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Slow, heavy and blue

Slow, heavy and blue

Slow, heavy and blue

This ballet was designed by Carolyn Carlson for the dancers of the Groupe de Recherches Théâtres de l'Opéra de Paris (GRTOP). Having settled in France in 1971, the choreographer was named Étoile-choreographer at the Opéra de Paris in 1974 by Rolf Liebermann. The latter gave her the opportunity to develop her very special work with the creation of the GRTOP Group within which the choreographer and her dancers would devote themselves to the most widely varying research. In all nine volunteers signed up for this adventure: Jean-Christophe Paré, Serge Daubrac as sujets; Jean-Marie Didière, Katia Grey, Fanny Gaida as coryphées; Bruno Lehaut as quadrille; Carole Arbonies, Marie-Claude Pietragalla, Eric Vu-An. Slow, heavy and blue is one of the works resulting from this research within the group initiated by Carolyn Carlson.

Carlson, Carolyn

California-born Carolyn Carlson defines herself first and foremost as a nomad. From San Francisco Bay to the University of Utah, from the Alwin Nikolais company in New York to Anne Béranger’s in France, from Paris Opera Ballet to Teatrodanza La Fenice in Venice, from the Théâtre de la Ville de Paris to Helsinki, from Ballet Cullberg to La Cartoucherie in Paris, from the Venice Biennale to Roubaix, Carlson is a tireless traveller, always seeking to develop and share her poetic universe.

She arrived in France in 1971 the beneficiary of Alwin Nikolais’s ideas about movement, composition and teaching. The following year, with Rituel pour un rêve mort, she wrote a poetic manifesto that defined an approach to her work that she has adhered to ever since: dance that is strongly oriented towards philosophy and spirituality. Carlson prefers the term ‘visual poetry’ to ‘choreography’ to describe her work. She creates works that express her poetic thoughts and a form of complete art within which movement occupies a special place. 

For four decades, Carlson has had significant influence and success in many European countries. She played a key role in the birth of French and Italian contemporary dance through the GRTOP (theatre research group) at Paris Opera Ballet and Teatrodanza at La Fenice.

She has created over 100 pieces, a large number of which are landmarks in the history of dance, including Density 21.5, The Year of the Horse, Blue Lady, Steppe, Maa, Signes, Writings on Water and Inanna. In 2006, her work was rewarded with the first ever Golden Lion given to a choreographer by the Venice Biennale.

Nowadays, Carolyn Carlson is director of two organisations: the Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carlson, an international centre for masterclasses, residencies and creating new works, which she founded in 1999 and the National Choreographic Centre Roubaix Nord-Pas de Calais until December 2013, which produces and tours shows all over the world.


More information: en.carolyn-carlson.com

Groupe de recherche chorégraphique de l'Opéra de Paris (GRCOP)

Le groupe de recherche chorégraphique de l'Opéra de Paris (Paris Opera Choreographic Research Group) is a group of twelve dancers of the  Paris Opera Ballet founded by Jacques Garnier in 1981.
Focusing  on contemporary creation, the GRCOP invites established choreographers  such as Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham, Karole Armitage, Lucinda Childs  and young French designers like Régine Chopinot, Maguy Marin, François  Verret, Karine Saporta and Philippe Decouflé, for classically trained  dancers but of contemporary aspiration.
Filling a mission within the Paris Opera, the GRCOP was set up only eight years ago for a metro dance awareness work.

Slow, heavy and blue

Choreography : Carolyn Carlson

Interpretation : Groupe de Recherche Chorégraphique de l'Opéra de Paris

Original music : René Aubry

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Henk van Dijk, Het Nationale Ballet of Amsterdam

Duration : 41'23

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