Choreography and scenographer Fana Tshabalala
Lighting designer Mandla Mtshali
Costume designer Caroline Bault
Music Benjamin Magnin
First performed by Ballet Vlaanderen in 2016
Choreography Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Scenographer and costumes design Tim Van Steenbergen
Dramaturgy Koen Bollen
Lighting designer Fabiana Piccioli
Piano Chiara Opalio
Music Pictures at an Exhibition by Modeste Moussorgsky / Maurice Ravel (orchestral version)
Grand Théâtre de Genève Ballet
In the course of his brief career, the young choreographer Fana Tshabalala has already investigated the notion of what an “ideal man” is in various societies, this time his aim is the search for a better world. His new piece Better Sun is the story of a departure towards an unknown universe, limitless but full of horizons. The departure is painful but it is a journey full of hope because the only baggage the dancers carry is their bodies as they explore the desert that opens up to them. Where there are no attachments or roots, there can be no rift or rupture.
No one knows if the journey is long, nor where it leads. The South African is pointing at the refugees scattered on the roads and the absurdity of the political shambles that responds to this issue. Benjamin Magnin, who will also appear in the last ballet of the season, accompanies him on this journey that shimmers with the mirages of hope and with the new sounds and ritornelles of a musical piece developped around Ravel’s Boléro.
After the success of his Fall last season at the Grand Théâtre, Belgian and world dance sensation Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is back with Exhibition, a piece that is also full of Fata Morgana. His space is certainly narrower than the horizon of possibilities in Tshabalala’s creation, but once the painting is framed, Cherkaoui is quick to look beyond the frame. Even if the score is better known in the orchestrated version Ravel’s composed 50 years after the original, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is one of the only instrumental pieces by this virtuoso pianist who nevertheless composed almost exclusively for the opera. It takes the listener from one picture to the next and from one vision to another, the “Promenade” motif returns with the mo-notony of perpetual movement. Always returning to a fixed point, always starting over again, no matter what comes before, no matter what comes after, irritates and delights. Always coming back to a fixed point, always starting over again, no matter what comes before, no matter what comes after is a source of both irritation and delight. Like a day of constantly changing weather, with its alternating moods and colours or like one of those games you can’t give up even when you are sent back again to square one, Exhibition looks outside the painting and plays with this gaze, from spectator to creator, from the dancer to the portrait. In this way the choreography escapes the principle of reality and piles up the layers until all contours fade away.
Hors Cadre at La Plage
Public Workshops 14.11 2020
Public rehearsal 14.11 2020