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Elements

Ballet of the Grand Théâtre

Saturday

18.11.2023

20:00 — Grand Théâtre de Genève

Grand Théâtre de Genève
Ballet

Artistic partner

Wednesday

22.11.2023

20:00 — Grand Théâtre de Genève

Grand Théâtre de Genève
Ballet

Artistic partner

Programme

Yannis Pouspourikasmusical direction

Sidi Larbi Cherkaouidirector of the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève

Damien Jaletconcept and choreography

Marina Abramovićconcept and set design

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

Yannis Pouspourikas, musical director

Noetic

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, choreography 
Szymon Brzóska, music 
Shogo Yoshii, percussion 
Ana Vieira Leite, vocals

Faun

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, choreography
Claude Debussy and Nitin Sawhney, music

Boléro

Damien Jalet and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, concept and choreography 
Marina Abramović, concept and set design 
Maurice Ravel, music 

more information on GTG's website

The music

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 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 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… 

OSR Live

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GUSTAV MAHLER

Symphonie N° 5

Jonathan Nott

conductor

Recorded on 16 February 2022 at Victoria Hall, Geneva

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Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony N°9 with choir for the finale of « Ode to Joy»

Jonathan Nott

conductor

Recorded on 11 June 2020 at Victoria Hall, Geneva

Highlights

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