Over and above the six pieces he composed for the ballet, Ravel’s entire body of work is an inexhaustible source of choreographic inspiration, no doubt thanks to the spatial potential inherent in his genius for orchestration. Written in the aftermath of the First World War, La Valse is meant to represent the “fantastic, inevitable, swirling” demise of the Viennese waltz and the world it represented. In keeping with that idea, George Balanchine’s 1951 choreography blends apparent joy with a touch of romantic torment. In 1975, in a very different spirit, Jerome Robbins adapted the Piano Concerto in G, composed by Ravel on his return from a tour of the United States during which he had discovered jazz. Framed by two movements reminiscent of musical comedy, a duo of incredible grace exalts the classical vocabulary. Finally, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet conclude the programme with a fascinating Boléro which takes us through a maelstrom of movements electrified by the scenography of artist Marina Abramović and costumes by Riccardo Tisci.
Maurice Ravel - Concerto pour piano et orchestre en sol majeur