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Closer

For the last few seasons, the National Centre for Dance has been proposing an exceptional journey into the world of grand international ballets. The evening opens with the work of the company, with a commented class and rehearsal, then continues with a programme of pieces of work from the repertoire in the Grand Studio.

As part of the company at work, the Ballet of the Grand Theatre of Geneva proposes a rehearsal of the current programme followed by a rehearsal of “Closer” (2005) by Benjamin Millepied, a minimalist, sensual and audacious piece of work that invites us into the intimacy of two beings in love.

Updating: September 2011

Millepied, Benjamin

Born in France, Benjamin Millepied began his dance training at the age of eight with his mother, Catherine Flori a former modern dancer, while learning track and field from his father Denys Millepied, a former Decathlete. From the age of thirteen to the age of sixteen he attended the Conservatoire National de Lyon, studying with Marie France Dieulevin and Michel Rahn. In the summer of 1992, Mr. Millepied came to New York City to attend the summer program at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet. The following year, he became a full-time student at the school, having received the “Bourse Lavoisier,” a scholarship award from the French Ministry. At SAB he studied with Stanley Williams and Adam Luders. In the 1994 SAB Spring Workshop, Mr. Millepied originated a principal role in Jerome Robbins’ « 2 & 3 Part Inventions », set to music by J.S Bach. He was awarded the “Prix de Lausanne” the same year. In his last year at SAB, Mr. Millepied received the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and was invited to become a member of New York City Ballet. In the spring of 2001, he was promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer at NYCB, where he remained until his retirement as a dancer in 2011. Millepied started choreographing in 2001, and in 2002 he founded « Danses Concertantes ».
From 2006 to 2007, Mr. Millepied was choreographer-in-residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center and created the solo “Years Later” for Mikhail Baryshnikov. In 2007, he received the United States Artists Wynn Fellowship. In 2010, he was made Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture.

In 2010, Mr. Millepied choreographed and starred in Darren Aronofsky’s « Black Swan ». In 2012, Mr. Millepied moved to Los Angeles, where he conceived of and founded the new dance company L.A. Dance Project. During L.A. Dance Project’s September, 2012 inaugural performances at the Los Angeles Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. The company performed « Moving Parts », a collaboration between Mr. Millepied,  with composer Nico Muhly, and visual artist Christopher Wool. In May 2013, L.A. Dance Project presented « Reflections », a new work which was the result of a collaboration between Mr. Millepied,  with composer David Lang, artist Barbara Kruger, and which was created with the support of the historic jewelry house Van Cleef and Arpels. In 2013, Millepied founded the Amoveo Company, an artist collective, active in digital media, television and film, and in 2014, he co-founded Artform, a tech start-up company aimed to support and promote the Arts and artists in this current time. Millepied is also a film director, he has directed numerous dance short films over the last 6 years, and is currently in development on a feature film. In January 2013 the Paris Opera Ballet announced Mr. Millepied’s appointment as its new Director, in February 2016, Benjamin resigned from his position. In July 2016, Benjamin came back full time at the helm of L.A Dance Project.

Source : Benjamin Millepied 's website

More information

benjaminmillepied.com

 

Centre national de la danse, Réalisation

Since 2001, the National Center for Dance (CND) has been making recordings of its shows and educational programming and has created resources from these filmed performances (interviews, danced conferences, meetings with artists, demonstrations, major lessons, symposia specialized, thematic arrangements, etc.).

Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève

Artistic direction: Philippe Cohen    

Creation: 1962

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

Closer

Choreography : Benjamin Millepied

Interpretation : Sarawanee Tanatanit, Nathanaël Marie

Original music : Philip Glass

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