Artistic direction: Philippe Cohen
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the major ballet companies were invited to Geneva to perform on the Théâtre Neuve's stage, and notably Isadora Duncan and Nijinsky with the Ballets Russes. It was only when it reopened in 1962 that the theatre founded its own ballet company. Its direction has been entrusted successively to Janine Charrat, Serge Golovine, Patricia Neary, Peter van Dyck, Oscar Araiz, Gradimir Pankov, François Passard and Giorgio Mancini. From the outset, this company has aimed to explore the plurality of twentieth-century dance styles, which has led it to work with famous artists such as Georges Balanchine (artistic advisor from 1970 to 1978), Mikhaïl Baryshnikov, Rudolf Noureïev, Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, William Forsythe and Lucinda Childs.
Directed today by Philippe Cohen, the Ballet of the Grand Théâtre consists of 22 dancers of various nationalities. Classically-trained, they are all capable of performing neo-classical and modern choreographies. Each season, they generally offer two new works, revivals of pieces from repertoire, tours, schools projects and choreography workshops.
Since Philippe Cohen’s nomination as the manager of the Grand Théâtre de Genève Ballet Company in 2003, the Geneva Ballet undertook a radical reshaping of its repertoire and image, based on two principles apparently worlds apart: tradition and creation. Tradition in the sense of claiming one’s part in a historical narrative; creation in the sense of actively taking part in writing that narrative for tomorrow.
By cleaving to these principles, the Grand Théâtre de Genève Ballet Company seeks not so much to cultivate the richness of its position as to position itself measuredly in a state of creative imbalance, of permanent questioning. This explains the Company’s original and daring artistic choices, resolutely modern and ambitious, and our preference for young choreographers who show the promise of great things in the years to come. By inviting these young choreographers to come and work with no restrictions in Geneva, we hope to establish a momentum of modernity that does not break with the past, but rather echoes its riches and creates a dynamic towards the future. The Grand Théâtre is proud to have served as a launching pad for artists destined to become the star choreographers of our time: Saburo Teshigawara, Benjamin Millepied, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Andonis Foniadakis, Emanuel Gat, Gilles Jobin, Ken Ossola...
Sources: Maison de la Danse show program ; the Grand Théâtre de Genève Ballet Company 's website
More information : geneveopera.com