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21.2.2024 | Culture

A great new performance by the Estonian National Opera Ballet

Text Susanna Poikela
Photos Rünno Lahesoo, Jack Devant

A great new performance by the Estonian National Opera BalletPhoto: Rünno Lahesoo

 

The Estonian National Opera Ballet will present the impressive ballet Louis XIV – The Sun King this evening, February 21, and tomorrow, February 22. The music for the ballet was composed by Timo Steiner and Sander Mölder, and the libretto was written by the poet and prose writer Tõnu Õnnepalu.

French ruler Louis XIV, nicknamed the Sun King (1639–1715) was artistically talented from an early age. He didn’t feel much attraction towards real subjects or grammar studies. Instead, the young ruler loved dancing and the arts. He had time to appear in court ballet ensembles and ballet performances numerous times. Louis XIV did not give up dancing until he was 27 years old.

 

Photo: Jack Devant
Photo: Jack Devant

 

The Sun King is widely believed to have said on his deathbed: “I’m leaving, but the state will always remain”. Louis XIV reigned for 72 years and one hundred days. Is dancing the secret to longevity?

Despite the fact that the Sun King was an absolute ruler and that the kingdom saw many wars during his time, Louis XIV was at the same time a devout patron of the arts.

The libretto for the ballet has been written by the Estonian writer Tõnu Õnnepalu, who is also a translator of French literature.

“The king is a fairy tale character, but also a real living and ruling king. Louis XIV was a great king. He felt both insecurity and fear in his childhood: the times were confusing. As a young man, he decided to change things, created a state – something unprecedented. An all-powerful state that is not only to be feared, but also to be admired. We have inherited the land from him, as well as the palace and gardens of Versailles. Ballet was also a way to present the glory of the king. The country is a theater and theater is power. But theater is a perishable art, the show has to start over every day, just like the sun has to rise for the day to come again. The cunning courtiers, realising that from now on everything was in the king’s hands, gave him this name: Roi-Soleil, “Sun King”, writes Tõnu Õnnepalu.

Tickets for the ballet can still be bought at Piletimaailm

 

Photo: Rünno Lahesoo
Photo: Rünno Lahesoo

 

 

To learn more about this and similar topics
Ballet Estonian National Ballet Estonian National Opera Ballet French History Louis XIV Sun King Teet Kask

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