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Lied Ballet

'Lied Ballet' is a modern piece that brings together two major forms of the romantic era: one choreographic, the other musical. 

Using lieder texts as a handbook and an original source of choreographic writing, this production makes its mark on the movements of the past. It flirts with the narrative or formal composition of ballet and skips between the melodious thematics so central to romanticism. Death, love, nature, wanderings, solitude are just some of the common themes between these two forms that have nevertheless taken opposite paths: the folk songs that have become high art, or the shows made for the bourgeoisie which today feature in the Zénith theatres, all the while being ignored by the ‘innovative’ arts. Lied and ballet, through their distinct evolutions, examine the place of social issues and tolerance in the world of culture. 

With and through them, I want to question the potential "free space" for contemporary creativity, summoning here the concepts of heritage and transmission in a fragile artistic climate where the live show is often marred with elements of commercialism or voluntary inaccessibility. 

The first act, based on the strength of simple movement, guided by verse and dreams, cadenced by the post-mortem photos of the Victorian era, brings together dead children or a sweet, pale young girl, the forsaken bourgeoisie on the brink of madness, an ill-fated poet crumbling under the weight of the world... Supported by the insistent strings of 'Chukrum' a piece for a string orchestra by Giacinto Scelsi, this act puts forth a pared-down, pictorial pantomime, rattled by the inner turbulence of the performer. 

The second act, on the lieder of Berg, Mahler and Schönberg, gives the eight dancers precise, spirited choreographic parts which map out spaces that foster the variations, pas de deux and pas de trois that we know from ballet. With its minutial relationship with music, this act also examines the idea of a modern-day virtuosity that might not be what we expect. Priority is thus given to the individual qualities and singularities of the dancers, the performers – which for me is essential – but also to poetry, lyricism and the pleasure of dance. An act of enchanted resistance, if you will. 

A third chorus act, written for a musical composition by David François Moreau, softens and redefines the social issue, quickens the rhythm and traps the individual in an infinite loop in the footsteps of the elders, the strangers, the disappeared or the eradicated. In the very moment of the action, this individual is carried away by us in a form of inescapable language. When the same dance emerges differently from the same body or others, it is an act of resistance and accepted references. 

The dance of today was not born yesterday. The dance of tomorrow already knows that.


Source : Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Lebrun, Thomas

Thomas Lebrun has danced for Bernard Glandier, Daniel Larrieu, Christine Bastin, Christine Jouve and Pascal Montrouge, and founded the Illico company in 1998, after composing the solo “Cache Ta Joie!“. Based in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, he was first of all an associated artist at Vivat, Armentières (2003-2005) before taking on a similar role in 2006 at Danse à Lille CDC (Centre for Choreographic Development). “On prendra bien le temps d'y être”, “(La) Trêves” “Les Soirées What You Want?”, “Switch”, “Itinéraire d'un danseur grassouillet” and now “La Constellation Consternée” are all works that are also aesthetic worlds which are explored, allying demanding and precise dance with an assertive theatricality.

Thomas Lebrun has also composed a number of pieces in collaboration, notably with the Swiss choreographer Foofwa d'Imobilité (“Le Show” / “Un Twomen Show”) and the French choreographer Cécile Loyer (Que tál!), and makes training and teaching a priority. She teaches at the CND (National Dance Centre) in Pantin and Lyon, Ménagerie de Verre, La Rochelle Conservatoire, Balletéatro de Porto, etc.

He has also choreographed for foreign companies, such as the Liaonning National Ballet in China, Grupo Tapias in Brazil (a solo and, in 2009, a quintet for the Year of France in Brazil) and for Loreta Juodkaité, the Lithuanian dancer

in the 2009 edition of the New Baltic Dance Festival in Vilnius et for FranceDanse Vilnius managed by  CulturesFrance (Vilnius, European cultural capital 2009).

In 2012, Thomas Lebrun becomes the new artistic director for the Centre chorégraphique national de Tours.

Further information

CCN Tours

Last update : May 2011

Birraux, Jean-Marc

Jean-Marc  Birraux has been a director since 1995 for M6, Mezzo, France3, Paris Première, France2, Arte Live Web or even Arte.

Lied Ballet

Choreography : Thomas Lebrun

Interpretation : Maxime Camo, Anthony Cazaux, Raphaël Cottin, Anne-Emmanuelle Deroo, Tatiana Julien, Anne-Sophie Lancelin, Matthieu Patarozzi, Léa Scher

Original music : David François Moreau

Live music : Benjamin Alunni (Chant), Thomas Besnard (ténor Piano)

Additionnal music : Giacinto Scelsi, Alban Berg, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schönberg

Lights : Jean-Marc Serre

Costumes : Jeanne Guellaff, Sylvie Ryser

Sound : Mélodie Souquet

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : CCN de Tours

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Maison de la Danse de Lyon

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