Music: Pedro Alcalde / Sergio Caballero
Additional Music: Schnittke, Tchaikovsky
Voice: Lev Nikolaiev
Percussion: Percussions de Barcelona (R. Armengol, S. Bel, R. Torramilans and I. Vila)
Choreographer: Nacho Duato
Set: Jaffar Chalabi
Costumes: Carral Asociados
Lighting: Brad Fields
Premiered by the Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND)
Venue: Teatro Real Madrid
Date: 17th of February 2010
Co-production with the Chekhov International Theatre Festival, with the support of the Russian Government and the City of Moscow
Jardín infinito is a tribute to Anton Chekhov. The project was a commission from the IX International Chekhov Festival in Moscow to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the writer’s birth. The sound of the voice on a Russian documentary film on Chekhov was a breakthrough. The narrator was Lev Nikolaiev. We decided to work with him and he finally ended up flying from Moscow to Barcelona for recording sessions (video).
The title (“Infinite Garden”) does not have a special meaning. The only sound reference to a Chekhov play in all the ballet is an allusion to the stage direction at the end of The Cherry Orchard: “silence follows it, and only the sound is heard, some way away in the orchard, of the axe falling on the trees”. “The Garden of Words” was our first working title.
When we started working on the music for the choreography dedicated to Anton Chekhov, we decided upon words as the main axis of the sonic palette that we would use to compose. It was important that these “words” were not a story or a play, to avoid the narrative temptation. Therefore we used texts and words taken from the writer’s Notebook, which, without falling into the dramaturgy of a finished piece, plunged us into a more personal world: the writer’s workshop. It was the sound of the word that interested us: notes, sketches, strokes where the text is still raw material. From that same place the voice could hum the refrain of a popular ballad or could list the elements of the Russian taiga.
The ballet begins listing the titles of Chekhov’s works. The central part is composed by short phrases or paragraphs that the writer set down to be used occasionally in some of his creations, and the final part is made up of single words taken from the Notebook (texts).
1- Voice: Lev Nikolaiev
2- Percussion: antique cymbals, tam-tam, bells on timpani, waterphone, timpani, bass drum, marimba
4- Russian environmental sounds
21-01-2010 Auditorio San Lorenzo El Escorial Spain 2 (pre-premiere)
17-02-2010 Teatro Real Madrid Spain 6
19-07-2010 Theatre Mossoveta Moscow Russia 5
Total performances 13