work began to draw international attention through the presentation of his short film «7 years before», which amassed awards at the Nice International Film Festival and others. In recent years, Maged has worked with dancers on the cusp of their professional careers, creating new works for the Ballet Academy of the University for Music and Performing Arts Munich, the Zurich Dance Academy and the Bavarian Junior Ballet Munich.

First premiered on 3 April 2022 as part of a matinée by the Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung at the Nationaltheater Munich

Rehearsal Trailer

Backstage Trailer