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Orphée & Eurydice

 Choreography: Frédéric Flamand
Scenography, images & costumes: Hans Op de Beeck
Music: C.W. Gluck version H. Berlioz
Choreographical assistant: Yasuyuki Endo
Light Design: Frédéric Flamand & Bertrand Blayo
Created: 13/06/2012 - Opéra Théâtre de Saint Etienne (F)
17 danseurs/dancers
1h30mn
Coproduction Opéra Théâtre de Saint Etienne (F)

 

The story behind the opera is well known. Orpheus is mourning the death of Eurydice when Amor, sent by Jupiter, suggests he go to the Underworld to find her on condition that he pacifies the
Furies with his singing, does not look at his beloved and does not explain his actions to her.
This mythical dimension provides the inspiration for Frédéric Flamand's work. It is the first time he has staged an opera and he is being supported in his resolutely innovative approach with a set
design by the Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck, famous around the globe for his visual art.

A harmonious, aesthetically impeccable show (…); once again the excellent dancers of the Ballet National de Marseille are remarkable and exhibit remarkable energy and elegance.
Raphael de Gubernatis, LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR

Flamand, Frédéric

In 1973 Frédéric Flamand founded the group Plan K: here he questioned the status and representation of the human body by integrating plastic arts and audiovisual techniques into live performance.

From the outset Plan K developed its activities on an international scale, and the recognition from which it benefited abroad allowed it to establish its status.  Convinced of the importance for a company to be tethered to a place which allowed meetings and gatherings, in 1979 Frédéric Flamand opened a multi-arts centre in Brussels in an old sugar mill. Artists from various disciplines were welcomed here, such as Bob Wilson, William Burroughs, Charlemagne Palestine, Steve Lacy, Pierre Droulers, Philippe Decouflé, Marie Chouinard, Michael Galasso, Thomas Schütte, Joy Division, Eurythmics, etc… ‘La Raffinerie’ (The Refinery) is also a place of work, where an international dialogue between dance, plastic arts, music, and audiovisual arts takes place, hence perpetuating Plan K’s initial mission.

In 1987 Frédéric Flamand met the venetian artist Fabrizio Plessi.  Together they would develop a trilogy which approached the problem of technology envisioned in three different time periods: “La Chute d'Icare” (The fall of Icarus) (1989) considers the Renaissance and craft techniques.  The creation of Icarus at “La Monnaie” would reinforce Frédéric Flamand’s presence on large international stages.

Next were “Titanic” (1992) which talks about the industrial revolution at the beginning of the twentieth century, and “Ex Machina” which evokes the end of the twentieth century and the spread of image and communication technologies.

In 1991, Frédéric Flamand was appointed as the artistic director of the “Ballet Royal de Wallonie”, a neoclassical company which he renamed “Charleroi/Danses, Centre chorégraphique de la Communauté française de Belgique”.

In 1996, Frédéric Flamand begun his consideration of the relationships of dance and architecture, both being arts of structure and space.  For the show “Moving Target”, he chose to work with New York architects Elisabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, taking inspiration from the uncensored diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky, one of the first classical ballet dancers to build the bridge towards contemporary dance.

Following this was the creation of the shows “E.J.M 1” and “E.J.M. 2”, based on the works of Edward James Muybridge and Etienne Jules Marey, still in collaboration with Elisabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio. “E.J.M. 2” was staged for the “Ballet de l’Opéra National de Lyon”, while “E.J.M 1” was made for the “Compagnie Charleroi/Danses – Plan K”.

In 2000, Frédéric Flamand created “Metapolis” with the iraqi-british architect Zaha Hadid, the 2004 winner of the Pritzker Prize, which is equivalent in architecture to winning the Nobel Prize.  This same year he met Jean Nouvel. Their collaboration resulted in the creation of “The Future of Work”, a show which would be viewed by over 600 000 people during its five month run.  This achievement adhered perfectly to Frédéric Flamand’s preoccupation with gaining the largest possible audiences for the art of dance.  In 2001 he created the double show “Body/Work” and “Body/Work/Leisure” as an extension of his collaboration with the architect Jean Nouvel.

The Venice Biennale entrusted to him the artistic direction of the First International Contemporary Dance Festival of the Venice Biennale in 2003.  He opened the festival with the creation of “Silent Collisions”, directed with californian architect Thom Mayne.

In September 2004, he was jointly appointed as General Director of the “Ballet National de Marseille” by the minister of Communication and Culture in the City of Marseille and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region.

He created “La Cité Radieuse” (The Radiant City) with french architect Dominique Perrault, “Metamorphoses” with the renowned brazilian designers Humberto & Fernando Campana, and “La Vérité 25X par seconde” (The Truth 25X per second), with chinese architect-plastic artist Ai Weiwei.

Frédéric Flamand also enriched the Ballet National de Marseille’s repertoire by inviting external choreographers including William Forsythe, Lucinda Childs, Nacho Duato, the french Thierry Malandain, Michel Kelemenis, and Olivia Grandville & Eric Oberdorff, and the belgian Michèle Noiret, …

Frédéric Flamand is an Official in the “Ordre des Arts et Lettres de la République Française”.

Hans Op de Beeck

Hans  Op de Beeck (Turnhout, 1969) is a Belgian artist who lives and works in  Anderlecht where he has been pursuing his career for the last twenty  years through international exhibitions.
Hans  Op de Beeck’s work consists of sculptures, installations, videos,  photographs, animated films, drawings, paintings and writings (short  stories). His  quest for the most effective modality for conveying the concrete  content of each work determines the medium for which the artist  ultimately chooses. The  scale can vary from a small watercolour to a monumental  three-dimensional installation on 600 m2. In addition to a wide variety  of media, the artist deliberately makes use of a wide variety of  aesthetic forms, ranging from a minimalist visual language to overloaded  creations, exuberant, with a constant concern to articulate the content  of the work as precisely as possible.

ORPHEE & EURYDICE

The mythical dimension provides the inspiration for Flamand's work and it's the first time he has staged an opera
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