Choreography by: Christopher Wheeldon

Music by: Arvo Pärt

This contemplative pas de deux has a hushed, mystical quality as two dancers separate and return to one another with ever increasing intensity before disappearing into the darkness together. 

Arvo Pärt, an Estonian composer born in 1935, has created several versions of Fratres, including this one, for violin, strings, and percussion. The title of the piece, which means “Brothers,” and the religious solemnity of the music bring to mind services in a medieval monastery. Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon has frequently been drawn to the music of contemporary composers. He used Pärt’s music for another piece, After the Rain, and created a trio of ballets set to music by György Ligeti, a Hungarian composer who died in 2006. Like these composers, Wheeldon uses a classical foundation to create works that are firmly modern in their feel and resonance.


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May 31, 2003, New York City Ballet, New York State Theater
Original Cast
Wendy Whelan, Jock Soto

11 Min.
Costumes by
Holly Hynes
Lighting by
Mark Stanley