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L'Oiseau de feu

Maison de la danse 2023 - Directors : Plasson, Fabien - Belanger, Juliette

Choreographer(s) : Malandain, Thierry (France)

Present in collection(s): Maison de la danse , Saisons 2020 > 2024

Video producer : Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon

en fr

L'Oiseau de feu

Maison de la danse 2023 - Directors : Plasson, Fabien - Belanger, Juliette

Choreographer(s) : Malandain, Thierry (France)

Present in collection(s): Maison de la danse , Saisons 2020 > 2024

Video producer : Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon

en fr

L'Oiseau de feu

 

A danced tale by choreographer Michel Fokine with music by Igor Stravinsky, The Firebird  premiered at the Paris Opera on June 25, 1910 performed by Serge  Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. “Ivan Tsarevich one day sees a marvellous  bird, all gold and flames; he pursues it without being able to catch it,  and only succeeds in plucking one of its glittering feathers, thus  begins the libretto taken from traditional Russian tales”. But it is not  the portrait of this bird that we are going to draw, nor is it the one  George Balanchine made in 1949 based on this theme about the 1945  orchestral suite for the New York City Ballet. Stravinsky who took three  suites from his ballet in 1910, 1919 and 1945, said, “I prefer  Balanchine’s choreography for the 1945 version of The Firebird suite to  Fokine’s ballet ensemble and for the music as well – the music for the  complete ballet is too long and the quality is inconsistent” (1).

Like Balanchine, we use the 1945 concert suite, Maurice Béjart, whose  version I danced in 1979 at the Ballet du Rhin, having danced the  shorter version from 1919 at the Paris Opera in 1970. A bird of hope, or  a revolutionary icon guiding partisans wearing battledress, Béjart  explained in his foreword, “Stravinsky, a Russian musician, Stravinsky, a  revolutionary musician. […] The Firebird is the phoenix rising from its ashes. The poet, like the revolutionary, is a firebird” (2).  For our part, we should remember that birds symbolise the connection  between heaven and earth, even that the phoenix decaying to be reborn  personifies the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of Christ  in Christianity. For the rest, in his commentary on the score, the  composer Reynaldo Hahn wrote in 1910, “a very pure, very strong breeze,  coming from high above” (3). Hence the temptation to make The Firebird  a courier of light bringing consolation and hope to the hearts of men,  like Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of nature who conversed with  his brothers the birds, whether they were beautiful, radiant with great  splendour, or mere sparrows.


Source: Malandain Ballet Biarritz

More information: malandainballet.com

Malandain, Thierry

Born on the 13th April 1959 in Petit-Quevilly, Thierry Malandain followed the usual path of a classical dancer but with a strong taste for the unconventional and an unusual tenacity. Violette Verdy, who chaired the Prix de Lausanne at which Thierry Malandain competed in 1978, hired him to join the Paris Opera Ballet for the season 1977-1978. There, he met Jean Sarelli, who was then "The" ballet master, and followed him when Sarelli took over the direction of the Ballet du Rhin. Thierry Malandain stayed in Mulhouse until 1980 and then joined the Ballet Théâtre Français de Nancy, directed by Hélène Traïline and Jean-Albert Cartier, until 1986. He successfully made his first experiences as a choreographer during the six years he stayed in Lorraine. In 1984, he won the 1st Prize of the Volinine competition with Quatuor op3, to a score by Guillaume Lekeu. In 1985 and 1986, he succeeded Maguy Marin as winner of the 1st Prize of Nyon choreographic competition in Switzerland with Sonatine, to a score by Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Métamorphosis, to the music of Benjamin Britten. 

In 1986, Thierry Malandain made a bet. He left the Ballet Théâtre Français de Nancy with eight dancers and set up the Compagnie Temps Présent in Elancourt (78), in the suburbs of Paris. He deliberately chose to get off the beaten track and undertake a mammoth task. The following season, he was awarded by the Fondation de la Vocation and the Fondation Oulmont and won the 1st Prize of La Baule choreographic competition, the 1st Prize of Vaison-la-Romaine choreographic competition and the Prix de la Nuit des Jeunes Créateurs in Paris with Angelin Preljocaj and Claude Brumachon. Thierry Malandain began to make himself known as a promising young talent thanks to several works: ­­L'Homme aux semelles de vent (1986), created to the music of Benjamin Britten and staged again under the title Les Illuminations (1989) for the dancer Patrick Dupond and the Ballet National de Nancy, Edgar Allan Poe (1988), to scores by Claude Debussy and André Caplet, and especially Folksongs (1986), choreographed to the music of Benjamin Britten and performed by several companies, including the Ballet de Tours of Jean-Christophe Maillot. As people only talked about the “jeune danse française” in 1988, Thierry Malandain, like his colleagues, contributed to the development of dance in the suburbs while proclaiming his attachment to the vocabulary of classical dance. He even created ballets for opera house companies, such as Danses qu'on croise (1987), choreographed to the music of Johannes Brahms for the Ballet de l'Opéra de Nantes. His unique positioning was confusing for the French choreographic community but not for the international audience. On the contrary, people, especially in Belgium, started to talk about the French choreographer who achieved the feat of creating Les Sylphides, to the music of Frédéric Chopin for the Ballet royal de Wallonie, and Petite Lune, to a score by Dmitri Shostakovitch for the Royal Ballet of Flanders, in the same year (1990).

In 1991, Thierry Malandain created Pulcinella by Igor Stravinsky on the stage of the previously called Maison de la Culture in Saint-Etienne. At this time, the director Jean-Louis Pichon was trying to turn the institution into an Opera Theatre—named L’Esplanade in 1994. He needed a choreographer who would be sensitive to music and able to have a strong presence on the ground. He invited the Compagnie Temps Présent for a residence in Saint-Etienne. This event marked the beginning of a collaboration that lasted six years.

In 1997, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and the City of Biarritz offered Thierry Malandain to set up the first classical Centre Chorégraphique Contemporain in the Basque coastal resort of Biarritz. It happened so fast that the Centre Chorégraphique National - Ballet Biarritz opened in September 1998 in the Gare du Midi, a large building abandoned by trains and whose two big square towers overlook Biarritz pleasant gardens.

In 2003, Ballet Biarritz took a major creative step with Les Créatures, choreographed to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. This powerful, graphic and ambitious work engendered a feeling of maturity and poise that earned the Ballet greater recognition. For the first time in its history, the troupe officially performed in Paris (Théâtre national de Chaillot) thanks to Dominique Hervieu and José Montalvo, while Les Créatures were nominated at the Benois de la Danse in Moscow and received the Critics Prize at the 19th International Ballet Festival of Havana in Cuba. In 2004, Le Sang des Etoiles confirmed the company’s success. The CCN then became one of the most productive choreographic centres, with the biggest number of performances per year and a strong international presence. The institution also grew in strength. 

In August 2009, Thierry Malandain was made an “officier” in the Order of Arts and Letters. The new name of the company, "Malandain Ballet Biarritz", heralded a new era for the choreographer. Two new creations followed: Magifique (2009), to the music of Piotr Illitch Tchaikovsky and Roméo et Juliette (2010) by Hector Berlioz. Both found favour with audiences and critics. For the second time of his career, Thierry Malandain collaborated with a composer, Guillaume Connesson, resulting in the ballet Lucifer (2011). The score was interpreted by the Orchestre de Pau Pays de Béarn, conducted by Fayçal Karoui, who is also the musical director of the New York City Ballet. 

In 2013, as Malandain Ballet Biarritz gave more than hundred performances per year, Thierry Malandain created Cendrillon to the music of Sergei Prokofiev to the request of Laurent Bruenner, the director of the Opéra royal de Versailles. The performances of this ballet were given on the wonderful stage of the Royal Opera of the Palace of Versailles with the accompaniment of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi from Donostia-San Sebastián, conducted by Josep Caballé-Domenech. A triumph of humanity, Cendrillon was unanimously acclaimed by the press and audiences. In 2014, Thierry Malandain was named “Best Choreographer” at the Taglioni European Ballet Awards, organised by the Malakhov Foundation in Berlin.


Source : Malandain Ballet’s website


More on : http://malandainballet.com/

Plasson, Fabien

Born in 1977, Fabien Plasson is a video director specialized in the field of performing arts (dance , music, etc).

During his studies at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon (joined in 1995) Fabien discovered video art. He was trained by various video artists (Joel Bartoloméo Pascal Nottoli , Eric Duyckaerts , etc).
He first experimented with the creation of installations and cinematic objects.

From 2001 to 2011, he was in charge of Ginger & Fred video Bar’s programming at La Maison de la Danse in Lyon. He discovered the choreographic field and the importance of this medium in the dissemination, mediation and pedagogical approach to dance alongside Charles Picq, who was a brilliant video director and the director of the video department at that time.

Today, Fabien Plasson is the video director at La Maison de la Danse and in charge of the video section of Numeridanse.tv, an online international  video library, and continues his creative activities, making videos of concerts, performances and also creating video sets for live performances.

Sources: Maison de la Danse ; Fabien Plasson website

More information: fabione.fr

Belanger, Juliette

Juliette Belanger is a director and editor, mainly in the field of live performance (theater, dance, music, etc.).

It was during her first years of study in Métiers des Arts et de la Culture, which she began in Lille in 2018 and finished in Paris in 2021, that Juliette developed her skills and taste for images and video creation. 

She soon became intrigued by the world of live performance, and her first professional experiences began in 2019. Between theater festivals, companies and other production associations, she discovers and defends the stakes of video for the dissemination of live performance. She completed her university studies in 2022, taking the Licence Professionnelle Techniques et Pratiques Artistiques du montage at Lyon II.  

She discovered the world of dance in 2023, working with Fabien Plasson, video director at the Pôle Image de la Maison de la Danse. 

Today, she produces and edits video footage of theater and dance performances for various festivals, companies and cultural events, while continuing to create various video content around the performing arts (reports on creations, artist portraits, etc.).

Malandain Ballet Biarritz

With more than eighty works to his credit, Thierry Malandain developed a very personal vision of dance. Deeply linked to the concept of "Ballet" as an aesthetic movement, he gives priority to the dancing body and the celebration of its sensuality and humanity.

Men and Dance are in the heart and soul of Malandain Ballet Biarritz.

Deep human values underpin Thierry Malandain’s approach, as he leads a troupe of performers who master the grammar of classical dance with a contemporary expression. His search for meaning and aesthetics led to a timeless tough energetic and sober style, which draws its wealth from the roots of dance as well as a dynamic vision of this art. 

"My culture and my genetic heritage come from classical dance and I assuredly remain attached to it. While I gladly admit that some of classical dance’s artistic and social codes are from another time, they give me the information I need to run and develop this company as an organism. As DNA found in all living cells and passed down through generations, this information might be altered over time to result in species diversity and evolution. That is why my dancing style leaves room for variation. Considered as a classical choreographer for some, a contemporary one for others or even seen as hereditarily neoclassical, I am simply on the lookout for a dance I like. A dance that would not only leave traces of pleasure but that would also revive the essence of the Sacred as an answer to the difficulty of being."

Throughout his creations that might be both serious and bold, Thierry Malandain is committed to developing a writing whose goal is to find harmony between classical and contemporary dance and between history and today's world. He then alternates between his own versions of classical ballets, like Roméo et Juliette, Cendrillon, Casse Noisette or L’Après-Midi d’un faune, and pure creations, such as Magifique, Une Dernière Chanson, Estro, and Lucifer, choreographed to a previously unreleased score composed by Guillaume Connesson. 

Thierry Malandain is also open-minded towards the works of his contemporaries, as evidenced by the numerous aesthetically different choreographers he supports through the Centre Chorégraphique National in the framework of the Accueil Studio or Le Temps d'Aimer festival in Biarritz, for which he works as artistic director.

L'Oiseau de feu

Choreography : Thierry Malandain

Original music : Igor Stravinski

Lights : François Menou

Costumes : Jorge Gallardo, Véronique Murat, Charlotte Margnoux

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Donostia Kultura - Victoria Eugenia Antzokia -Donostia / San Sebastián (Espagne) – Ballet T, Chaillot-Théâtre national de la Danse – Paris, Théâtre des Salins, Scène nationale – Martigues, Le Cratère – Scène nationale Alès, Opéra de Reims, La Rampe – Scène conventionnée Echirolles, Opéra de Saint Etienne, CCN Malandain Ballet Biarritz

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Maison de la Danse de Lyon - Fabien Plasson, 2023

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