Thursday, 24 October 2013

Bejart Ballet Lausanne

Original photo on the program by Doron Chmiel

A couple of weeks ago on October the 5th, I had the pleasure of attending Bejart's Ballet in Zürich.
The company is named after the late artist's surname -pseudonym: Béjart (being his real name Maurice Berger) a dancer and choreographer himself.

During his days he caused controversy amongst some who thought his theatre performances to be too sensationalist and majestic. He would even have dancers speak during the performance.
Regardless of these unusual practices, Béjart was sought after by some of the greatest like Paolo Bertoluzzi and Nureyèv.

He passed away in 2007 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the company is currently located and carries on with his artistic legacy.

The performance was structured in 3 parts or independent choreographic works:

1. Ce sue l'amour me dit
Coreographie: Maurice Béjart
Music: Gustav Mahler

2. Syncope 
Choreographie: Gil Roman 
Music: Citypercussion

3. Boléro
Choreography: Maurice Béjart
Music: Maurice Ravel

was particularly enjoyable. The idea was fresh and creatively daring.
Gil Roman's work is superb, both choreographically and as lead dancer.

The dècor is minimalistic; a sofa and a lamp.
Moreover, the lamp is actually embodied by the female dancer whose head turns on and off injecting a spark of humorous wit.
Then we see the man (Gil Roman) sitting on the sofa right below her with an alienated expression.

The visual setting and costumes reminded me of Jacques Tati's "Play Time".

Gil wears ordinary lose clothes, his hair is disheveled and in tune with the rest of himself.
We see him being pushed around the stage by the lady-lamp with the same familiarity with which a mother pushes a pram.

The moment comes when he gets off the sofa in bouts of manic expression and starts dancing to the minimalist syncope and stroboscope.

Towards the end of the performance other dancers come on stage, adding to, and enhancing Gil's admirable performance. He moves and hops with the ease of a hare.
Music and movement match in a series of improbable, yet astounding impulses!

The sort of paper memorabilia I love to see stacking up..