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For Four Walls

For Four Walls

For Four Walls

«For the centennial of Merce Cunningham we have proposed For Four Walls, with the original score performed live by pianist Vanessa Wagner. The premier will be held on the 23rd of May at the National Opera of Lorraine, Nancy.

The original dance play, Four Walls was a creation that  incorporated text and choreography by Merce Cunningham with a score for  solo piano by John Cage. After its premier, and only performance in  1944, the piece was lost and forgotten, although in the late 1970’s the  pianist Richard Bunger rediscovered the score among Cage’s manuscripts.  According to Cage his piano score, with a singular voice, acknowledged a  link or prefigured the music of Philip Glass and Steve Reich - “It’s  full of passages that get repeated, and it’s all white notes; it’s in C  and it goes on and on”. The structure is of contrasting settings, loud  and soft, high and low, etc, which has a psychological intensity quite  unusual for Cage. He himself upon hearing the discovered score found it  rather interesting – a genuine curiosity, and seemed surprised that he  was its composer! Still within the beginnings of their collaborative  work, the music and what little is known of the dance and staging  precedes what we identify as a Cage/Cunningham work. What we are met  with is their youth, full of introspective and conflicting emotions.

This new reading of the original is interested in this notion of the  pre “Cage/Cunningham”, while understanding it exists in the post their  legacy.

For Four Walls is a wanderlust through room, the individual,  and the history we share. The “room” is a mirrored space that allows  for a situation to be seen as having and not having its confining walls.  Defining infinity, passing through it, or as a reflective space - a  somewhere to remember that we belong to these interconnected spaces and  their temporalities. We see it as a non-place, perpetually vulnerable  and in motion. Where distances are relativized and human differences are  always in flux. We see For Four Walls not as a re-enactment of  the lost original, but as a situation that will allow for its own  history and our history with Merce to be reflected in.»

Source: Ballet de Lorraine

Jacobsson, Petter

Born in Stockholm, Petter Jacobsson started his studies in dance at  the age of three and was further educated at the Royal Swedish Ballet  School, he later graduated from the Vaganova Academy in St.Petersburg in  1982.

As a principal dancer with the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet in London  between 1984 to 1993, he toured the globe dancing all of the renowned  classical roles as well as appearing as guest artist with numerous  international companies. In 1993, he moved to New York to begin a  freelance career, studying with Merce Cunningham and working with Twyla  Tharp Dance Company, Irene Hultman Dance and later Deborah Hay.

Petter and Thomas Caley started working as a creative team in the mid  nineties, choreographing works for Martha@Mother, the Joyce Soho in New  York and the choreography for the opera Staden at the Royal Opera in  Stockholm, a commission for the 1998 Cultural capital of Europe.

In 1999, when Petter was appointed the artistic directorship of the  Royal Swedish Ballet in Stockholm, they made the move to Europe to  continue their artistic collaboration. An exceptional embodiment of  their work for the RSB was the creating of two immense happenings,In nooks and crannies 2000 and 2001.  The project included the Royal Ballet, Opera and Orchestra, as well as  independent artists who took-over non-traditional, yet possible,  performance spaces occupying the entire Royal Opera House of  Stockholm. Petter received "Choreographer of the year 2002” from the Society of Swedish Choreographers in recognition of the modernisation of the Royal Swedish Ballet. 

After years of collaboration, Petter and Thomas established an independent dance company in 2005 - works include Nightlife, Unknown partner, Flux, No mans land- no lands  man,The nearest nearness – in 2002 they won a “Goldmask” for best choreography for the musical Chess with Björn Ulveus and Benny Andersson (ABBA).

As of 2011, Petter is leading and choreographing together with Thomas  Caley for the CCN Ballet de Lorraine in Nancy. Their curating for the  CCN invites as well a wide variety of artistic talent from around the  world. Each invited creator joins in the active questioning of a  specific theme. La saison de La 12/13, Tête à tête à têtes 13/14, Live 14/15, Folk + Danse = (R)évolution 15/16 and Des plaisirs inconnus 16/17.  To insure a lively and non fixed use of the art form they continue  their searching through installations for the Musée d’Art Moderne in  Paris and Musée Pompidou Metz and an original initiative LAB-BLA-BAL, where a series of open house art experiments, workshops, and discussions are given at our choreographic center.

Source : Ballet de Lorraine

More information:

Caley, Thomas

The choreographer and dancer Thomas Caley was born in the United States. In 1992 he earned a BFA from Purchase College in upstate New York. After a year of performing in a multitude of independent projects in New York City he joined the Merce Cunningham Company.
From 1994 to 2000, he worked as a principal dancer with the company, touring throughout the world and participating in the creation of 12 new works by Cunningham. In 2000 he moved to Stockholm to continue his collaboration with Petter Jacobsson and to continue working as a freelance dancer in Europe, in France Thomas has worked with Boris Charmatz on the 50 ans de danse & flip book projects. As of 2011, Thomas Caley is the coordinator of research for the CCN - Ballet de Lorraine.

Source : programme CCN - Ballet de Lorraine 2012 - 2013

Goosens, Bérangère

Bérangère Goossens is a  french filmmaker, born in 1979. She studied cinema at university of  Paris 8 and started directing documentaries.

CCN - Ballet de Lorraine

Since acquiring the CCN title in 1999, the Centre Chorégraphique National - Ballet de Lorraine has dedicated itself to supporting contemporary choreographic creation. As of July 2011 the organization is under the general and artistic direction of Petter Jacobsson.
The CCN – Ballet de Lorraine and its company of 26 dancers is one of the most important companies working in Europe, performing contemporary creations while retaining and programming a rich and extensive repertory, spanning our modern history, made up of works by some of our generations most highly regarded choreographers.
The CCN functions as an art center and venue for multiple possibilities in the fields of research, experimentation and artistic creation. It is a platform open to many different disciplines, a space where the many visions of dance of today may meet. 

More information : 

For Four Walls

Choreography : Petter Jacobsson et Thomas Caley

Interpretation : Danseurs du CCN-Ballet de Lorraine

Set design : Petter Jacobsson et Thomas Caley

Original music : John Cage (Four Walls, 1er acte)

Live music : Pianiste : Vanessa Wagner

Lights : Eric Wurtz

Costumes : Petter Jacobsson, Thomas Caley, Martine Augsbourger et Annabelle Saintier

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : CCN-Ballet de Lorraine / Co-production : Chaillot - Théâtre national de la Danse

Duration : 40 mn

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