Report from the 23 July 2022

THE PARIS OPERA BALLET ON TOUR IN AIX-EN-PROVENCE

© Elena Bauer / OnP
15 July 2022ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION ON CULTIVATING EXCELLENCE

The Paris Opera Ballet will be touring in Aix-en-Provence, from September 22nd to 25th 2022 for 5 performances.

The Paris Opera, directed by Alexander Neef, and the Grand Théâtre de Provence, directed by Dominique Bluzet, have signed a partnership agreement for three years to develop projects of production, mediation and circulation of the dance and music art forms in Aix-en-Provence and the Aix-Marseille area. Each season, the Grand Théâtre de Provence will welcome one of the Paris Opera's ensembles: Ballet, Orchestra, Ballet School, Academy.

Dance will be in the spotlight in the autumn 2022. Master-classes for the conservatories students, introductory workshops to classical dance, meetings with the artists and the various ballet professions (teachers, pianists and coaches for dance classes...), as well as public work sessions will be organized. The two institutions will also set up activities to bring dance to the forefront in the Aix-Marseille area.

After an absence of fourteen years, the Paris Opera Ballet will perform five performances between 22 and 25 September 2022 at the Grand Théâtre de Provence in a programme featuring The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude (William Forsythe), Trois Gnossiennes (Hans Van Manen), And... Carolyn. (Alan Lucien Øyen) and The Seasons' Canon (Crystal Pite).


  • Grand Théâtre de Provence

    from September 22nd to 25th 2022.

    With the the Paris Opera Étoile dancers,
    Soloists,
    and Corps de Ballet.


► Program :

The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude

Choreography : William Forsythe
Music : Franz Schubert - Final de la Symphonie n° 9  

Francesca : Valentine Colasante or Hohyun Kang
Laura : Marine Ganio or Inès Mcintosh
Helen : Hannah O'Neill or Bleuenn Battistoni
Desmond : Germain Louvet or Pablo Legasa
Noah : Paul Marque or Marc Moreau

In 1996, William Forsythe created two pieces for the Frankfurt Ballet to conclude Six Counter Points, a six-part study of classical dance. These pieces, called Approximate Sonata and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, are brought together under the title Two Ballets in the Manner of the late XXth century. Six Counter Points opens with a tableau showing two dancers, seated on stage, moving slowly and laboriously with jerky movements while never losing contact with the floor.

The ballet ends with the sixth opus, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, which - like Approximate Sonata - celebrates with brilliance and virtuosity the raw physical material of the first opus, transcribed into the codified language and syntax of classical ballet. The spirit of Balanchine is once again present in this work, whose title is borrowed from a phrase by the sociologist Roland Barthes. Forsythe, who dreamed of choreographing a ballet to Franz Schubert's Ninth Symphony, created a lively and precise pas de cinq to the music's final four movements.

In new costumes by Stephen Galloway - neon green flat tutus, bare backs for the women, tight-fitting t-shirts and shorts for the men - the dancers showcase the purest and most brilliant classical vocabulary: fouettés, pirouettes and dazzling changes of direction keep pouring in. One after the other, in an interweaving of dizzying variations, they give way to the front of the stage with a formal courtesy worthy of Marius Petipa's 19th century ballets.


Trois Gnossiennes

Choreography : Hans van Manen
Music : Eric Satie

With Ludmila Pagliero and Hugo Marchand

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Hans van Manen borrowed the title to a dreamy, romantic yet discreet score by Erik Satie, full of facetious smiles and winks, to create in 1982 this refined duet between a man and a woman.

The choreography shows a serene and harmonious surface disturbed by slight tensions and thus echoes Satie's dissonances which melt lovingly into a monotonous languor.


And... Carolyn.

Choreography: Alan Lucien Øyen
Music: Thomas Newman

With Apolline Anquetil and Andrea Sarri.

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"This piece has been set to the soundtrack of the movie American Beauty, composed by Thomas Newman and to texts written by Alan Ball. All the sounds of the film (music and lyrics) are kept intact and the choreography is kind of an abstract extension of the missing images of the film.

So we are facing the essence of a movie emotion that derives from the existential monologue written by Alan Ball. For me, this text captures very well the "It's okay" expression or feeling that one can feel when confronted with beauty in the simplest moments. I'm always struck when this happens (and I wish it happened more often). 

It's so reassuring: everything loses and gains importance at the same time. It's wonderful to feel so small. My choreography tries to express the 'terror' and 'confusion' of the everyday life, in juxtaposition with calm and reassuring words."

— Alan Lucien Øyen


The Seasons' Canon

Choreography: Crystal Pite
Music: Max Richter - Recomposed : Antonio Vivaldi The Four Seasons

With the Étoiles, the Premiers danseurs and the Paris Opera Corps de Ballet.

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"To me, creating is like looking through a magnifying glass, it's an opportunity to see the world with more details, more clarity. It's an experience of enlargement, completeness and abundance. I use choreography -the act of creating something- to be confronted to the very meaning of creation.

When I choreograph, it feels like I'm constructing, making, clattering, editing, composing, assembling, and excavating: the very act of manufacturing, observing that connect me most deeply to the natural world, to the brutality and beauty it contains.

This piece is a gesture, an offering. It's as much my way of dealing with the vastness and complexity of the natural world as it is a way of expressing my gratitude to it."

— Crystal Pite, July 2016


► Artistic encounters for all, all over the area

Introductory classes and meeting for all

FRIDAY 23 SEPT - 7 PM
Meeting with a guest from the Paris Opera Ballet in the hall of the Grand Théâtre.
How does the Ballet work? What is the dancer's routine? How does one become an "Étoile"? This meeting will be an opportunity to discover the Paris Opera Ballet in a different light, and to answer all the audience's questions.

Mandatory registration: by phone at +33 8 20 13 20 13 - or by email: lespublics@legrandtheatre.net


SATURDAY 24 SEPT - 4 PM
Installation of a giant barre on the esplanade of the Grand Théâtre, ballet class by a teacher from the Paris Opera Ballet.
The Grand Théâtre de Provence and the Paris Opera Ballet give an introduction to classical dance open to all.

Mandatory registration: by phone at +33 8 20 13 20 13 - or by email: lespublics@legrandtheatre.net


Working with amateur and professional dancers

Two dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet are answering to amateur and professional dancers in order to share their technique and their passion.

MONDAY 19 SEPT - 6 PM
Two dancers will work with the 12-15 year olds from the Grenade Group, classical class in Aix-en-Provence.


TUESDAY 20 SEPT - 10 AM
Two dancers will work with the adult dancers of the Grenade Company, contemporary class in Aix-en-Provence.


TUESDAY 20 SEPT - 6.30 PM
Master-Class by a teacher or a dancer from the Ballet to the 5th CHAD students (spacial dance classes)
at the Conservatoire Darius Milhaud, Campra auditorium, Aix en Provence

Open to the public - mandatory registration: +33 8 20 13 20 13 - email: lespublics@legrandtheatre.net


Dance discovery class

Reaching out to an audience that would not otherwise go through the doors of a theater remains a major challenge for cultural institutions. A discovery tour to accompany and raise awareness of dance among some twenty people will be offered to a social center in the northern districts of Marseille.

MONDAY 19 SEPT - 6 PM
Intervention of two dancers at the Saint-Gabriel social center in Marseille.


SATURDAY 24 SEPT
After the performance - Discussion between two dancers and the group from the social center who came to see the performance.


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