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DANCE INVERSION

International Contemporary Dance Festival
  • The 25th and 26th of September 2017
    Danza Contemporanea de Cuba (Cuba)
    The Program: Matria Etnocentra /Tangos Cubanos/ El Crystal
    On the stage of Stanislavsky Music Theater

    Matria Etnocentra /Tangos Cubanos


    Danza Contemporánea de Cuba is the birthplace of contemporary dance in Cuba, and where the most prominent figures in Cuban dance have emerged.

    Founded in 1959, Danza Contemporánea de Cuba has performed more than 280 premieres, and performed in Théâtre Sarah-Bernhardt in Paris; the Canadian Art Center, Ottawa; Palacio de Bellas Artes and Auditorio Nacional, Mexico; Arena di Verona; Teatro La Fenice and Teatro Malibran, Venice; Theatro Municipal de São Paulo; Teatro General San Martín, Buenos Aires; Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels; Sadler´s Wells and the Coliseum in London; The Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane; the Joyce Theater in New York; Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome; Teatro Real, Madrid; Mercat de Les Flors, Barcelona; Maison de la Danse, Lyon; Lucent Danstheater, The Hague; Théâtre Palace, Biel, and the Stadttheater Bern.


    Danza Contemporánea de Cuba’s repertoire includes an eclectic range of work that reflects its universality and its interpretative skills, fusing styles from Cuba’s mixed heritage, especially African and Spanish.


     

    MATRIA ETNOCENTRA
    30 minutes
    Twenty four dancers
    Choreography: George Céspedes
    Choreography Assistant: Yoerlis Brunet
    Music: Nacional Electrónica / “Vete de mí ,“ Hermanos Expósito, interpreted by Ignacio Villa (Bola de nieve).

    Costume Designer: George Céspedes
    Lighting Designer: Ariel Capote Granado


    The last part of a trilogy about Cuban identity, Matria Etnocentra explores the country’s military past and is inspired by Cuban music.


    George Céspedes was awarded the Critique Villanueva Award 2015 given by the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba for the best choreographer that year. He was also nomionated for an Olivier Award in London.


     

    EL CRISTAL
    35 minutes. Sixteen dancers Choreography: Julio César Iglesias
    Choreography Assistant: Tomás Guilarte / Chris de Feyter
    Music: Max Ritcher / Jack White / Tropic of Cancer / J-Lawton /Desierto de los leones
    Costume Designer: Julio César Iglesias
    Lighting Designer: Fernando Alonso
    Video link: Julio César Iglesias – Cristal


    Using a wide collage of different elements, Iglesias’ choreography explores the state of contemporary Cuban city youth, ranging through free, wildly sprawling expressivity to abstract control of the body through to dance theatre.


     

    TANGOS CUBANOS
    29 min.
    Choreography, music and text: Billy Cowie
    Choreography Assistant: Luvyen Mederos, Tomás Guilarte y Jorge Abril
    Visual Design: Silke Mansholt
    Costume Designer: Holly Murray
    Voice: Clara García Fraile
    Violin: Tadasuke Iijima
    Lighting Designer: Fernando Alonso and Billy Cowie Video link: Billy Cowie - Tangos Cubanos


    Tangos Cubanos poetically explores, through slow, melancholic tangos, the ways we seduce each other. In front of huge, black-and-white projections of Picasso’s work and children's doodles, Cowie arranges his dancers with grace and precision in long, perfectly synchronous rows, the dancers’ languidness focussing us on their simplest movements.


     

    photo Johan Persson

  • The 4th and 5th of October 2017
    Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo (Monte-Carlo)
    The Program: «La Belle»
    Choreographer: Jean-Christophe Maillot
    On the Historical Stage of the Bolshoi Theatre

    «La Belle»


    Jean-Christophe Maillot Biography


    Rosella Hightower liked to say of her student Jean-Christophe Maillot, that his life was just a union of opposites. In fact, for the current Choreographer-Director of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, dance combines with theatre, enters the ring under a big top, evolves into the arena of visual arts, is fuelled by the most diverse scores and explores different forms of literature... His repertoire of 80 ballets (40 created in Monaco) draws from the world of art in the broadest sense and each ballet is a sketch book which feeds the following work. Thus, over 30 years, Jean-Christophe Maillot has created an ensemble of sixty pieces ranging from great narrative ballets to shorter formats, and where multiple connections reflect a work which forms part of the history and diversity. Neither classical nor contemporary, not even between the two, Jean-Christophe Maillot refuses to adhere to one style and designs dance like a dialogue where tradition on pointes and the avant-garde are no longer mutually exclusive.


    Born in 1960, Jean-Christophe Maillot studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire National de Région de Tours, before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes until winning the Prix de Lausanne in 1977. He was then hired by John Neumeier at the Hamburg Ballet, where he danced in principal roles as a soloist for five years. An accident brought his dancing career to an abrupt end.


    In 1983, he was appointed choreographer and director of the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Tours, which later became a National Centre of Choreography. He created around twenty ballets for this company and in 1985, founded the Dance Festival, "Le Chorégraphique". In 1987, he created Le Mandarin Merveilleux for the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, which was a great success. He became the company's Artistic Advisor for the 1992-1993 season and was then appointed Director-Choreographer by H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover in September 1993.


    His arrival at the Ballets de Monte-Carlo set the company on a new path that quickly developed the level of maturity and excellence for which this company of 50 dancers has been renowned for 20 years. He has created almost 40 ballets for the company, some of which, such as Vers un pays sage (1995), Romeo and Juliet (1996), Cinderella (1999) La Belle (2001), Le Songe (2005), Altro Canto (2006), Faust (2007), LAC (2011), CHORE (2013) and Casse-Noisette Compagnie (2013) have forged the reputation of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo across the world. Several of these works are now included in the repertoires of major international ballet companies, such as the Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Korean National Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre and the Béjart Ballet Lausanne. In 2014, he creates La Mégère Apprivoisée for the Ballet of Bolshoi Theatre.


    Also aware of the work of other artists, Jean-Christophe Maillot is known for his spirit of openness and his commitment to inviting choreographers with a different style to create for the company. In 2000, this same desire to present the choreographic art in all its many forms led him to create the Monaco Dance Forum, an international showcase for dance which presents an eclectic proliferation of shows, exhibitions, workshops and conferences.


    In 2007, he produced his first stage opera, Faust for the Hessisches Staatstheater and in 2009 Norma for the Monte-Carlo Opera. In 2007, he created his first choreographic film with Cinderella then Le Songe in 2008. In 2009, he developed the content and coordinated the Centenary of the Ballets Russes in Monaco, which would see over 50 companies and choreographers pass through the Principality in one year, providing entertainment for 60,000 audience members. In 2011, dance in Monaco underwent a major and historical change. Under the presidency of H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover, the Ballets de Monte-Carlo now incorporates the Ballets de Monte-Carlo Company, the Monaco Dance Forum and the Princess Grace Academy under a single organisation. Jean-Christophe Maillot was appointed head of this organisation which now unites the excellence of an international company, the benefits of a multi-format festival and the potential of a high-level school.


    Jean-Christophe Maillot is Commander in the Ordre du Mérite Culturel of the Principality of Monaco, Commander of the Ordre des Arts et Lettres and Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur in France. On 17th November 2005, he was appointed Chevalier of the Ordre de Saint Charles by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. In 2008, in Moscow, he received the Prix Benois de la Danse for the Best Choreographer along with the "Premio Dansa Valencia 2010". En 2015, he won with La Mégère Apprivoisée three Golden Mask including best performance.


     

    THE AnCHORing OF DANCE IN MONACO: RUSSIAN BALLET


    1909 marks the beginning of a strong presence of choreographic art in Monaco. Serge de Diaghilev presents his Russian Ballet in Paris for the first time. They set up in Monte-Carlo which becomes their creative workshop for the next two decades. Since the Principality, Diaghilev has reformed ballet in his time in all its forms. Upon his death in 1929, the company was dissolved. Several personalities and choreographers revived it under various names but it disappeared completely in 1951.


    THE BIRTH OF THE CURRENT MONTE-CARLO BALLET COMPANY


    In 1985, the Monte-Carlo Ballet Company was born thanks to the want of H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover, who wanted to enrol in this dance tradition in Monaco. The new company was directed by Ghislaine Thesmar and Pierre Lacotte, then by Jean-Yves Esquerre.


    THE RAPID EXPANSION OF THE COMPANY


    In 1993, H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover nominates Jean-Christophe Maillot as the head of the Monte-Carlo Ballets. Backed by experience as a dancer from Rosella Hightower and John Neumeier, and choreographer-director of the National Choreographic Centre of Tours, Jean-Christophe Maillot takes his turn in the company. He creates more than 30 ballets for her, including several which enter the repertoire of large international companies. The Monte-Carlo Ballets are now in demand throughout the world thanks to the iconic works of Jean-Christophe Maillot such as Vers un pays sage (1995), Roméo et Juliette (1996), Cendrillon (1999) La Belle (2001), Le Songe (2005), Altro Canto (2006), Faust (2007) and LAC (2011).


    Furthermore, Jean-Christophe Maillot also enriches the company’s repertoire by inviting the major choreographers of our time but also enabling emerging choreographers to work with this exceptional tool, which are the 50 dancers of the Monte-Carlo Ballets. Among these guest choreographers are Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Shen Wei, Alonzo King, Emio Greco, Chris Haring, Marco Goecke, Lucinda Childs, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Karole Armitage, Maurice Béjart and even Marie Chouinard.


    In 2000, Jean-Christophe creates the Monaco Dance Forum, international window to dance that presents an eclectic fusion of spectacles, exhibitions, workshops and conferences. The company regularly participates in this festival and the Académie Princesse Grace.


    THE FUTURE OF MONTE-CARLO BALLET


    In 2011, under the chairmanship of H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover, a new structure directed by Jean-Christophe Maillot reunites these three institutions: The Monte-Carlo Ballets currently concentrates on the excellence of an international company, the assets of a diverse festival and the potential for a school of a high level. Creation, training and production are currently reunited in Monaco to serve choreography in an unprecedented manner in the world of dance.


     

    photos by Alice Blangero - with Liisa Hamalainen & Alexis Oliveira

  • The 10th and 11th of October 2017
    Teac Damsa (Ireland)
    The Program: Swan Lake/Loch na hEala
    Choreographer: Michael Keegan-Dolan
    On the stage of State Theatre of Nations

    Swan Lake / Loch na hEala


    Created by Michael Keegan-Dolan


    Cast and creatives list


    Writer, Director and Choreographer: Michael Keegan-Dolan
    Set Designer: Sabine Dargent
    Costume Designer: Hyemi Shin
    Lighting Designer: Adam Silverman
    Music: Slow Moving Clouds


    Performers


    Aki
    Elizabeth Cameron Dalman
    Danny Diamond
    Zen Jefferson
    Anna Kaszuba
    Saku Koistinen
    Alexander Leonhartsberger
    Mikel Murfi
    Mary Barnecutt
    Erik Nevin
    Rachel Poirier
    Carys Staton
    Molly Walker


    Co-Production Credits


    Co-production by Michael Keegan-Dolan; Sadler’s Wells Theatre London; Colours International Dance Festival, Theaterhaus Stuttgart; Dublin Theatre Festival; Theatre de la Ville, Luxembourg. With support from The Civic Theatre, Tallaght, and South Dublin County Council Arts Office.


    Culture Ireland Credit


    International touring is supported by Culture Ireland



    1. Running time


    Circa 75 minutes with no interval


    2. Text


    Swan Lake/Loch na hEala


    From the imagination of one of Ireland’s foremost dance and theatre makers comes a magical adaptation of one of the most famous of all story ballets, Swan Lake. Michael Keegan-Dolan has forged a searing new vision for this beloved tale, creating a world of magical realism, powerful imagery and potent storytelling.


    A critical smash In Dublin and at Sadler’s Wells, winner for best production at the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2017, this Swan Lake is rooted in a place where ancient Irish mythology and modern Ireland meet. The Dublin based band Slow Moving Clouds has created a new score that combines Nordic and Irish traditional music with minimalist and experimental influences. The result is a Swan Lake for our time and a stunning debut for Keegan-Dolan’s new company, Teac Damsa.


    3. Biographys


    Michael Keegan Dolan


    Michael Keegan-Dolan was the founder and director of Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre from 1997 - 2015, an international dance and theatre ensemble based in County Longford, Ireland.


    This company was best known for several ground-breaking productions, delivered in a unique style blending dance, theatre and music. These include three Olivier Award-nominated productions: Giselle (2003) and The Bull (2005), and The Rite of Spring (2009).


    In 2004, Giselle won an Irish Times Theatre Award and The Bull won a Critic’s Circle Dance UK Award in 2008.


    Rian, created in 2011, won a Bessie Award (a New York Dance and Performance Award) in 2013 for ‘Best Production.’


    In 2012 he directed and choreographed a new production of Handel’s Julius Caesar at the London Coliseum, for English National Opera.


    Fabulous Beast presented a Stravinsky Double Bill in 2013, a reimagining of 2009’s The Rite of Spring with a new production of Petrushka. The world premiere was at Sadler’s Wells, London before touring to the Movimentos Festival, Germany, the Galway Arts Festival, the Brisbane Festival and the Melbourne Festival.


    In 2015 Michael created a new work ‘The Big Noise,’ for the GoteborgOperans DansKompani where he worked closely with celebrated Nordic Folk Musician, Ale Moller.


    He was Guest Artistic Director of National Youth Dance Company at Sadler’s Wells London for the 2015 - 2016 season, where a new piece, In-Nocentes, was created.


    Swan Lake / Loch na hEala premiered at the 2016 Dublin Theatre Festival and will tour extensively in 2017 and 2018.


    In March 2017, he also created a new work to Dvorak’s 8th Symphony for the Dance Company at the Gartnerplatztheater, Munich.


    Michael’s new company is called Teac Damsa (House of the Dance) and was founded in 2016.


    Michael is an associate artist at Sadler’s Wells London.


    Teac Damsa


    In the winter of 2014, the Fabulous Beast, a mythical creature that had lived in the imagination of Michael Keegan-Dolan for seventeen years grew weary and unwell. The following spring this extraordinary a-zoological beast expired and after months of mourning its passing, something new began to appear.


    In supporting Michael’s ongoing creative journey of forging deeper connections with his cultural roots, folk music, language and native traditions and coinciding with the development of Swan Lake / Loch na hEala, the new company name was decided.


    Teac Damsa is derived from the original Irish way of writing Teach Damhsa. (pronounced Chak Dowsa). It means ‘house of the dance,’ and reflects Michael’s wish to deepen the connection between his dancing and the place from which it originates.


    Swan Lake / Loch na hEala is the first production forged in the cauldron that is now Teac Damsa.


    4. Sample Press Quotes


    “raw, raucous, redemptive, majestic, vital and empowering.”


    ***** The Irish Times


    “The runaway success of this year’s festival, Swan Lake / Loch na hEala, likewise rolls drama, dance and music together to create a haunted and haunting piece…
    … It’s a show can that be both ugly and extraordinarily beautiful, as it shifts through darkness to an eruption of light and joy at the end.”


    ***** The Financial Times


    “utterly rooted in Ireland, it is utterly original, it is utterly brilliant.”


    ***** Irish Independent


    “A skilfully crafted work that touches on weakness and power, darkness and transcendence, this is clear-voiced theatre with magic in its veins.”


    ***** The Evening Standard


    “Michael Keegan-Dolan, who has a rare gift for transforming old ballets into new, has taken the 19th-century story and hammered it into a thing of wonder”


    ***** The Observer


    “It’s a show of terrible beauty and extraordinary craft. It melds music, text, storytelling and dance into one light-as-a-feather package that never shirks the ugliness and messiness of life.”


    ****** The Guardian

  • The 3rd and 4th of November 2017
    Rocio Molina (Spain)
    The Program: «Bosque Ardorа»
    Choreographer: Rocio Molina
    On the stage Stanislavsky Music Theater

    «Bosque Ardorа»

     

    Rocío Molina
    Choreography, artistic and musical direction
    Mateo Feijoo
    Artistic direction and playwrite with Rocío Molina
    Rosario «la tremendita»
    Musical direction, composition and arrangements for cante
    Eduardo Trassierra
    Original composition for guitar arrangements for trombones
    Pablo martin caminero
    Composition pour trombones
    Dorantes
    Original composition of «Mandato» for trombones
    Carlos Marquerie
    Light Design
    Pablo martin Jones
    Sound Space Design
    Maite Dono
    Lyrics
    Production
    Danza Molina
    Coproduction

     

    Biennale de la Danse de Lyon • festival de Marsellle danse el arts multiples
    Chaillot, théâtre national de la danse (Paris) • Théâtre de l'Oliver / Régie Culturelle Scenes et Cinés Ouest Provence
    Festival Internacional Madrid en Danza • Mercat de les Flors - Barcelone • Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla
    Théâtre de Nîmes - scene conventionnée pour la danse contemporaine
    Ballet National de Marseille • Théâtre de Vilefrance

     

    Dancers
    Rocio Molina, Eduardo Guerrero et Fernando Jiménez
    Musicians
    Eduardo Trasseierra, Guitar
    José Ángel Carmona, vocals & electric bass
    José Manuel Ramos "Oruco", Palmas & Compás
    Pablo Martin Jones, Drums & live electronics
    José Vicente Ortega, Trombone
    Technical staff and production
    Rocio Molina's costumes: Josep Ahumada
    Stylist: Soledad Sesena
    Shoes: Gallardo
    Répétiteur: Oscar Villegas
    Video: Gerard Gil et David Fernández
    Horse riding advisor: Rafael Hernández
    Sound: Javier Álvarez
    Lights: Antonio Serrano
    Stage manager: Reyes Pipio
    Production assistance: Magdalena Escoriza
    Executive management: Loȉc Bastos

     

    © Alain Scherer


    Rocío has chosen her men : 2 dancers and 6 musicians. A behind closed doors for these eight men in front of this woman, this dancer by turns enchanting, charmer, huntress and lover.


    She knows men’s weakness and agrees to be their prey, but only to direct them, dominate them, love them, fight them better and finally abandon them.


    Rocío Molina is like a flower. « Yes» she says « But a flower that can grow on a rock and die to reborn more beautiful and stronger».


    «Bosque Ardorа» begins with a 4 minutes movie, projected on a gaze tightened on front stage. This is the dawn of a beautiful day. Rocío rides a horse in an imaginary forest. And then the curtain drops and Rocío appears, divine, in a velvet, leather and fur dress, like an fairy, an Amazon, a goddess…


    The men look at her, scrutinize her but she faces and gauge them.
    Some steps, some movement of shoulders, some looks. But who
    will be the preys and who will be the hunters. A games take place
    between Rocío and her men, who have succombed to the charm
    of this dominating and exquisitely submissed to whom would play
    with her.
    And the emotions run throughout the work, and are the common
    theme that will guide the audience to the end of this not always fairy tale.


    The stage is empty. The German legs drops provide an imprison-ment sensation. A few trees, roots un the sky, are the only screens to hide them to the audience sight, to spy and aim their prey better. No one will be able to leave stage during the whole performance.


    It is a peculiar day imagined by Mateo Feijo and Rocío Molina. A day that will last the time of the performance (1h20), to go from dawn to dusk. Carlos Marquerie’s light retrace the course of the sun, from dazzling lights of midday to the sometimes scary sha-dows of the twilight.


    With the experimentations and improvisations - « Danza Impul-siva » - that Rocío Molina presented in the most diverse and unu-sual spaces (a fountain in Barcelona, Seine riverbanks in Paris or Central Park in New York), she found a freedom, in the movement as much as in the rythm.


    Fearless of anyone including herself, she gives in to a quasi savage and almost pagan choreographic partition for Flamenco aficiona-dos. Yet, the purity of movement, the virtuosity of her « punteados » and « redobles » : everything is there and much more.


     

    © Alain Scherer


  • The 10th and 11th of November 2017
    Jacopo Godani / Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company (Germany)
    The Program: «High Breed/ Echoes From a restless soul/ Moto Perpetuo»
    Choreographer: Jacopo Godani
    On the stage of Stanislavsky Music Theater

    High Breed/ Echoes From a restless soul/ Moto Perpetuo


    Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company


    The Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company is based in equal measure in the cities of Dresden and Frankfurt am Main. Internationally acclaimed choreographer Jacopo Godani serves as artistic director of the company. The repertoire of the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company consists primarily of works by Godani. His goal is the production of a vibrant new choreographic language, one that requires virtuosity in its expression while posing physical challenges to the performers. On this journey, dance’s traditional heritage will converge with contemporary thought, giving rise to a highly unique ensemble.


    Cooperation partners are the states of Saxony and Hesse and the cities of Dresden and Frankfurt am Main, as well as private supporters and public sponsors.


    Supported by the city of Dresden and the state of Saxony as well as the city of Frankfurt am Main and the state of Hesse. Company-in-Residence of both HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden and the Bockenheimer Depot in Frankfurt am Main.


    High Breed


    Choreography, light, stage, costumes: Jacopo Godani
    Music: 48nord (Ulrich Müller & Siegfried Rössert)
    Length: 25 minutes / 14 dancers
    World Premiere: September 22, 2017, HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden , Germany


    In High Breed Jacopo Godani presents an elemental creation whose choreography – abstract and pure aesthetically – serves as the main means of artistic expression. With a physical intensity rich in action and in exactitude, virtually mathematical in its precision, Godani introduces the quintessence of the company’s identity.


    By forgoing the super cial and emphasizing a masterful knowledge of technique in High Breed the audience experiences choreography as a signature event in the truest sense of that word.


    Echoes from a restless soul


    Choreography, light, stage, costumes: Jacopo Godani
    Music: Maurice Ravel, Ondine & Le Gibet from Gaspard de la Nuit
    Piano, Live Performance: Ruslan Bezbrozh
    Length: 15 minutes /4 dancers
    World Premiere: November 16, 2016, Bockenheimer Depot, Frankfurt am Main, Germany


    Echoes from a restless soul is set to Le Gibet and Ondine, both part of the Gaspard de la Nuit triptych, a composition for solo piano written by Maurice Ravel in 1908. The basis for this masterpiece is an earlier French poem by Aloysius Bertrand. On a creation of incredible virtuosity, Ravel brings Bertrand’s poems to life, employing an innovative piano technique within a classical form.


    The choreographic elements in Echoes form a common thread, merging in an atmosphere that transcends time and place. In this eerie otherworldliness, Godani and the company offer an array of pas de deux and quartets that describes a landscape of artistic virtuosity. Through them, intricate and unending combinations of a formal relationship – the pas de deux – are presented. Godani enhances movement with pointe shoes while creating a remarkable freedom within certain aesthetic parameters – as the ones from a more classical approach. Ravel’s score will be performed live onstage by Ruslan Bezbrozh, the company’s accompanist and a renowned concert pianist.


    Moto Perpetuo


    Choreography, light, stage, costumes: Jacopo Godani
    Music: 48nord (Ulrich Müller & Siegfried Rössert)
    Length: 24 minutes / 16 dancers
    World Premiere: November 16, 2016, Bockenheimer Depot, Frankfurt am Main, Germany


    The program closes with the enthralling Moto Perpetuo, a choreography with a striking neoclassical matrix which allows classical ballet technique to evolve into a contemporary artistic statement. With sections of intense movement performed by the full cast, and extreme physicality highlighted by pointe work, this stunning piece reveals the company’s artistic essence and uniqueness. In this production, Godani collaborates once more with 48nord who provide the choreographer with a fascinating electronic musical horizon.

     

    Photo Raffaele Irace

  • The 16th and 17th of November 2017
    Ballet National de Marseille (France)
    The Program: Le Corps du Ballet National de Marseille /Bolero
    Choreographers: Emio Greco/Pieter C.Scholten
    On the stage of Helikon Opera

    LE CORPS DU BALLET NATIONAL DE MARSEILLE


     

    Concept and Choreography
    Emio Greco | Pieter C. Scholten
    Soundscape Pieter C. Scholten
    Lights design Henk Danner
    Costumes Clifford Portier
    17 dancers
    Production Ballet National de Marseille
    Collaboration ICKamsterdam
    Duration 1h10
    Creation with 21 dancers - 03.14.2015 - Théâtre National de Marseille - La Criée

     

    Genesis of the project


    Le Corps du Ballet National de Marseille was the first piece created and performed by Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten, as directors of Ballet National de Marseille.


    Greco and Scholten’s quest for a new identity for the CCN de Marseille undeniably takes a close and critical look at ballet. Both men acquired experience of the technique in their youth. With one starting out as a man of theatre and dramaturge and the other a high-profile performer for Jan Fabre, the starting point for their encounter back in 1995 was based on a quest for a different dance: a new approach centred on the classical technique and Greco’s powerful physical identity.


    Invited by the Ballets de Monte-Carlo (2011) and then by the Dutch National Ballet (2013), Greco and Scholten were able to approach these two very classical ensembles with an eye and a technique that have been skilfully nurtured since their first artistic manifesto, the solo Bianco (1996). This desire to seek out and make new contributions to the ballet technique has also been inspired by Elias Canetti’s famous book Crowds and Power. The themes of synchronicity and the relationship between the individual body and the collective body are central to it. This course of action has enabled them to tackle classical ballet’s organisation and hierarchy.


    Greco and Scholten are interested in ballet’s technical contours, but also in its social and even political contours. “It’s an artefact, an iconic word that contains a whole world in itself.” Used in various ways, the word has acquired a wider status than that of the technique standardised from Louis XIV onwards, to the point of being used in a general way as a sort of metonymy: “ballet” can mean dance in general in its different forms.


    Le Corps du Ballet National de Marseille is the “ideal” project for launching Greco and Scholten’s process for the BNM’s new identity. This creation has enhabled them to continue their earlier research and introduce new momentum to the dialogue between classical and contemporary dance that characterises their work.


     

    Сopyright: Alwin Poiana (Le Corps)


    IDENTITIES


    For Greco and Scholten, everything began with and around ballet, so it is logical to return to these fundamentals in Marseille as well.


    Le Corps du Ballet National de Marseille is both a new beginning and a reinvention for the choreographers and for the company itself.


    In this case, identity does not just mean the identity of the classical technique. Greco and Scholten are interested in the company and in its past, but they are also interested in each performer’s contribution to creating the show. The objective is not to construct new aesthetic figures, but to start from each person’s energy (and that of the company and city too).


    “We’d like to be even more specific and explore in even greater depth in the quest for an identity. Seeking out the sources of ballet and, in a very constructed way, seeking a confrontation with our language. With and through but also by the bodies of the BNM’s dancers.”


    The confrontation with Greco and Scholten’s own language will be undertaken individually and in a group in order to understand each person’s contribution and their physical identity and in order to form a close-knit, united group in the image of a corps de ballet, thus forming a body in its own right. “At the same time we’re trying to remain innocent and unaware, to learn with the dancers and from them. Our work will also consist of reading their language and their bodies.”


    For this creation, the musical research has established a genuine “lexicon of synchronicity”, illustrated by references to some of the most famous classical scores for ballets such as “The Nutcracker” but also to astounding musical editing directly echoing the “patchwork” identity of Marseille.


    Greco and Scholten’s approach does not mean starting with a blank slate. Quite the opposite in fact. The identity of the company, shaped by its founder Roland Petit (1924-2011) and his inventiveness, is of particular interest to them during this first creation.


    Faithful to their desire to create a lasting dramaturgy that can develop over the years and be inspired by both the past and present, in Le Corps du Ballet National de Marseille Greco and Scholten intend to look back at IERI (yesterday) to better express OGGI (today) and, in this present day filled with challenges, start again with the ambitious DOMANI (tomorrow) being planned for the CCN de Marseille.


     

    Сopyright: Alwin Poiana (Le Corps)


     

    BALLET NATIONAL DE MARSEILLE


    Founded in 1972 by the choreographer Roland Petit, the Ballet National de Marseille (BNM) was one of the first companies to be denoted a National Choreographic Centre in 1984. It has been in its present building since 1992. The BNM was run by Marie-Claude Pietragalla (1998-2004) and then by Frédéric Flamand (2004-2013), with both of them opening the Ballet up to new artistic experiences.


    At the helm of the BNM since September 2014, Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten’s plans involve continuing the artistic approach and work they began with ICKamsterdam, the international choreographic arts centre they founded in Amsterdam. They have developed a universe and a writing that borrow as much from the classical vocabulary as they do from postmodern dance. In their programme of activities at the BNM entitled “the body in revolt”, they deal with the place of the artist in society, and in the activities called “le corps du ballet” they undertake research into a new form of contemporary ballet.


    Today the BNM has 26 permanent dancers and 5 apprentices and currently offers a new repertoire on tour.


     

    EMIO GRECO I PIETER C. SCHOLTEN


    When the former – a dancer born in southern Italy – and the latter – a director of alternative theatre in the Netherlands – pooled their talent in the 1990s, they turned their creative partnership into a choreographic adventure.


    Starting in 1995 from curiosity about the body and its inner motives, they created their first work, a solo entitled Bianco. This formed the first part of the Fra Cervello e Movimento (Between Brain and Movement) trilogy. It was accompanied by an artistic manifesto about the body and seven principles of the body’s logic. This manifesto formed the basis for the new language they went on to create.


    To describe their work and its originality combining rigour of research and imaginative power, a new term was coined: «extremalism». From the early days of their company named EG I PC, Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten have developed a universe and a writing forged out of tension and synchronicity, borrowing as much from classical vocabulary as from post-modern dance.


    The strange theatricality impregnating the pieces and the high quality of the repetitive or exuberant dance of Emio Greco and his dancers are strictly framed by the choreographic score to construct enigmatic fictions of the flesh in each piece. The body, this stranger with its wealth of sensitive worlds, therefore appears reflected in it, as if it were the very author of these stories, absorbed, immersed in unexpected and mysterious spaces that the luminous set design, playing with colour or monochrome, helps reveal, in dialogue with the chosen music.


    Their most recent creations include La Commedia (2011), Rocco (2011), Passione in Due (2012), Double Points: Extremalism (2012), Addio alla fine (2012), Double Points: Verdi (2013), A Man without a Cause (2013), De Soprano’s (2014), Le Corps du Ballet National de Marseille and Extremalism (2015).


    Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten have won numerous international awards for many of these shows, which are often co-produced by major festivals and performance venues and tour all over the world.


    In 2009, they created ICKamsterdam, a multidisciplinary international platform for both up-and-coming and established artists. Appointed directors of the Ballet National de Marseille in 2014, their work focuses on the theme of the body from two perspectives: «the body in revolt» or the place of the artist in society and «the corps du ballet» or the search for a new form of contemporary ballet.


     

    READ IN THE PRESS


    The piece for 21 dancers sweeps us along (…) in moments of grace (…)
    Marie-Eve Barbier, La Provence – March 2015


    In silence or to the sounds and chimes around us combined with famous pieces of romantic ballet music, the BNM’s corps de ballet delivers a very original performance that bodes well for interesting future prospects. (…) The dancers, who wholeheartedly throw themselves into the struggle to exist collectively or individually, received enthusiastic applause at the end.
    Philippe Oualid, La revue marseillaise du théâtre – March 2015


    Le Corps du Ballet National de Marseille is a strong, convincing and intense work (…) The demanding, precisely written choreography says a lot without spreading the very genuine virtuosity too thinly however. Taken in isolation, the dancers are as expressive and intense as the unique corps they make up, incorporating their personalities without blending them.
    Antoine Pateffoz, La Marseillaise – March 2015


    Le Corps du Ballet is a lavish and original work with complex gestures, magnificently performed by its dancers at a hellish pace and with dazzling visual beauty.
    Jean Barak, Envrak – March 2015


    The Ballet National de Marseille’s new directors are offering the ballet a major piece containing echoes of a manifesto. (…) Better still, they have succeeded in touching on our time and stirring up a few basic questions in the art of choreography with a resonance that goes far beyond the quays of the Old Port. (…) Twenty-one dancers perform the work in a defence and illustration of the potential of their training. The length and breadth of it is exposed freely and without hesitation, featuring a voluptuous range of lines, figures, motifs and tableaux to the point of dizziness. Demi-pointes and arms are offered. Unisons and bravura pieces. It is constructed, definite, technically demanding. (…) and all performed to huge cheers. Thoroughly deserved too.
    Gérard Mayen, Danser Canal Historique – March 2015


    This amazing creation as Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten take charge at the Ballet de Marseille (….) fills the audience with an enthusiasm for the technical dynamism that the choreographers have breathed into the company, but also by a different way of being, inhabiting and “breathing in the space”. (….) A moment of grace that owes its vigour as much to the gestures as to the scenographic universe. No longer a solo performer but an artistic democracy that gives a great account of a new direction hungry for equality and sharing. A moment of complete wellbeing from your seat.
    Bérengère Alfort, Ballroom - December 2016 - February 2017


     

    BOLÉRO


     

    Concept and Choreography
    Emio Greco | Pieter C. Scholten
    Lights design Henk Danner
    Costumes Clifford Portier
    Sound design Pieter C. Scholten
    Music Boléro Maurice Ravel © Nordice B.V. / Redfield B.V
    Production Ballet National de Marseille
    Collaboration ICKamsterdam
    Piece for 9 to 18 dancers
    Duration 25’
    Premiere 08/05/15 - Opéra de Marseille

     

    When the Ballet Nijinska performed Boléro for the first time, the dancers moved around a Spanish-themed set, with the tension emerging during a haunting seduction scene between a bolero dancer and the men in the tavern, reminiscent of the famous scenes in Carmen. Ravel subsequently stated that he had wanted to put the dancers in a factory setting, doubtless in the way portrayed by the painter Fernand Léger, full of curves and lines whose complex abundance would provide a contrast with the linear and repetitive melodic line.


    Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten immediately set aside the issue of the set to concentrate on the friction between the body and the music. Carrying on their research into themes around the “body in revolt”, the music is no longer a pencil sketching out a narrative, but a protagonist to be faced by all the dancers. The battle between nine dancers and a symphony orchestra may appear to be an unequal one, but the dancers have to liberate themselves from it – even from the resonance the music provokes in their bodies. More than a force overtaking them, Boléro’s music symbolises an inner battle, reflecting the duality in each person. Faced with the implacable rhythmical line, the body reveals its hesitations, its rifts and its aspirations. The sense of liberation can therefore only be felt once the score ends in its brutal clash of sounds – with the roles finally reversed!


     

    Copyright: Verchere (Bolero)


     

    THE SOURCES OF A MUSICAL HIT


    In 1927 Ida Rubinstein, a former muse of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and a friend and patron of Maurice Ravel, commissioned him to write a “Spanish-flavoured ballet” that she planned to have her ballet company perform. It premiered on 22 November 1928 at the Théâtre National de l’Opéra, performed by the Straram Orchestra with choreography by Bronislava Nijinska. The musicologist Henri de Curzon described the premiere as follows:
    “A dimly lit inn. Along the walls, in the shadows, drinkers seated at tables chatting amongst themselves; a large table in the middle on which the female dancer tries out a step. With a certain nobility at first, her step becomes firmer, repeating a rhythm... The drinkers pay no attention, but little by little they prick up their ears, their eyes light up. Little by little, the obsessive nature of the rhythm wins them over; they get up, they approach and then surround the table, they become excited by the dancer... who finishes in a blaze of glory.”


    The work was extremely popular, much to Ravel’s surprise, given that he had hoped that his work would at least be “a piece never included in Sunday concerts”. “I am particularly anxious that there should be no misunderstanding as to my Boléro. It is an experiment in a very special and limited direction, and it should not be suspected of aiming at achieving anything different from, or anything more than, it actually does achieve. Before the first performance, I issued a warning to the effect that what I had written was a piece lasting seventeen minutes consisting wholly of orchestral texture without music – of one long, very gradual crescendo. There are no contrasts, and there is practically no invention except in the plan and the manner of the execution. The themes are impersonal – folk tunes of the usual Spanish-Arabian kind. Whatever may have been said to the contrary, the orchestral treatment is simple and straightforward throughout, without the slightest attempt at virtuosity [....] It is perhaps because of these singularities that not a single composer has liked Boléro – and they are completely justified in their point of view. I have done exactly what I set out to do, and it is for listeners to take it or leave it.“ Although the work was composed as a ballet, the succession of instrumental solos highlights individual talents as well as the collective homogeneity of each desk, with everyone in the orchestra also participating in an imperturbable accompaniment. It is the very definition of a genre that was emerging at the time: the concerto for orchestra.
    Thought to be easy or simply repetitive, the musicologist Émile Vuillermoz warned that although the first bars are easy to whistle, “few professional musicians are able to reproduce from memory, without making a mistake in solfège, the entire phrase observing its sneaky and scholarly vanities.”


     

    Copyright: Verchere (Bolero)


     

    CONCEPT & CHOREOGRAPHY

    EMIO GRECO I PIETER C. SCHOLTEN


    When the former – a dancer born in southern Italy – and the latter – a director of alternative theatre in the Netherlands – pooled their talent in the 1990s, they turned their creative partnership into a choreographic adventure.


    Starting in 1995 from curiosity about the body and its inner motives, they created their first work, a solo entitled Bianco. This formed the first part of the Fra Cervello e Movimento (Between Brain and Movement) trilogy. It was accompanied by an artistic manifesto about the body and seven principles of the body’s logic. This manifesto formed the basis for the new language they went on to create.


    To describe their work and its originality combining rigour of research and imaginative power, a new term was coined: «extremalism». From the early days of their company named EG I PC, Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten have developed a universe and a writing forged out of tension and synchronicity, borrowing as much from classical vocabulary as from post-modern dance.


    The strange theatricality impregnating the pieces and the high quality of the repetitive or exuberant dance of Emio Greco and his dancers are strictly framed by the choreographic score to construct enigmatic fictions of the flesh in each piece. The body, this stranger with its wealth of sensitive worlds, therefore appears reflected in it, as if it were the very author of these stories, absorbed, immersed in unexpected and mysterious spaces that the luminous set design, playing with colour or monochrome, helps reveal, in dialogue with the chosen music.


    Their most recent creations include La Commedia (2011), Rocco (2011), Passione in Due (2012), Double Points: Extremalism (2012), Addio alla fine (2012), Double Points: Verdi (2013), A Man without a Cause (2013), De Soprano’s (2014), Le Corps du Ballet National de Marseille and Extremalism (2015).


    Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten have won numerous international awards for many of these shows, which are often co-produced by major festivals and performance venues and tour all over the world.


    In 2009, they created ICKamsterdam, a multidisciplinary international platform for both up-and-coming and established artists. Appointed directors of the Ballet National de Marseille in 2014, their work focuses on the theme of the body from two perspectives: «the body in revolt» or the place of the artist in society and «the corps du ballet» or the search for a new form of contemporary ballet.


     

    BALLET NATIONAL DE MARSEILLE


    Founded in 1972 by the choreographer Roland Petit, the Ballet National de Marseille (BNM) was one of the first companies to be denoted a National Choreographic Centre in 1984. It has been in its present building since 1992. The BNM was run by Marie-Claude Pietragalla (1998-2004) and then by Frédéric Flamand (2004-2013), with both of them opening the Ballet up to new artistic experiences.


    At the helm of the BNM since September 2014, Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten’s plans involve continuing the artistic approach and work they began with ICKamsterdam, the international choreographic arts centre they founded in Amsterdam. They have developed a universe and a writing that borrow as much from the classical vocabulary as they do from postmodern dance. In their programme of activities at the BNM entitled “the body in revolt”, they deal with the place of the artist in society, and in the activities called “le corps du ballet” they undertake research into a new form of contemporary ballet.


    Today the BNM has 26 permanent dancers and 5 apprentices and currently offers a new repertoire on tour.


     

    READ IN THE PRESS

    The choreography is as implacable and powerful as Ravel’s score (…) The fall is surprising and full of humour.
    La Provence


    The power of the music carries away the dancers who get the audience up on their feet for a standing ovation.
    EnVrak.fr


    You can feel the intensity and energy in the wonderful prowess of these dancers (…) The dance finds its way beautifully with power and without ever allowing itself to be stifled (…) by this music with its implacable crescendo. Both timeless and modern, this Bolero is a success.
    Fréquence Sud


  • The 28th and 29th of November 2017
    BallettZurich (Switzerland)
    The Program: NUSSKNACKER UND MAUSEKÖNIG
    Choreographer: Christian Spuck
    On the New Stage of the Bolshoi Theatre

    NUSSKNACKER UND MAUSEKÖNIG


    Premiere: 14 October 2017, Zurich Opera House


    Choreography Christian Spuck
    Music Pyotr Tchaikovsky
    Conductor Paul Connelly, Yannis Pouspourikas
    Stage design Rufus Didwiszus
    Costume design Buki Shiff
    Lighting design Martin Gebhardt
    Chorus master Ernst Raffelsberger
    Dramaturgy Michael Kuster, Claus Spahn

     

    BALLETT ZÜRICH


    Switzerland’s largest professional ballet company has been directed by Christian Spuck since the 2012/13 season. Resident at Zurich Opera House, the 36-strong ensemble not only features prominently in the Opera House’s programme; its international guest performances are also regularly acclaimed.


    Formerly the Ballet of the Zurich City Theatre, the company was shaped by its directors Nicholas Beriozoff, Patricia Neary, Uwe Scholz and Bernd Bienert. Within a few short years, Swiss choreographer Heinz Spoerli, Ballet Director from 1996 to 2012, established the company as one of the leading European ballet ensembles.


    Under the direction of German choreographer Christian Spuck, the company continues to cultivate its established traditions and to tread new artistic paths, continuously developing the genre of traditional narrative ballet using innovative choreographic techniques. The dancers also dedicate their energies to contemporary, abstract dance. Internationally renowned choreographers such as William Forsythe, Paul Lightfoot, Sol Leon, Douglas Lee, Martin Schlapfer, Jiři Kylian, Wayne McGregor, Marco Goecke and Mats Ek work in Zurich, ensuring that the company’s repertoire remains stylistically varied. In the Young Choreographers series, members of the ensemble assume personal artistic responsibility.


    The Junior Ballet was established in 2001 as an institution aimed at promoting talented young dancers, giving fourteen young dancers from all over the world the opportunity to enjoy a supervised transition from the end of their training to full entry into professional life. During an engagement lasting no more than two years, they train together with the members of Ballett Zurich, dance with them at selected performances from the repertoire, and at a ballet evening arranged especially for them once every season. They thus gather the stage experience necessary for a dance career.


    Ballett Zurich's performances are accompanied by a comprehensive supporting programme featuring matinees before ballet premieres; introductions to works before the performances; regular ballet discussions; and a wide variety of special projects for children, young people and schools.


     

    ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - Ballett Zürich


    Christian Spuck is a native of Marburg, Germany and director of the Ballett Zurich since season 2012/13. After receiving his initial ballet training at the renowned John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, he embarked on his subsequent dance career with Jan Lauwers’s Needcompany and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker's Rosas ensemble. He joined the Stuttgart Ballet in 1995 and was appointed choreographer-in-residence of the Stuttgart Ballet in 2001. Choreographies for the Stuttgart ballet include das siebte blau (2000), Lulu. Eine Monstretragödie (2003), Der Sandmann (2006) and Das Fräulein von S. (2012).


    Christian Spuck has produced further choreographies for several renowned ballet companies in Europe and the USA. These include Morphing Games for the Aterballetto of Italy (1999), Adagio for dancers of the New York City Ballet (2000), this - for the Berlin Staatsoper Ballet (2003), The Restless (2005) for Hubbard Street Dance 2, The Return of Ulysses (2006) for the Royal Ballet of Flanders (with guest performance at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2009), Leonce und Lena (2008) for the Aalto Ballet at Theater Essen, that has also been incorporated into the repertoires of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Stuttgart Ballet and Ballett Zurich, and Woyzeck (2011) for the Oslo National Ballet, which has also been performed by the Ballett Zurich.

    Choreographies for the Ballett Zurich include Romeo und Julia (2012), Sonett (2014) and Anna Karenina (2014).


    In recent years Christian Spuck has extended his artistic reach to film and musical theatre.


    Amongst others, he directed Orphée et Eurydice (2009) for the Staatstheater Stuttgart, Falstaff (2010) for the Staatstheater Wiesbaden and La damnation de Faust (2014) for the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Marcia Haydée als Penelope, a 25-minute dance film featuring Marcia Haydee and Robert Tewsley, was broadcast by ARTE in 2006. In 2005, his full-length ballet Die Kinder (2004) for the Aalto Ballett Theater of Essen was nominated for the “Prix Benois de la Danse”. And his original production of Poppea//Poppea for Gauthier Dance at the Theaterhaus Stuttgart was named one of the world's ten most successful dance productions of 2010 by “Dance Europe” magazine, and also won Germany's theatre prize “Der Faust 2011” and the Italian “Danza/Danza” award.

  • The 2nd and 3rd of December 2017
    Jessica Lang Dance (USA)
    The Program: Solo Bach /Sweet Silent Thought/Thousand Yard Stare/The Calling/WHITE/i.n.k.
    Choreographer: Jessica Lang
    On the stage of Helikon Opera

    Solo Bach /Sweet Silent Thought/Thousand Yard Stare/The Calling/WHITE/i.n.k.


    Jessica Lang is a choreographer and the artistic director ofJessica Lang Dance. Lang, a recipient of a prestigious 2014 Bessie Award has created more than 90 works on companies worldwide since 1999 including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet (20 I 3 Manchester Theatre Award nominee), the National Ballet of Japan and Jeffrey Ballet, among many others. Additional commissions include new works for the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra.The Harris Theater and the Chicago Architecture Biennial in collaboration with architect Steven Holl, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum for its Works and Process series. For opera, Lang made her directorial debut creating Pergolesi's Stabat Mater at the 20 I 3 Glimmerglass Opera Festival. She was a 2015 New York City Center Fellow.


    Her receipt of a Joyce Theater Artist Residency supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation helped launch her own company, Jessica Lang Dance OLD) in 20 I I. JLD has been presented by major venues including The Kennedy Center;The Harris Theater; New York City Center; Northrop Auditorium, Winspear Opera House, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and BAM Fisher and will tour to more than 20 cities in the upcoming 2016-17 season.


    Lang's work has also been performed by numerous educational institutions including The Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase, NYUTisch School of the Arts and Southern Methodist University, among many others. She was a part of the founding faculty of American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and a teaching artist for the Make-a-Ballet program.


    Lang, a graduate ofThe Juilliard School under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy, is a former member ofTwyla Tharp's company, THARP! She is currently a Fellow at NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts and her upcoming commissions include a world premiere on American Ballet Theatre (October 2016) and choreography for San Francisco Opera's production of Aida, directed by Francesca Zambello (November 2016).