Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre is already preparing for the cozy winter holidays. This year the festivities start early: on 14-18 December LNOBT will host an exclusive Ballet Week, dedicated to the anniversary of LNOBT’s artistic director of ballet, famous choreographer Krzysztof Pastor. This year choreographer and producer K. Pastor is celebrating his 60th anniversary.
In 1983 Pastor became a soloist with Le Ballet de l'Opéra of Lyon in France, dancing ballets by Gray Veredon, Hans van Manen, Kurt Jooss and others. From 1985 to 1995, he danced with the Dutch National Ballet (Het Nationale Ballet), working with many well-known choreographers such as Carolyn Carlson, Nils Christie, Nacho Duato, Rudi van Dantzig, Jan Linkens, Eduard Lock, Hans van Manen, Maguy Marin, Toer van Schayk, Nina Wiener, and Peter Wright. He danced major roles in both classical and neoclassical ballets, as well as modern dance works.
Pastor completed his first choreographic work in 1986 for an international gala performance in Łódź. After creating several ballets for the Dutch National Ballet's workshop programmes, in 1992 he was asked to design a ballet for the company's main programme: the successful “Shostakovich - Chamber Symphony”. He worked as a freelance choreographer from 1995. In the 1997/98 season he joined the Washington Ballet as its choreographer in residence, and became the Dutch National Ballet's choreographer in residence in the 1998/99 season.
Pastor has since gained considerable recognition as an international choreographer, creating nearly fifty ballets to date, including the highly acclaimed “Do Not Go Gentle…”, and “In Light and Shadow”; the large-scale, full-length production “Kurt Weill”, “Acid City”, “Don Giovanni”, “Tristan” and “Dangerous Liaisons”; as well as “Symphony Fantastic” for the Australian Ballet.
In January 2003, Krzysztof Pastor was appointed resident choreographer of the Dutch National Ballet, sharing the position with Hans van Manen. Alongside his work for the Dutch National Ballet, Pastor has created ballets for many companies in other countries, such as the Royal Swedish Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, Scottish Ballet, Washington Ballet, Ballet Opera Dresden, Israel Ballet, Royal Flemish Ballet, Ballet of the Polish National Opera in Warsaw (“Gorecki's Third Symphony”, 1994), National Ballet of Lithuania, National Ballet of Latvia, Donau Ballet, Hungarian National Ballet, National Theatre in Brno, Ankara State Ballet, Australian Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, and Hong Kong Ballet.. He has also designed smaller pieces specifically for selected ballet soloists.
In 2010 director Krzysztof Pastor received the prestigious Terpsichore Award which was presented by the Polish Theater Artists Union. In 2011 he was awarded by the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage the highest cultural award, the Gloria Artis Gold Medal for his choreographic achievements around the world and for his artistic and organizational effort to raise the prestige of ballet art in Poland. In 2014 he received Prize of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
Since 10 October, 2011, Mr. Pastor has been the Artistic Director of the ballet company of the LNOBT. At this theatre he choreographed ballets “Carmen” (1997), “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (1998), “Acid City” (2002), “The Nutcracker” (2014), “Bolero” (2015), “Romeo and Juliet”. One of his first creative initiatives was a unique project of choreography miniatures “Creative Impulse”, intended to release the imagination of the company’s ballet artists and reveal new talents. Presented on 3 June, 2012, the project won major acclaim from both the audience and the critics.
The celebratory Ballet Week shall run as follows:
14 December: “Tristan and Isolde”. With performances by Inga Cibulskytė and Genadij Žukovskij, and “Wesendonck Songs” sung by opera soloist Inesa Linaburgytė.
15 December: LNOBT’s latest ballet production, Sergei Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet”. Principal roles shall be performed by the soloists from the youngest generation of LNOBT’s ballet company, Olesia Shaytanova and Jeronimas Krivickas.
17 December: celebratory Gala concert with performances by ballet stars from Lithuania and the entire world. The guests of the concert include principal dancers of Polish, Dutch national ballet companies, the Royal Ballet, among which are Marianela Núñez, Vadim Muntagirov, Svetlana Zakharova and others.
18 December: final accent of the Ballet Week in P. Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”, with principal roles performed by Kristina Gudžiūnaitė and Genadij Žukovskij.