Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Damien Jalet
From CHF 17.-
Sat 18 Nov20:00
Mon 20 Nov19:00
Tue 21 Nov20:00
Wed 22 Nov20:00

The four great ones (the elements) are void

Chinese Buddhist wisdom

Infos & Cast


Infos & Cast


Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Created in 2014 in Gothenburg for GöteborgsOperans Danskompani


Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Created in 2009 at Sadler’s Wells, London


Damien Jalet & Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Created in 2013 at the Opéra de Paris

18, 21 & 22 November 2023 – 8PM
20 November 2023 – 7PM

Choreography Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Set Designer Antony Gormley
Lighting Designer David Stokholm
Costumes Designer Les Hommes
Music Szymon Brzóska
Percussion Shogo Yoshii
Vocals Ana Vieira Leite

Choreography Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Set, lighting and video Designer Adam Carrée
Costumes Designer Hussein Chalayan
Music Claude Debussy et Nitin Sawhney

Concept and choreography Damien Jalet et Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Concept and set design Marina Abramović
Lighting Designer Urs Schönebaum
Assistant choreography Aimilios Arapoglou & James O’Hara
Costumes Designer Riccardo Tisci
Music Maurice Ravel

Ballet of the Grand Théâtre de Genève
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Musical Director Yannis Pouspourikas

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More than a choreographer, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is a master. His championing of dance styles and music from here and elsewhere, from now and from the past, and his taste for words as much as for movement make his shows a moment of mathematical, mystical or metaphysical learning that you come of as if you’d attended a next level TEDx conference. Sidi Larbi’s teaching (need I remind you that Sidi comes from the Arabic سيدي Sayyīdī, “master”?) is brought together this evening in three phases that could evoke three of the elements in Taoist cosmology. In the West, as we know, there are four elements, but in East Asia, things come in fives: elements, cardinal points, flavours, planets, etc. 

In Noetic, created in 2014 for the GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is searching for nothing less than a “choreographic form that speaks the language of the universe”. Academic and introspective, Noetic (from the Greek 伕ό亦仲仿ς noēsis, ‘intellect’) is nineteen dancers, in black suits and black cocktail dresses on a white background, manipulating the flexible carbon fibre strips of visual artist Antony Gormley in a geometric transformation. Stiletto heels, vogueing and hip-hop are in the background, with music ranging from apocalyptic to neo-baroque or neo-medieval, in the hands of Sidi Larbi regular Symon Brzóska, everything in Noetic illustrates the wisdom, memory and fluidity of Water. 

In Faun, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui miraculously reinvents the innocent and fierce sensuality of Nijinsky’s L’Après-midi d’un faune, preserving its iconic signifiers: the warm afternoon, the forest, the two mythical creatures, the nymph and the faun. The music is Debussy’s famous Prelude, with some contemporary additions by Nitin Sawhney. But where Nijinsky only dared show ardent desire, Sidi Larbi resolutely plants his intentions in sexual awakening and carnal encounter. The serpentine and imaginative steps of the dancers anchor this duet in an undeniable physicality: soft, perfumed, summery and moist, like the Earth. 

Boléro (2013) created for the Paris Opera is a collaboration with the French-Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet, associate artist of the Grand Théâtre de Genève. Inspired since their beginnings by the work of Serbian artist Marina Abramović, Cherkaoui and Jalet invited her to join them in developing the concept and set design of this ballet. As Ravel’s gigantic crescendo swells, the motif passing from one instrument to another in the orchestra over a snare drum ostinato, the dancers dressed in black and with heavily painted faces spin and tumble, doubled by a giant mirror placed behind them. The black capes fall and a tantric danse macabre of visceral power begins, which only Death can mercifully dissolve into nothingness, perfect joy, nirvana, total consumption: Fire. Perhaps one day Sidi Larbi will teach us the Wood and Metal that remain to complete the elementary pentagram of the Tao… 





Elements at La Plage

Apéropéra 9.11.23
Public workshop 11.11.23
Public rehearsal 11.11.23
Brunch 19.11.23
En coulisse 21.11.23


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