Keep dancing – Danser Encore
The Lyon Opera Ballet will perform soli all over the CN D, in a choreographic circuit resulting from the meeting between one different dancer and one different choreographer for each solo. “Danser Encore” wishes to reflect the diversity of contemporary creation and immerse us into a living creative process for contemporary dance. Initiated in 2020 by Lyon Opera Ballet director Julie Guibert, the “Danser Encore” cycle relies on a desire to showcase the individuality of the company’s dancers and to support choreographic creation in the difficult context of a global pandemic by banking on the fertile dialogue between choreographers and performers. From the creation of tailored soli, “Danser Encore” exposes the team work of two people and highlights how diverse contemporary creation is. After conceiving 13 original soli, the Lyon Opera Ballet will continue the project by creating more pieces that will use all the resources of the body, image and movement. Occupying the entire space of the Centre national de la danse over the course of two days, over 10 soli will be performed in the studios and the Atrium, revealing the fragility, lightness, density and particular grain of each performer and the magnitude of their desire to dance.
Our current situation evokes contradictory feelings: we long to return to what we used to think of as “normal”, but we also hope for a better future. Period Piece tries to achieve both: revelling in “traditional” dance accompanied by music, and at the same time, trying to push beyond old limits. In 1973, Henryk Górecki composed Three Dances for Orchestra, which serves as the musical basis for this work. The music is structured by strong contrasts and driven by diverse influences, including Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, minimalism and the rhythm of folk music, all of which combined open the way for an extravagant dance, alternating pluses of energy with slow control. From a choreographic standpoint, the orchestral music calls for a large troupe of dancers, but Kristina alone is given the impossible task of rising above the great breadth of the musical expanse. This solo therefore also serves as a metaphor for the struggle we face as human beings, trying to understand and control forces far beyond ourselves. The old and the new, gravity and absurdity, restraint and exuberance all come together in this creation that celebrates the potential of human bodies and minds.
Source: programme of the CND
Jan Martens (° 1984, Belgium) studied at the Fontys Dance Academy in Tilburg and graduated in 2006 from the dance department of the Artesis Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp. Since 2010 he has been making his own choreographic work which, over the years, has been performed with increasing regularity before a national and international audience.
The work of Martens is nurtured by the belief that each body can communicate, that each body has something to say. That direct communication expresses itself in transparent forms. His work is a sanctuary in which the notion of time becomes tangible again and in which there is room for observation and emotion as well as reflection. To achieve this result he creates not so much a movement language of his own, but shapes and reuses existing idioms in a different context so that new ideas emerge. In each new work he tries to redraw the relation between public and performer.
Martens’ first production I CAN RIDE A HORSE WHILST JUGGLING SO MARRY ME (2010) was a portrait of a generation of young women in a society dominated by social networks. It was followed by two love duets that he made at Frascati Amsterdam. A SMALL GUIDE ON HOW TO TREAT YOUR LIFETIME COMPANION (2011) was selected for Aerowaves 2011 and SWEAT BABY SWEAT (2011) for the Dutch Dance Festival 2012 and Circuit X 2013. He then created three shows about unconventional beauty, with performers whose bodies you do not expect in the context of contemporary dance: BIS (2012) for the then 62-year-old Truus Bronkhorst, LA BETE (2013) for the young actress Joke Emmers, and VICTOR (2013), a duet for a boy and a grown man that Martens created with director Peter Seynaeve.
In 2014 Martens focused attention on the jump as movement in the group performance THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER (2014). The production was selected for the Flanders Theatre Festival and is still touring, just like Martens’ solo ODE TO THE ATTEMPT (2014) and the project THE COMMON PEOPLE (2016), a performance, social experiment and workshop in one, created in collaboration with film director Lukas Dhont. Martens’ show RULE OF THREE (2017) was a collaboration with the American sound artist NAH, and had its premiere at deSingel in Antwerp where Martens started his trajectory as creative associate in 2017. The performance got nominated for a Zwaan (Swan) in the category ‘most impressive dance production 2018.’ De Zwanen are seen as the most prestigious dance prize within the Dutch performing arts field.
In the 18/19 season, Martens engaged in three collaborations. Together with 13 youths and fABULEUS, he created PASSING THE BECHDEL TEST, a theatrical production in which the voices of the youths are interwoven with the voices of famous and less famous women from the present and the past. He also revised the successful 2011 production A SMALL GUIDE ON HOW TO TREAT YOUR LIFETIME COMPANION with two new dancers under the title PAULINE THOMAS as commissioned by CDCN Le Gymnase in Roubaix. In January 2019, Martens himself took the stage again in the solo lostmovements, in which he plunges into the universe of choreographer and friend Marc Vanrunxt (Kunst/Werk). In 19/20 Martens’ focus is on the premiere of any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones. A work for seventeen dancers between the ages of 15 and 68. The premiere – scheduled for April 24, 2020 at DE SINGEL (Antwerp, BE) was postponed due to the corona crisis and took in the end place on July 18 at Festival d’Avignon. On July 12, 2021 ELISABETH GETS HER WAY premiered at Julidans (Amsterdam, NL). This solo created and performed by Jan Martens is a danced portrait of the Polish-born Elisabeth Chojnacka (1939–2017), an exceptionally talented and passionate musician who contributed to the revival of harpsichord music in the middle of the twentieth century.
In 2014 Jan Martens founded, together with business manager Klaartje Oerlemans, the choreographic platform GRIP in Antwerp / Rotterdam, from where they jointly produce and distribute his work as well as support the work of Cherish Menzo and Steven Michel.
Source : https://www.grip.house/
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.).
Le Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon
As early as 1969, when arriving at the head of the “Opéra Nouveau de Lyon”, Louis Erlo gave a key place to dance. For the first time, an opera house outside of Paris consecrated to its ballet company entire events devoted to dance. Ever since, it has never stopped opening up to every kind of source, be it a stream or a river, close or far, harmonious or stormy. But, whatever the case, always talented. Right from the start, the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon has lived out this vivifying opening to the world, with its first directors, the Italian Vittorio Biagi, then the Yugoslav Milko Speremblek and the New-Zealander Gray Veredon, who were all in the neo-classical, Béjartian movement of the times.
But, as of 1985, it was Françoise Adret who gave the company a resolutely plural turn. “Mère Adret” as her dancers affectionately called her, had an eye, the gift of the gab and a large address book. Above all, Française had travelled widely and her mission was to give the troop a national and international dimension. She built up a repertory based on a twofold spectrum: great international choreographers who were still little demanded, (and not the least of them, including Jiří Kylián, Mats Ek, Nacho Duato or William Forsythe) and an opportunity given to “young French dance” (Mathilde Monnier, Maryse Delente, or Angelin Preljocaj)… In any troop, there are moments of grace. But, in Lyon, a lightning bolt was to change the course of history. In 1985, no one imagined that a magical doll (Maguy Marin’s Snow White) would provide the company with a world tour, with no fewer than three trips to the USA in just 1987… Three years later, Lyon did it again by creating the famous rereading of Romeo and Juliet by Angelin Prejlocaj. This was a fresh challenge (and, for the choreographer, his first important commission), and another memorable piece. The die was now cast … When, in 1991, the Greek ballet-master and director Yorkos Loukos replaced Françoise Adret, the trend was set and has continued to thrive until today, with an extremely open-minded “choreographic” palette. Maguy Marin, who had become resident choreographer, set off even more sparks when, in 1993, she inaugurated the new Opéra de Lyon with an offbeat version of Coppélia set in a popular bar in the suburbs of Lyon. With turnings-back towards the history of dance, views of the contemporary scene, visions of what it will be tomorrow, a plurality of styles, the ages of the choreographers, their origins, and backgrounds, the strength of the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon comes from the very absence of any particularity, except if it is the highly diverse repertory as sought out by Yorgos Loukos. It goes without saying that it attracts the public (who love novelty) and today’s young dancers, who like and are used to changes of style. Even the teachers are in constant motion, changing every month, so as to avoid any routine.
Today, the company has a repertory of 117 pieces, over half of which are creations. A list of the choreographers who have worked in Lyon is a reminder of the importance of the pioneers of new French dance (Mathilde Monnier, Jean-Claude Gallotta) and its young cousins (from Jérôme Bel to Christian Rizzo, Alain Buffard or Rachid Ouramdane). It also means meeting the guiding lights of modern American dance (Trisha Brown, Merce Cunningham, Lucinda Childs), from post-classic energy (William Forsythe, Benjamin Millepied) to the "next wave" (such as Otto Ramstad). It means exploring Belgian musicality (de Keersmaeker) Swedish theatricality (Mats Ek), Czech lyricism (Jiří Kylián), or Israeli power (Ohad Naharin, Emanuel Gat). It means getting used to seeing new talents (Tania Carvalho, Alessandro Sciarroni, Marina Mascarell..). It means… being at the confluences of a dance that has never been so open to the world.
Source: Opéra de Lyon 's website
More information : opera-lyon.com
Choreography : Jan Martens
Interpretation : Kristina Bentz
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Enregistré au CND le 14 octobre 2022 dans le cadre de "Danser Encore", un parcours chorégraphique composé de solos et proposé par le Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon
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