"I think one should set fire to one's library every day, so that it is reborn phenix-like from the ashes, but in a different form. "
- Pierre Boulez
In tribute to Pierre Boulez, this special evening brings together three great moments of musical and choreographic modernity and reunites two other major creative forces of the 20th century whose works Boulez has often conducted: György Ligeti and Igor Stravinsky.
Polyphonia, the first ballet by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon to enter the Paris Opera Ballet’s repertoire, was created in 2001 to music by György Ligeti. Evocative of George Balanchine’s renowned Agon, the work displays the same subtle abstractness and geometric purity and the same delicate counterpoints. Set to the score of Anthèmes II, composed by Pierre Boulez in 1997, British choreographer Wayne McGregor's new creation has been conceived in conjunction with visual artist Haroon Mirza, winner of the Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2011.
Following on from Genus in 2007 and L’Anatomie de la sensation (pour Francis Bacon) in 2011, this – the third ballet created specifically by Wayne McGregor for the dancers of the company – combines a solid classic vocabulary with the latest technological innovations.
Finally, Pina Bausch's masterpiece Le Sacre du printemps will conclude the evening’s programme. With her expressive power and dramatic sensitivity, the German choreographer perfectly illustrates and even transcends the music of Igor Stravinsky – so often conducted by Pierre Boulez – in this strikingly beautiful and now-legendary production.