Für Alina

Music: Arvo Pärt (1976)
Choreography: Edwaard Liang
Costume Design: Mark Zappone
Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli
Duration: 14 minutes
Premiere: September 16, 2006; New Ballet Choreographers (New York)
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: September 15, 2007

Miranda Weese and Batkhurel Bold in Für Alina.
Photo © Angela Sterling

The 2007 Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of Edwaard Liang’s Für Alina was generously underwritten by Lyndall Boal.

Formerly a dancer with New York City Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater, Edwaard Liang has made ballets for New York City Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, Hubbard Street, Guggenheim Museum's Works and Process series, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, and Morphoses, The Wheeldon Company.

Liang’s Für Alina is an episodic duet for a man and a woman set to Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s spare piano solo of the same name. R.M. Campbell of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer described Pacific Northwest Ballet’s performance of Für Alina at First Look 2007 as “tumultuous,” while Susan Reiter, writing about the premiere on New York’s 2006 New Ballet Choreographer’s program in danceviewtimes, described the pas de deux as “…so delicate and unforced that in retrospect one hardly remembers [the dancers] moving.” Reiter continued, “…Liang found a way to make the silences palpable through the choreography, and sustained a profound sadness, so that even as these two figures found strength through each other and flowed in and out of some more extreme shapes, their return to the despairing sense of lost hope of the opening felt inevitable.”

Für Alina is the first work by Edwaard Liang to enter Pacific Northwest Ballet’s repertory.

Recommended Listening:
Arvo Pärt: Alina, ECM Records 449958


Notes by Doug Fullington.

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