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Joyaux 2018 - Director : Cavassilas, Pierre

Choreographer(s) : Balanchine, George (Russian Federation)

Present in collection(s):

en fr

Joyaux 2018 - Director : Cavassilas, Pierre

Choreographer(s) : Balanchine, George (Russian Federation)

Present in collection(s):

en fr


Fervent admirateur des femmes, George Balanchine leur rend hommage dans Joyaux, œuvre inspirée de sa découverte des somptueuses vitrines du  joaillier Van Cleef & Arpels sur la Cinquième Avenue de New York.  Émeraudes, Rubis et Diamants se succèdent dans un triptyque savamment  orchestré, célébrant les capitales des trois grandes écoles de danse :  Paris, New York et Saint Pétersbourg. Pour compléter ce tableau lumineux et transformer le spectacle en fête, l’Opéra de Paris a fait appel en  l’An 2000 à l’œil du couturier Christian Lacroix pour l’entrée du ballet à son répertoire. Artisan de la beauté, il était le plus à même de traduire le rêve de Balanchine dans cette nouvelle conception des décors et costumes.

Source : Opéra de Paris

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Balanchine, George


An American dancer and choreographer of Russian origin.

Born in Saint Petersburg, the son of a Georgian composer, Balanchine joined the Mariinski Dance School by chance and graduated in 1921. In 1924, whilst on a tour with the Soviet State Dancers in Germany, he left his country and joined Diaghilev's Russian Ballet troupe as a dancer. Promoted to ballet master in 1925, he asserted his vocation as a choreographer and began a close partnership with Igor Stravinsky. When Diaghilev died in 1929, he worked sporadically in London (for the music hall), Copenhagen and Paris. He collaborated with the Russian Ballet of Monte Carlo (1931-1932), then, after meeting Edward James, the Anglo-American millionaire and surrealist arts patron, he founded the Ballets in 1933, with whom he performed several times in Paris and London. He went on to accept a proposal from L. Kirstein, to create a classical school in the United States and established himself in New York in August 1933 and became an American citizen in 1939. After creating the School of American Ballet (1934), he became director of the American Ballet. He was invited to create works for the Original Russian Ballet (1941), the American Ballet Caravan (1941), the Russian Ballet of Monte Carlo and the Paris Opera. From 1935 to 1951, he also choreographed for Broadway stages (“On Your Toes” in 1936; “Babes in Arms” in 1937; “Cabin in the Sky” in 1940; “Where's Charley?” in 1948) and for several Hollywood films with V. Zorina. But it was in particular as the director of the Ballet Society of the NYCB, from 1948 onwards, that he enjoyed a fertile and prestigious career.

His dance

Balanchine prioritized the danced element. Very early on, he deliberately distanced himself from dramatic narration and, although he created a few theme-based ballets (“Apollon Musagète” in 1927; “The Prodigal Son” in 1929; “La Sonnambula” in 1946; “Orpheus” in 1948 and “Nutcracker” in 1954), he did so by eliminating all pantomime and sought to recount the story clearly and exclusively through the expression of dance. He also arranged “ambience ballets”, which were, as such, without intrigue, but maintained the situations and/or the characters that the partition suggested (“Cotillon” in 1932; “Serenade” in 1934; “la Valse” in 1951; “Liebeslieder Walzer” in 1960 and “Tzigane” in 1975).

The music and how it was interpreted were the cornerstones of his work. For him “ballet is first and foremost a matter of tempo and space: space delimited by the stage and by time initiated by the music”. His most specific productions were theme-free ballets whose construction and form emanated from the musical source. Without illustrating, he allows a partition, that has been composed or not for dance, to be visualized, by building on the rhythmic structure, the melody and the harmonic development of the work selected: “Watch the music, listen to the dance” he advised. Although he had a preference for classical works, he also used a more modern registry and occasionally a popular or jazz one. Notwithstanding, his favourite composers were Tchaikovsky and in particular Stravinsky, with whom he created over thirty ballets.

Privileging scenographic denudation so that the regard could focus on the choreography, he generally opted for a bare stage and costumes that emphasized silhouettes, regularly imposing simple tunics and leotards.

Esteeming Petipa as his spiritual father, he was in keeping with the classical tradition and referred to academic steps so that he could in fact go beyond them. He developed a style that was characterized by an external appearance that was carried to the extreme, dynamic, precise and vigorous movements, haunched positions, complex combinations of steps that could even veer to the acrobatic, swiftness in performing that was in accordance with the tempi of the musical works that inspired him. He advocated formal beauty that tended towards pureness, technical virtuosity transcended by the performers' mastery and he gave preeminence to the dancer. He worked with a myriad of “muses”, ballerinas with long, slender legs and discreet silhouettes, that he often led to make their debut at a very young age.

Acclaimed as one of the greatest choreographers of the 20th century, he contributed to the “Americanization” of ballet and played a key role in the development of musicals, where he introduced classical dance and, paradoxically, the principles of narrative ballet.

Source : Larousse Dance Dictionary online

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Cavassilas, Pierre

Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris

Le Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris constitue le berceau de la danse  classique. Son origine remonte aux ballets de cour du règne de Louis XIV  et à l'Académie royale de danse, créée en 1661, où furent établis les  principes de base et les codes toujours en vigueur. Ne formant au départ  qu'un seul et même corps (la comédie-ballet), opéra et ballet se sont  peu à peu dissociés et ont pris chacun leur indépendance. L'Opéra a  toujours eu une double vocation de maintien de la tradition classique -  le Ballet de l'Opéra est une compagnie de répertoire - et d'ouverture à  la création contemporaine. Dès le XVIIIe siècle, danseurs et  chorégraphes français allèrent dispenser leur art à travers toute  l'Europe, recevant en retour l'influence de l'étranger (en particulier  d'Italie et de Russie) ; aujourd'hui encore sont invités à l'Opéra les  plus grands chorégraphes et danseurs du moment.

Source : Ivor Guest, Le Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris : Trois siècles d'histoire et de tradition. 2001, Flammarion : Paris. 336p.

Joyaux (Rubis)

Choreography : George Balanchine

Interpretation : Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris

Original music : Igor Stravinsky

Lights : Jennifer Tipton

Costumes : Christian Lacroix


Créé en 1972 et dirigé par Antoine Perset depuis 2004, Telmondis est l'un des plus grands producteurs audiovisuels français de spectacles vivants haut de gamme : opéra, ballet, théâtre et cirque de renommée mondiale, spectacles musicaux, danse classique et contemporaine, jazz, musiques du monde et documentaires.

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