Choreographer: Angelin Preljocaj
Chaosgrapher: Fabrice Hyber
NOV. 16.17.18, 2006
Théâtre Maisonneuve de la
Place des Arts
"...The whole piece is colourful
and lively, with a positive energy and a series of scenes reserving
one surprise after another. A ballet […] that rekindles the
pleasure of Vivaldi’s wonderful music.” (Le Figaro Magazine, France)
“Dance can be so gratifying when a choreographer knows how to
play with sensuality. The whole piece is colourful and lively, with
a positive energy and a series of scenes reserving one surprise after
another. A ballet […] that rekindles the pleasure of Vivaldi’s
wonderful music.” (Le Figaro
The Ballet Preljocaj, with its superb dancers and
artistically innovative, sophisticated shows, is always a surprise
and a delight. The company was a hit with its Hommage aux Ballets
Russes, a program made up of reinterpretations of Noces, Spectre de la rose and Parade, presented at the
Centre Pierre-Péladeau in 1996. Audiences also hailed the
Ballet Preljocaj’s 2001 return to the same venue, where it
performed Helikopter and LeSacre du printemps.
As a first-time guest of Danse Danse, the French company will treat
Montreal audiences to Les 4 Saisons... according to Angelin Preljocaj, set to Antonio
Vivaldi’s incomparable masterpiece.
When asked by Paris Match what inspired
him in the famous violin concertos, Angelin Preljocaj replied, “the
profusion, richness, flamboyance and life.” His playfully
excessive and colourful ballet for 12 dancers and a miscellany of
objects is proof. A coproduction of the Festival Montpellier Danse
2005 and Paris’ Théâtre de la Ville, Les
4 Saisons... is a sensual, meteorological celebration created
with artist Fabrice Hyber. Designer, chaosgrapher
and no-holds-barred creator of POFs (prototypes of functioning objects),
Hyber also designed the sets and costumes for the new choreography.
“It’s a real
feast for the eyes, made up of a dotted sine-wave shape, half sea
urchin, half seaweed, clear plastic bears, dancers with stools stuck
to their behinds, called “pant-chairs,” yellow potato
sponges that fall from the sky and a cut-out wood seesaw to make
stiletto heels teeter […].” (Le
Since its June 2005 premiere, the show has been
enjoyed in cities across France as well as in West Africa, Israel
and Japan. Les 4 Saisons... will also tour Morocco and
Italy, detouring to Luxemburg and Germany.
As a Danse Danse and La danse sur les routes du
Québec initiative, Les 4 Saisons... will also play
at Québec City’s Grand Théâtre and the
Cultural Centre of the University of Sherbrooke.
A choreographer with an impressive body of work, Angelin Preljocaj
was born in Paris in 1957 to Albanian immigrant parents. Now the
artistic director of the Ballet Preljocaj – Centre chorégraphique
national, he studied classical dance before taking on contemporary
dance, first in France, then in New York with Merce Cunningham.
Back home, he danced for companies that included Dominique Bagouet’s
in Montpellier, where he also started out as a choreographer. In
1984, with a Ministry of Culture award under his belt for his piece Marché noir, he founded the Compagnie Preljocaj
In 1987, he spent time in Japan studying Noh theatre.
Returning to France, he continued creating ballets, including Hallali Romée and Liqueurs de chair (1988)
as well as a futuristic, comic-book version of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet with the help of comic artist Enki Bilal.
In 1992, he was awarded the Grand Prix National de la Danse by the
French government’s Ministry of Culture. He was later invited
by the Palais Garnier to present an Hommage aux Ballets Russes,
made up of his reinterpretations of Parade, Spectre de la rose and Noces.
In 1996, his company moved to Aix-en-Provence,
where he staged a new version of his Roméo et Juliette.
The following year’s presentation of Annonciation, Spectre
de la rose and Noces at the Joyce Theatre in New York
led to a commission from the New York City Ballet. Angelin Preljocaj
received a Bessie award for his Joyce Theater program, and his Roméo et Juliette won an award for best choreography
production in France from the Victoires de la Musique.
In 2000, year of virtual reality, CGI and an explosion
of dance, he created Portraits in corpore, a choreographic
installation that set up a dialogue between the dancers’ bodies
and videos of them. He followed up with Helikopter, performed
in Montreal in a double program with Le Sacre du printemps,
a French-German coproduction combining the dancers of the Ballet
Preljocaj and the Berlin Staats Oper.
Since founding his company, now made up of 24 dancers,
Angelin Preljocaj has created 30 choreographies ranging from duets
to large ensembles. Many companies have added his works to their
repertories and commissioned new ones, including the Ballet de l’Opéra
de Lyon, the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris, the Scala
in Milan and the New York City Ballet. He also works with artists
including Enki Bilal (Roméo et Juliette, 1990),
the band Air (Near Life Experience, 2003), Granular Synthesis
(« N », 2004) and Fabrice Hyber (Les 4
Angelin Preljocaj holds the honorary titles Officier
des Arts et Lettres and Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur.
The Compagnie Preljocaj, formed in December 1984, became the Centre
chorégraphique national de Champigny-sur-Marne et du Val-de-Marne
in 1989. The company’s January 1995 move to Toulon was cut
short in May of that year when the Front National won the municipal
elections. In 1996, it found a home at the Cité du Livre
complex in Aix-en-Provence and became the Ballet Preljocaj –
Centre chorégraphique national de la région Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur
et du département des Bouches-du-Rhône.
Along with sharing its repertory, the Ballet Preljocaj
presents about 110 shows a year on its tours of France and abroad.
Its many audience development activities in Aix-en-Provence and
surrounding area include vidéodanse screenings, public rehearsals,
workshops, internships and dance interventions in the urban environment.
The company also organizes the Corps à Cœur festival,
showcasing favourites from their tours, and hosts companies-in-residence
in its studios year-round.
The Ballet Preljocaj is about to take over a new
space. Designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti and christened the “Pavillon
Noir,” the new building in Aix will host dance shows in its
built-in performance hall throughout the year.
Artist Fabrice Hyber, prolific creator of public installations,
defies categorization. After transforming the Paris Modern Art Museum
into a “Hybermarché” and setting up a hair salon
at the Centre Georges-Pompidou for the Féminin/Masculin exhibition,
Fabrice Hyber was chosen to represent France at the Venice Biennale.
He walked away with the Golden Lion for his transformation of the
French pavilion into a TV recording and broadcast studio.
In his famous POFs (prototypes of functioning objects),
among them the square balloon and the double-edged car, the artist
shifts the original purpose of everyday objects. Their new shapes
mislead and induce new behaviour, changing the way we perceive and
use the objects.
Photos JC Carbonne | Header photo dancers: Zaratiana
Randriananteniana, Kaori Ito