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World premiere of the ballet “The Jungle Book” on April 12

21. March, 2024

The world premiere of the ballet "The Jungle Book" by composer Kārlis Lācis and choreographer and librettist Raimonds Martinovs will take place at the Latvian National Ballet on April 12. The inspiration for the ballet was drawn from the English author Rudyard Kipling’s collection of stories. The Music Director and Conductor of the ballet is Mārtiņš Ozoliņš. Impressive visual solutions for the new production are provided by Set Designer Didzis Jaunzems, Costume Designer Elīna Milta Niedrāja, Lighting Designer Kārlis Kaupužs, and Video Designer Uģis Ezerietis.

The main roles are portrayed by Darius Florian Catana, Aeden William Conefrey, and Aleksandrs Osadčijs (The Lad), Jūlija Brauere, Sabīne Strokša, and Izabella Monastirska-Urtāne (The Girl), Alise Prudāne-Spridzāne, Iļana Puhova, and Justīna Teličena (Wolf Mother), Aeden William Conefrey, Antons Freimans, and Raimonds Martinovs (Tiger).

In the jungle, where life flows in accordance with rules of the animal kingdom, a human child appears unexpectedly. He’s discovered by Mother Wolf, who knows human nature all too well. But she decides to protect and raise the boy because "who knows, maybe this one will be different?" The boy grows up in the jungle. There’s no shortage of joy and adventures, yet despite this, something drives the young man to the city and human companionship. He decides to leave the jungle under the shadow of its ruler, Tiger. Although it appears like he’s found his place and home among humans, the boy’s heart still yearns for nature, animals, and the jungle.

Raimonds Martinovs has crafted the libretto of the ballet as a children's story inspired by Kipling's book, combining fantasy and reality. The choreographic principle of "The Jungle Book" will be the language of dance portraying animal movements.

“I've long been pondering how to combine all my greatest interests in life – science, nature, animals – with my profession. “The Jungle Book” ballet offers me this opportunity. What better way to talk about animals than through ballet! I want to address serious topics such as environmental pollution, how we treat our planet and our smallest friends – animals. My goal is not to intimidate anyone though, but to make them ponder. Above all, this ballet is about compassion, empathy, family and love" says Raimonds Martinovs.

"Raimonds captivated me with his passion for this work, because initially there was no promise that this ballet would be staged. If a person is passionate about an idea, they should be allowed to realize it. I wrote one fragment to give him a start, then realized that one fragment couldn't say much, so the entire ballet was created. Since I have children myself, although they are already grown, I understand this audience and create the ballet in a way that will be valuable and interesting for young viewers to watch. I am thrilled that “The Jungle Book” is nearing its premiere, and I truly hope its stage life will be long and successful," says composer Kārlis Lācis.