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Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon
Limb’s Theorem and Giselle
Two great classics of the contemporary repertoire interpreted by the “corps de ballet” of the Opera of Lyon, for the first time at the Teatro Regio.
Teatro Regio, from 29th November to 7th December 2013
The Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon begins its European tour in Turin. The Teatro Regio will host the ballet company performing two ballets with strong contemporary twist: Limb's Theorem by William Forsythe with music by Thom Willems (29, 30 November at 20:0 and 1st December at 15:00) and Giselle choreographed by Mats Ek on the famous score by Adolphe-Charles Adam (5, 6 December at 20:00 and on 7th December at 15:00).
The Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon, a company of classical dancers devoted to contemporary music, is one of the best known dance companies in the world. Its current director, Yorgos Loukos, has worked towards, since the early nineties, the diffusion of contemporary choreographic language, building a repertoire of 93 titles, 48 of which have been specially created for the Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon. All the greatest choreographers of the twentieth century have collaborated with the French team, enriching it with new aesthetic proposals and strengthening its contemporary identity. Americans talents such as Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, Bill T. Jones and the Europeans Jirí Kylián, Sasha Waltz and Philippe Decouflé, just to name a few, have always found in the company Lyonnaise the perfect tool to create and implement their own artistic language.
At the Teatro Regio, the Company will present Limb's Theorem. The choreographer William Forsythe, born in 1949 in New York, has always, since his early youth, been a ballet passionate. His creativity goes hand in hand with the academic fundamentals, learned at the Juilliard School, with a profound aesthetic research on the body experienced during his years at the direction of the Frankfurt Ballet. During his training he met choreographers such as: Robert Joffrey, Jonathan Watts and Martha Graham, but only with some experience in Europe that his career as a choreographer takes off. Forsythe is recognized today as the authentic heir of George Balanchine.
Limb's Theorem, one of his most emblematic shows, was created in 1990 for the Frankfurt Ballet and became part of the Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon’s repertoire in 2005. In this choreography one can see the expressive synthesis of the research undertaken by Forsythe on the body and on movements, so that the choreographer said: “the vocabulary is not and will never be old, it is the writing that can be dated”. The ballet, in three acts, is in fact a collection of typical movements and gestures seemingly classic enabling the dancers to create a dream world.
In the first section, Limb's 1, the physical stage space shrinks and expands thanks to the rapid movements of the dancers who constantly, on the sides of the stage, ask the viewer to choose what to see and what to delete.
Extreme extensions, flexed feet and bent wrists are gestural forms from which we start the second part of the ballet: Enemy in the Figure, a study of shadows and lights. This section reveals the creative world of Forsythe, capable of structuring the rhythm through gesture, through time and space.
The third and final part of Limb's Theorem hosts the whole body of the ballet in an apotheosis of virtuosity, both solo and in group sections. In this show the chaos is organized through the dance, the performers group themselves together and their repeated movements define and limit the physical space, according to an archaic theorem: the Limb's Theorem in fact. William Forsythe is responsible for choreography and lights, the electronic music is by Thom Willems, an avant-garde composer and one of the fathers of the new sound, the sets of the first and third parts are Michael Simon, those of the second part are designed by Forsythe himself who demonstrates, for the umpteenth time, that the ballet language lies not only in the gestures of the dancers.
From 5th to 7th December the Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon presents another masterpiece: Giselle, ballet in which the traditional romantic music by Adolphe-Charles Adam marries the contemporary gesture by Mats Ek. Giselle was presented for the first time at the Opéra National de Paris in 1841. Since then, the passionate and tragic story of a naive peasant - seduced and abandoned - has never ceased to stimulate dancers and choreographers. Despite the fact that this ballet and its music speak to us of graceful girls in tutus, the crux of the story is of shocking modernity: love, suffering, sacrifice, and the difficulty of human relationships. From this combination of depth and modern issues the choreographer Mats Ek, who in 1982, gave Giselle a new and exciting choreography. Mats Ek was born in Sweden in 1945 by a family of artists. He started his activity at a very young age - first as an assistant to Ingmar Bergman - then in the dance, an art form that he never abandoned. His career as a choreographer began by revisiting the classics of the romantic repertoire (his version of Giselle is part of this period). The plot and characters remain the same, everything else changes. Ek asks the dancers to act through their gestures, to take the expressiveness from deep within and transport it into a form of wild energy applying it to their movements. It is exactly this aspect that becomes the icon of Ek's Giselle that uses a psychiatric hospital as the setting for the second act in which the protagonist is locked, and where the dancers that make the chorus are claustrophobically wrapped in straitjackets. The deep gap between the romantic music composed by Adam and the strong images designed by Ek paves the way to expressiveness understood as narrative but it is never a virtuoso dry. In this version of Giselle, with sets and costumes by Marie-Louise Ekman and lights by Jörgen Jansson, the gesture of the dancers become strong and rough, there are no longer the stereotypical movements on the tips or ‘jetes’ to snatch the applause of the audience, but the acrobatic jumps and violence of the launches that give new life to the masterpiece of Adam.
Both productions are carried through the initiative “Turin meets France” in 2013, in collaboration with the Festival Torinodanza.
Marinella Guatterini presents the two choreography of the Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon at the ‘Conferenze del Regio’ on 27th November at 17.30, at the Piccolo Regio Puccini.
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Turin 13th November 2013
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Paola Giunti (Direttore), Paolo Cascio (Relazioni con la Stampa)
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