La Maison de Bernarda
La Maison de Bernarda
For Mats Ek, dance is one form of theater and some of his works are inspired by themes borrowed from theater. La Maison de Bernarda (the house of Bernarda) is taken from the play of the same name by Federico Garcia Lorca.
Source: Biennale de la danse 1986
Mats Ek began his career by studying theatre, whilst taking part in Donya Feuer's (an American who practiced the Martha Graham technique and who was based in Stockholm) dance classes at the same time. He joined the Dusseldorf Ballet for a season (1974-75), then integrated the Cullberg Ballet, directed by his mother Birgit Cullberg, the following year. In 1980, Mats Ek became co-artistic director for the company, along with Birgit Cullberg, and in 1985, when she took her retirement, he became the sole director.
His audacious and mordant revisions of “La Maison de Bernarda” (The House of Bernarda) (1978), “Giselle” (1982), “Le sacre du printemps” (The Rite of Spring) (1984), “Le lac des cygnes” (Swan Lake) (1987), “Carmen” (1992) and “La belle au bois dormant” (Sleeping Beauty) (1996) confirmed his talent to dig deep into appearances to bring out the tormented psychology of the characters and to defy ballet conventions. His surrealist fables such as “Vieux Enfants” (1989) and “Etres Lumineux” (1991) transpose, through the bizarre, the complex relationships that can be developed between people.
Since leaving his position as director of the Cullberg Ballet (1993) and becoming a freelancer, Mats Ek has strived to denounce the ills of society through the difficulties encountered by couples and through the small everyday dramas of life. “A Sort of...” (1997) for the Nederlands Dans Theater, “Appartement” for the Opéra de Paris, “Fluke” (2002) for the repertoire of the Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon, “Aluminium” for the Compañia Nacional de Danza / Nacho Duato (2005), “Place” for Ana Laguna and Mikhail Baryshnikov (2007), “Radis noir” (2008) for the Ballet of the Royal Opera of Sweden. More than ever, Mats Ek strived to “dance for a reason… I want to reflect the image of reality”.
He also made his comeback in the theatre where he produced “Dans Med Nätsan” / “Danse avec ton prochain” (Dance with your neighbour) (1995), “Johanna sur Jeanne d'Arc” (1998) and directed works by Molière, Racine, Shakespeare, Strindberg, and the Gluck opera “Orphée et Eurydice” (Orpheus and Eurydice).
In twenty years, he has imposed his poignant vision of human behaviour, in a personal style that exacerbates the movement and fills the body with the distresses of the soul. In his psychoanalytical reinterpretations of the “classics”, just like in his sharp observation of the frustrations of individuals, he dares to display the essential.
Source : Opéra de Lyon (Josseline le Bourhis)
Author, filmmaker and video artist Charles Picq (1952-2012) entered working life in the 70s through theatre and photography. A- fter resuming his studies (Maîtrise de Linguistique - Lyon ii, Maîtrise des sciences et Techniques de la Communication - grenoble iii), he then focused on video, first in the field of fine arts at the espace Lyonnais d'art Contemporain (ELAC) and with the group « Frigo », and then in dance.
On creation of the Maison de la Danse in Lyon in 1980, he was asked to undertake a video documentation project that he has continued ever since. During the ‘80s, a decade marked in France by the explosion of contemporary dance and the development of video, he met numerous artists such as andy Degroat, Dominique Bagouet, Carolyn Carlson, régine Chopinot, susanne Linke, Joëlle Bouvier and regis Obadia, Michel Kelemenis. He worked in the creative field with installations and on-stage video, as well as in television with recorded shows, entertainment and documentaries.
His work with Dominique Bagouet (80-90) was a unique encounter. He documents his creativity, assisting with Le Crawl de Lucien and co-directing with his films Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux and 10 anges. in the 90s he became director of video development for the Maison de la Danse and worked, with the support of guy Darmet and his team, in the growing space of theatre video through several initiatives:
- He founded a video library of dance films with free public access. This was a first for France. Continuing the video documentation of theatre performances, he organised their management and storage.
- He promoted the creation of a video-bar and projection room, both dedicated to welcoming school pupils.
- He started «présentations de saisons» in pictures.
- He oversaw the DVD publication of Le tour du monde en 80 danses, a pocket video library produced by the Maison de la Danse for the educational sector.
- He launched the series “scènes d'écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library's digital conversion and created Numeridanse.
His main documentaries are: enchaînement, Planète Bagouet, Montpellier le saut de l'ange, Carolyn Carlson, a woman of many faces, grand ecart, Mama africa, C'est pas facile, Lyon, le pas de deux d'une ville, Le Défilé, Un rêve de cirque.
He has also produced theatre films: Song, Vu d'ici (Carolyn Carlson), Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux, 10 anges, Necesito and So schnell, (Dominique Bagouet), Im bade wannen, Flut and Wandelung (Susanne Linke), Le Cabaret Latin (Karine Saporta), La danse du temps (Régine Chopinot), Nuit Blanche (Abou Lagraa), Le Témoin (Claude Brumachon), Corps est graphique (Käfig), Seule et WMD (Françoise et Dominique Dupuy), La Veillée des abysses (James Thiérrée), Agwa (Mourad Merzouki), Fuenteovejuna (Antonio Gades), Blue Lady revistied (Carolyn Carlson).
Source: Maison de la Danse de Lyon
Ballet creation : 1967
Founder : Birgit Cullberg
Cullbergbaletten is the leading repertoire company for contemporary dance in Sweden. The company is an important contributor to the international presentation of dance and choreography with tours all over the world. Cullbergbaletten works with a range of international choreographers and artists. The company currently has 16 dancers from nearly as many countries, and guest dancers are continuously invited to various projects. Since its inception the individual quality of each dancer has been Cullbergbaletten’s defining characteristic.
By collaborating with choreographers and directors who are rooted in the contemporary field, Cullbergbaletten contributes strongly to the development of performing arts and dance as an art form. Cullbergbaletten’s activities encompass different projects and productions including workshops, conferences, seminars, and lectures. The directors are Gabriel Smeets and Stina Dahlström. Cullbergbaletten was founded in 1967 by Birgit Cullberg under the auspices of Riksteatern, the Swedish National Touring Theatre, of which it is still part.
Source : Ballet Website
More information : https://cullbergbaletten.se
La Maison de Bernarda
Choreography : Mats Ek
Set design : marie-Louise De Geer Bergenstrahle
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Biennale de la danse - Charles Picq, 1986
La Maison de Bernarda - Federico Garcia Lorca
La Maison de Bernarda - the house of Bernarda (1936), a drama in 3 acts by Federico Garcia Lorca.
Posthumous publication from 1945.
Written in 1936, just before the start of the Spanish Civil War, this play takes place in a small village in southern Spain following the funeral of Bernarda Albas second husband. After the mourners depart, the tyrannical matriarch announces to her five daughters that their period of mourning will last eight years. Obsessed with family honor, Bernarda rules the household with an iron fist, but all of her daughters secretly harbor a passion for Pepe el Romano, the handsomest man in the village.