Dance Performances - Petite Mort

About Petite Mort


Visual surprises abound in this tantalizing contemporary ballet, which blends a classical sensibility with a bold, modern wit.  The choreography includes six men, six women, and six fencing foils. The foils are, in many ways, the men's real dancing partners and sometimes turn out to be more stubborn and willful than a human partner.  Kylián also makes playful use of black baroque dresses, which seem to exist both separately from the dancers and molded to their bodies.

Czech native Jiří Kylián – “one of the most influential choreographers of the last thirty years” (New York Times) – originally created this piece for the 1991 Salzburg Festival, to mark the second centenary of the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.   Kylián set his work to two of Mozart’s most popular Piano Concertos (Nos. 21 and 23), and the gorgeous slow movements of these Concertos serve as counterpoint to the onstage jousting and coupling.

Support for this Company premiere has been provided by Denise R. Sobel and The Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey - Sara & Bill Morgan New Works Endowment Fund.



Born in Czechoslovakia in 1947, Jiří Kylián trained at the School of the National Ballet in Prague and the Royal Ballet School in London. Mr. Kylián then joined the Stuttgart Ballet and made his debut there as a choreographer. After having made three ballets for Nederlands Dans Theater, he became NDT’s artistic director in 1975. In 1978, he put NDT on the international map with Sinfonietta. That same year, with Carel Birnie, he founded NDT II for young talent. In 1991, Mr. Kylián initiated NDT III for dancers 40 and older. This structure was unique in the world of dance. In 1999, he handed over the artistic leadership, but remained house choreographer until 2009. Mr. Kylián has created nearly 100 works, many of which are performed by ballet companies and schools all over the world.

Performance Schedule & Tickets

There are no upcoming performances for this repertory piece.


Jiří Kylián


Patrick Delacroix


W. A. Mozart: “Piano Concerto in A Major (KV 488), Adagio” and “Piano Concerto in C Major (KV 467), Andante” performed by The English Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey Tate (conductor), featuring pianist Mitsuko Uchida.


Joke Visser


Jiří Kylián, Joop Caboort

First Performance

1991; Ailey Premiere 2012

Run Time

18 minutes

Groups 10+

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