Un voyage d'hiver
What makes Schubert’s piece so moving is its ambivalence: emotion stems from the conjunction between a popular, almost cheerful theme, and a play on tonalities which makes it dark. Such darkely tinged cheerfulness gives A Winter Journey its climate.
The creation of A Winter Journey helps questioning the baroque musical and choreographic heritage in the pre-romantic period. It seems that there was no rupture but a soft evolution. Such strong cycles such as Schubert’s A Winter Journey are composed with a succession of simple and regular tunes. The form of these strophes evoque the structure of baroque dances, and the movement still seems to be at the origin of the music’s rhythmic writing. Here, the march, a recurring element of the Winterreise, becomes the symbol of a quest.
The seven dancers and the two musicians (a barytone and a pianist) form a friendly group akin to the “Schubertiades” of old; an exclusive audience for Schubert’s work in the master’s lifetime. They tell a story without a real hero. They travel together in a fairy land called “music” that initiates the journey materialized by the mobility of the piano. Its symbolic journey transforms the theatrical and choreographic space.
The abstraction of this musical journey opens the imaginary and helps for the removal of the lyrics’ narration. A nostalgic climate settles, playing with the ambivalence of a soft-coloured choreography, as well as a music which inexorably crosses over to dark lands.
"Schubert was surely a double nature. His Viennese cheerfulness was ennobled by a trait of deep melancholy. So he was: inwardly poet whereas externally he seemed a sort of jovial fellow. And as people mostly judge on the external appearance and because this one did not fit to the usual and traditional savoir-faire in society, the daily companion could seem to some people much better than the bad-polished bard of the Müllerlieder or of the Winterreise."
Franz Schubert, Brigitte Massin, Paris, Edition Fayard, 1993, p. 259
After dancing for several contemporary companies, including that of Susan Buirge, Béatrice Massin was engaged by Ris et Danceries in 1983, where for the next ten years she mixed performing with repertoire research, assistantship and choreography. She choreographed “Water Music” by Handel at the Metz Arsenal (1990), “Bastien et Bastienne” (1991), Mozart's “Les Petits Riens” (1991) for the Tourcoing opera workshop and also devised the choreography for “Medée”, set to music by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1983).
In late 1993, Béatrice Massin founded her own company, Fêtes Galantes, for whom she devises one show each year. These are reconstructions of pieces from the baroque repertoire, but, above all, creations using the choreographic vocabulary of the seventeenth century: "Charpentier des ténèbres”, “Carte du tender, “Pipinone”, “Trio triptyque” and most recently, “Que ma joie demeure”. From December 1999 to July 2000, Béatrice Massin devised and directed the choreography for Gérard Corbiau's film “Le roi danse”. In September 2001, Béatrice Massin was invited by the Ballet de Lorraine to devise three baroque choreographies, which include "Noir, du côté de Callot” inspired by Callot's etchings.
Alongside her research and choreographic work, she presents educational programmes at Opéra Bastille, the Cité de la Musique and CND (National Dance Centre) in the form of danced lecture-recitals, courses and workshops. She offers the opportunity to discover baroque court dance as well as reconstructions of pieces from the baroque repertoire.
Source : Website of the Compagnie Fetes galantes
Further information : Company Website
Digital Resource by the Médiathèque du Centre national de la danse
Un voyage d'hiver
Artistic direction / Conception
Cyril Accorsi, Céline Angibaud, Béatrice Aubert, Bruno Benne, Laura Brembilla, Laurent Crespon et Adeline Lerme
Winterreise, Franz Schubert
Philippe Cantor (baryton), Didier Puntos / Mara Dobresco (pianistes)
Jean-Michel Angays et Stéphane Laverne
Michel Tardif (construction du piano-mobile)