Choreography by: Jiři Bubeniček

Music by: Otto Bubeniček

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Toccata for two pianos, viola and cello (2009)
May 13, 2009, New York City Ballet, David H. Koch Theater
Original Cast
Abi Stafford, Brittany Pollack, Megan Mann, Robert Fairchild, Craig Hall, David Prottas, Andrew Scordato

Toccata is the name given to a composition, usually for keyboard, featuring virtuoso passages to show off the musicians’ dexterity.  In this case, it refers to the music composed by Otto Bubeníček for his twin brother, the choreographer Jiři Bubeníček, featuring musicians while showcasing the dancers.  Two pianists, a violist and a cellist are each dimly spotlighted in a misty backdrop as seven dancers follow the insistent beat of their music.  The interplay of three changing couples and a lone dancer portrays the varying emotions of romantic relationships, joyful to melancholy.  Said Jiri Bubeníček of this ballet, “What I want to create is not just steps but feelings between people.”

Jiři  Bubeníček, a Czech native who studied dance at the Prague Dance Conservatory, made his professional debut in 1993 with John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet.  He became a Principal dancer in 1997.  In 2006, he became a Principal dancer in Dresden at the Semperoper.  As a choreographer, Bubeníček has created many works for the Zurich, Hamburg and Dresden ballets, as well as for the Laterna Magika in Prague and the Noverre Choreographic Institute in Stuttgart.

Otto Bubeníček  (b. 1974), a dancer and composer, won the Prix de Lausanne in dance in 1992, with his twin brother Jiří, and graduated from the dance conservatory in Prague in 1993.  He joined the Hamburg Ballet, with his twin, in 1993 becoming first soloist in 1997.  He performed leading roles in the classical ballet repertory as a dancer who combined lyricism with elegance and formal refinement.  He also created roles in the ballets of John Neumeier and other modern choreographers.