According to the head of the Estonia 100 programme Maarja-Liisa Soe, telling the story inspired by the Estonian chess legend has been entrusted to professionals.
"The creative team of the new work, starting with the director and composer, all the way to the dancers and stage designers is first class,” Soe confirmed.
At the heart of the ballet is the larger than life chess legend of Estonia, Paul Keres, who had a dignified position in the world of chess, but whose personal life was influenced by changes in the state. The main character’s temperament and tensions of everyday life at the time is conveyed by the music and dance, inspired by the rhythm and tempo of chess. According to the producer of the production, choreographer Teet Kask, Paul Keres was an exceptional talent.
"He proved that if a person unmistakably understands his/her calling and knows how to act accordingly and responsibly, then regardless of the cultural environment and state order, s/he is able to preserves his/her dignity," Kask described.
According to him, people from many generations still remember Keres. "In my opinion, we should pay tribute and our respects to him as a person and as a great talent," the director said.
The team has spent more than a year and a half creating a multilayered new creation. In order to get a broader, more in-depth understanding, people who knew Keres and his family were also interviewed.
The ballet "KERES", part of the Estonia 100 Music Programme:
the composers are Timo Steiner and Sander Mölder,
director-choreographer Teet Kask,
artist architect Ülar Mark,
music director Kaspars Putniņš
librettist Andri Luup,
lighting artist Margus Vaigur,
video artist Taavi Miisu Varm,
sound artist Kaarel Tamra.
Six dancers from the Estonian National Ballet are on stage, including Abigail Mattox, Iago Bresciani, Carlos Campo Vecino, Cristina Krigolson, Francesco Piccinin and Benjamin Thomas. Musicians of the YXUS Ensemble and the entire Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir are also participating in the performance.
Performances will be held on 3 and 10 September at the Estonia Theatre and on 9 September at the Drama Festival in Tartu. The ballet will also be performed this autumn in Helsinki, Finland and in 2019 in the birthplace of Paul Keres in Narva. Many Asian producers have also shown an interest in the production and plan to visit the premiere in anticipation of possibly having the show tour in China and Japan.