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PROGRAM NOTES: Malandain Ballet Biarritz

Artistic Director/Choreographer:  Thierry Malandain

Created: 2014
Duration: 35 minutes

Choreography: Thierry Malandain
Music: Antonio Vivaldi
Lighting Design: Jean-Claude Asquié
Costume Design: Karine Prins
Accessories: Frédéric Vadé, Christian Grossard

Coproduced by Teatro Victoria Eugenia Donostia /
San Sebastian – Ballet T, Opéra de Reims,
Malandain Ballet Biarritz

Amidst a backdrop of music by Vivaldi, L’Estro Armonico Opus 3, Thierry Malandain has choreographed this ballet around the desire to uplift and to arrive at a summit. He references the words of André Lendger: “it’s easier today to climb a summit of some 8,000 metres than to rise several centimetres within oneself.” The fluency of the gestures of the dancers makes Estro a short and dynamic performance, albeit with geometric beauty.

NOCTURNES Created: 2014
Duration: 28 minutes

Choreography: Thierry Malandain
Music: Frédéric Chopin
Lighting Design: Jean-Claude Asquié
Costume Making: Karine Prins

Coproduction Teatro Victoria Eugenia Donostia /
San Sebastián – Ballet T / Opéra de Reims /
Centre Chorégraphique National d’Aquitaine en Pyrénées Atlantiques – Malandain Ballet Biarritz

Consumed by his feelings, Frédéric Chopin explored the depth of his melancholic nature to express the languor of love in his Nocturnes – 21 pieces for piano written between 1827 and 1846. The dominant feeling shrouded by a dark veil, the taste for the morbid, the dark gothic romanticism fostered by Chopin and other Romantics justified a comparison with the Danse macabre, a very popular genre at the end of the Middle Ages. This genre was mostly represented by wall paintings depicting a series of characters from all ages, genders and stations, led to the grave by a skeleton, which does not personify Death but the dead, in other words a posthumous reflection of the living. Beyond the idea of associating two things as disparate as dancing and dying, the Danse macabre symbolized the passing of time and showed that Death unites people of all ranks. Remnants of “a day gloomier than the night”, as said by Charles Baudelaire, Nocturnes describes itself as a fresco, as a dream crushed under the weight of endless melancholy.

Thierry Malandain

BOLÉRO Created: 2001
Duration: 15 minutes

Choreography: Thierry Malandain
Music: Maurice Ravel
Set & Costumes: Jorge Gallardo
Lighting Design: Jean-Claude Asquié

Coproduced by Festival International Madrid en Danza, Malandain Ballet Biarritz

Subjected to the obsessive of the orchestral theme by Ravel, twelve dancers perform almost soullessly in an enclosed and limited space. Then in a liberating finale, they break free, plunging into silence, but now “locked outside.”

Commissioned by Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein, a friend and patron to Maurice Ravel, this “Spanish character ballet” was originally created for Rubinstein, a friend of the Paris Opera Company, with choreography by Bronislava Nijinska and premièred on the November 22, 1928. In the synopsis, the action took place in an andalusian tavern, where a gypsy dancing on a table provoked sensual euphoria amongst men. I departed from this storyline, updated by Maurice Béjart in 1961, to only focus on the musical motif that Maurice Ravel repeats in an obsessive way until the final apotheosis. The composer made no secret of the “music-sexual” style of this orchestral crescendo and finale.

Instead of showing this erotic parallel, I chose to represent the liberty gradually won from confinement and took the challenge to confine the performers in an enclosed and limited space. This limit exists in the uniqueness and the mechanical repetition of the musical theme, which literally explodes in an intense finale, followed by silence, when dancers find themselves “locked outside.”
Thierry Malandain

Malandain Ballet Biarritz
Artistic Director/Choreographer: Thierry Malandain
Ballet Masters: Richard Coudray, Françoise Dubuc
Performers: Ione Miren Aguirre, Raphaël Canet, Mickaël Conte, Ellyce Daniele, Frederik Deberdt, Romain Di Fazio, Baptiste Fisson, Clara Forgues, Michaël Garcia, Jacob Hernandez Martin, Irma Hoffren, Miyuki Kanei, Mathilde Labé, Hugo Layer, Claire Lonchampt, Fábio Lopez, Nuria López Cortéés, Arnaud Mahouy, Patricia Veláázquez, Laurine Viel, Daniel Vizcayo, Lucia You González
Technical Director: Oswald Roose
Stage Managesr: Chloé Bréneur, Jean Gardera
Lighting Managers: Frédéric Eujol, Christian Grossard
Sound Managers: Jacques Vicassiau, Nicolas Rochais
Stage Technicians: Raphaël Tadiello, Bertrand Tocoua
Wardrobe Mistress: Karine Prins
Set and Accessories Production: Frédéric Vadé
Drivers: Thierry Crusel, Guy Martial

The Centre Chorégraphique National d’Aquitaine en Pyrénées-Atlantiques / Malandain Ballet Biarritz is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Communication-DRAC Aquitaine, the City of Biarritz, the Regional Council of Aquitaine and the General Council of the Pyrenees Atlantiques. In view of its cross border cooperation, Malandain Ballet Biarritz and the Theater Victoria Eugenia created with the cities of San Sebastián and Biarritz the Cross-border Choreographic Center “Ballet T”, initiated by the European funding programme Interreg IV A. For some international tours, the French Institute supports Malandain Ballet Biarritz.

Our special thanks to our main sponsor, for its support: Repetto

Our special thanks to the “Grands Partenaires”, for their support: la Banque Populaire Aquitaine Centre Atlantique, le Casino Barrière de Biarritz, le Sofitel Miramar de Biarritz, la Société Générale, l’Association des Amis du Ballet

Our special thanks to the “Cercle des Mécènes”, for their support: l’Hôtel du Palais de Biarritz, l’Aéroport de Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne, le Groupe Slavi, Au Fournil de la Licorne, Bar du Jardin

Partners : Casden, Cazaux, le Basque Bondissant, and IBEP- Imprimerie Bonnin Edition Packaging