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Kylián Festival:

Day before

29. May–​14. June
Main Stage
2 h 30 min / 2 Breaks

A celebration of Jiří Kylián’s artistry

The Norwegian National Ballet is proud to present the Kylián Festival! Day before Tomorrow features the timeless ballets Bella Figura, Wings of Wax and Gods and Dogs.

Three masterpieces on the Main Stage 

Poetic and hypnotic dance: Get ready for a full-evening performance by one of the world’s greatest living choreographers! 

Czech Jiří Kylián has breathed new life into ballet as an art form. This can clearly be seen in this performance, when the National Ballet dances three of his more recent and unmistakable works. 

“Such rare beauty to behold” wrote the critic Inger Merete Hobbelstad in Dagbladet when the National Ballet danced Bella Figura (1995) in 2010. Baroque solemnity is combined with humour and set to music by such composers as Vivaldi. It is open, vulnerable and an aesthetic feast for the eyes. 

The myth about Icarus, who flew too close to the sun and fell from the sky when his wings melted, inspired the name Wings of Wax (1997). A naked tree is suspended upside down over the stage floor as if at any moment it might drop onto the eight dancers dressed in black. “A metaphor for humanity’s endless ambitions to always want to reach higher and achieve even more,” says the choreographer about the work. 

Gods and Dogs (2008) is a hypnotising ballet the spans the gap between turmoil and beauty, set to a soundscape in which electronic music is interwoven with Beethoven. A vast, dancing silver curtain accentuates the nerve-racking atmosphere, behind dancers who really know their Kylián. 

... a late masterpiece, and one that captures Kylián’s intricate relationship with music. 

Financial Times om Gods and Dogs 

Oslo Opera House full of Kylián 

Jiří Kylián not only creates dance works, but in recent years has also worked with photography and video, sculptures and installations.  

In May and June 2025, we will be celebrating this unique artist with our very own Kylián Festival: Wings of Time in the Oslo Opera House! It is also a tribute to the close partnership between him and the Norwegian National Ballet that has spanned over 30 years. 

The entire Oslo Opera House will be filled with Kylián’s art: We are exhibiting a number of his installations and photographs, in addition to showing films – and on the Main Stage, the National Ballet will be dancing seven of his ballets divided into two programmes. 

The Kylián Festival is the largest showcase to date of his art in Norway, and with Jiří Kylián himself as curator and on hand to set the stage for a rare event.

Free introduction one hour before the performance (in norwegian).

Artistic team and cast

Bella Figura 

Choreographer Jiří Kylián
Music  Lukas Foss, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Alessandro Marcello, 
Antonio Vivaldi, Giuseppe Torelli, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
Set designer Jiří Kylián 
Costume designer Joke Visser 
Lighting designer Jiří Kylián 
Participants Nasjonalballetten 

Wings of Wax 

Choreographer Jiří Kylián
Music Heinrich von Biber, John Cage, Philip Glass, Johann Sebastian Bach
Set designer Michael Simon 
Costume designer Joke Visser 
Lighting designer Michael Simon 
Participants Nasjonalballetten 

Gods and Dogs 

Choreographer Jiří Kylián
Music Jiří Kylián (konsept), Dirk Haubrich (komposisjon) 
Ludwig van Beethoven
Computer controlled projections Tatsuo Unemi, Daniel Bisig 
Video projection Dag Johan Haugerud, Cecilie Semec 
Set designer Jiří Kylián 
Costume designer Joke Visser 
Lighting designer Kees Tjebbes 
Participants Nasjonalballetten 

Verdenspremiere: 13. november 2008

150–870 kr
  • Thursday 29. May
    19:00 / Main Stage
  • Monday 2. June
    19:00 / Main Stage
  • Thursday 5. June
    19:00 / Main Stage
  • Thursday 12. June
    19:00 / Main Stage
  • Friday 13. June
    19:00 / Main Stage
  • Saturday 14. June
    13:00 / Main Stage