Devised during the First World War, this ballet answers Diaghilev's desire to change his artistic universe and introduce the modernist orientation that the Ballet Russes would follow. As the war and the revolution had cut him off from Russia, he now called upon western collaborators, notably Pablo Picasso. The latter was fascinated by the ballet world he saw, and his personality soon dominated the whole production of the work. Picasso liked the subject matter of the ballet, as he had a predilection for the theme of acrobats himself. The two trends shown in his work during his stay in Italy can be seen in the relatively realistic backdrop and also in the cubist-style sets and costumes. As for Satie's music, this contributes a concise modernity full of clarity and humour, which is not afraid of making the occasional incursion into jazz.
Source : Maison de la Danse programme
Trained in theatre and dance at the Bolshoi Theatre School, he joined the Ballet in 1912. In 1913 he was engaged by Serge Diaghilev for the Ballets Russes, where he was the first to dance the title role in “The Legend of Joseph” and completed his training with Enrico Cecchetti. He choreographed his first ballet, “Midnight Sun”, in 1915 and from then on embarked upon a double career as both dancer and choreographer. He left the Ballets Russes in 1921, danced in South America and in Great Britain, came back to choreography for the “Soirées d'Etienne de Beaumont” (1924) and returned to work for Diaghilev from 1925 to 1928, also contributing to shows for the Cochran Review in London (1925-1926) and the Roxy Theater in New York until 1930. He collaborated with the Rubinstein company (1928 et 1931) and, from 1932, with the Monte-Carlo Ballets Russes. He was guest choreographer at the American Ballet Theater in New York (1942-1943), and at the Marquis de Cuevas' Ballet International in 1944. In 1945-1946, he directed his own company, Ballet Russe Highlights, then returned to Europe where he created or revived works for Sadler's Wells Ballet, the Ballets des Champs Élysées, La Scala Milan, the Opéra-comique in Paris, the Marquis de Cuevas' Grand Ballet and Rome Opera House. In 1960, he founded Balletto Europeo for the Nervi festival. He was invited to revive his work all over the world right up until his death.
A dancer adulated by audiences for his stage presence and vivacity, he excelled in character and demi-character roles and translated the diversity of styles with a great sense of movement and theatricality. He performed little of the repertoire, appearing in the tarantella in “Swan Lake” at the Bolshoi, and although he appeared at the Ballet Russes in Michel Fokine's works, he went on to dance in his own ballets, marking them with his own personality: the Chinaman in “Parade”, the Miller in “The Three-Cornered Hat”, the Cancan Dancer in “La Boutique Fantasque”, the Peruvian Tourist in “Gaîté Parisienne”, the Hussar in “Beau Danube Bleu” (1933) and the Young Musician in “Symphonie Fantastique”. His many experimental choreographies display his sense of humour and taste for burlesque, his fondness for dance with a Russian, Spanish or Commedia dell'Arte character, and his interest in modern art. He made a success of tackling religious themes. In all his works, he imposed a modern concept of academic dance in the neoclassical style. His movement, marked by an angular aesthetic, integrated comic facial expression into dance and favoured spontaneous and vivacious movement in choreographies which do not allow for the slightest pause.
Source: Dictionnaire de la Danse, Philippe Le Moal, Larousse, 1999
More information : massine-ballet.com
Erik Satie est un compositeur français de la fin du XIXème et du début du XXème siècle ; il se rattache à la musique moderne. Il est connu pour son style particulier, caustique et personnel, dirigé notamment contre les conventions du romantisme.
Satie commence l’apprentissage de la musique auprès de l’organiste de Honfleur, puis entre au Conservatoire de Paris où il obtient des résultats médiocres. Ses premières mélodies sont publiées dès 1887 par son père (Gymnopédies); dès cette période, Satie est précurseur dans plusieurs domaines qui s'épanouiront bien plus tard : musique graphique (absence de barres de mesure) et conceptuelle, musique de collage.
Il s’installe à Montmartre et travaille comme pianiste-accompagnateur au cabaret Le Chat Noir, où il se lie avec Mallarmé, Verlaine, ou Claude Debussy. Il compose des pièces selon ses amitiés du moment : Le Fils des Etoiles pour la Rose-Croix, Uspud (ballet chrétien) avec le poète Contamine, Danses gothiques puis Vexations en rapport avec son amante Suzanne Valadon. Quelque temps après avoir formé l’Eglise Métropolitaine d’art de Jésus-Conducteur, il se consacre brusquement à l’univers du music-hall. A 39 ans, il décide d’obtenir un diplôme à la Schola Cantorum de Vincent d’Indy, où il décroche la mention Très Bien, comme pour contredire ses détracteurs (Trois morceaux en forme de poire ). Au moment de la Guerre, il fait la connaissance de Jean Cocteau, avec qui collabore dans le cadre d’un ballet puis dans le contexte de l’éclosion du Groupe des Six (Georges Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, Germaine Taillefferre).
Toute sa vie, Satie s’est inscrit contre le conformisme artistique du moment (romantisme, impressionnisme, wagnérisme), en adhérant par exemple au mouvement du dadaïsme, ou en se tenant à l'écart de la vie mondaine parisienne et en méprisant ouvertement les critiques musicaux de son temps. Sa renommée de provocateur dépasse parfois le vrai rôle que sa musique, à la fois avant-gardiste et accessible et épurée, a joué au seuil du XXe siècle.
Source : France Musique
Jean Cocteau was born in the vicinity of Paris, France, in Maisons-Lafitte on July 5, 1889. He did however, grow up in Paris, with his rich bourgeois family. Due to the social and economic placement of his family, Cocteau was able to reap the rewards of the privileges of the high class. This included being exposed to theater and arts at not only a young age, but being able to be constantly surrounded by it. At the age of sixteen, he was already a published poet. When his first volume of poems were read in public by an actor, Edouard De Max, Cocteau sensed danger of such sorts of public attention, and focused on other styles and genres. This became a habit for Cocteau throughout his life, after completing a work, he would try his hand at other genres or styles. Even as a young man, authors such as Marcel Proust were promoting and befriending Cocteau. Later, he would meet and befriend Pablo Picasso, who had a large influence on Cocteau, despite Picasso making some arrogant remarks in interviews regarding Cocteau.
When the First World War began, Cocteau was not officially enlisted, although he illegally drove an ambulance on the Belgium front, where many of his experiences were to be used in his novel Thomas l'imposteur. While the war was occurring, Cocteau continued his love of all things artistic, and associated himself with artists such as Modigliani, poet Apollinaire, poet Max Jacob, Reverdy, Andre Salmon, Blaise Cendrars, and Pablo Picasso. At the same time, he had become a mentor for a young Raymond Radiguet, who would become a famous author before he died at twenty-one. After Radiguet's death, and perhaps because of it, Cocteau developed an addiction to opium. Cocteau then spent 60 days in a sanatorium to cure the addiction, at which point philosopher Jacques Maritain came to visit him. Maritain was Catholic, and after Cocteau's release from the sanatorium he visited the house of Maritain and his wife, where a priest was present. Friendship with Maritain, and the priest, Charles Henrion, led Cocteau to a short-lived period of religious practice. However short-lived, the friendship with the two helped him cope with the loss of friend Radiguet, and to focus some of his ideas.
After this point, Cocteau would produce some of his most famous works, including his plays Orphee and Les Enfants Terribles, which later in his life would be adapted into films. It was after his first bout with Opium addiction that as he focused on his works again, turned some of his interests into film making. Cocteau's first film was Le Sang d'un Poete, or The Blood of a Poet in 1930. During the rest of the 1930s, he did not venture into film, yet at this time produced many of his popular plays, essays, and poems. One of such poems was Les Parents terribles which debuted at Le Theatre des Ambassadeurs in 1938. The play was controversial, and drew negative attention from the Conseil Municipal, who tried to stop the play. It was eventually moved to another theater, Les Bouffes-Parisiens. The play had reached 400 runs before World War II broke out, and it was not to be the last time Cocteau would receive criticism, and not even the last time for this play.
After his opium rehabilitation, Cocteau was again working quite hard, and had one interesting adventure in 1936 when Cocteau went around the world to send back articles to newspaper Paris Soir. He called the articles Tour du monde en 80 jours or Around the World in 80 Days in honor of the Jules Verne story. On this journey, he became friends with Charlie Chaplin in America. In 1937, writing for a different paper, Ce Soir and making an unlikely friend in the boxing world, Al Brown. Brown formerly held the bantam weight title, but was depressed and drinking when Cocteau saw him in a night club in Montmartre. Brown later won his title back, and credited the help and friendship of Jean Cocteau as an important factor. Cocteau later convinced Brown to join a circus as a shadowboxing dancer.
Jean Cocteau died at age 74 on October 11, 1963, and was buried at a chapel named Saint-Blaise-des-Simples, where he had painted some decorations. Before his death, Cocteau had been making sketches to paint a different chapel in Frejus, but did not live to begin to paint them in the chapel. However, he had seen artistic opportunity in a gardener he had employed for his final living space, a house in a small town named Milly-la-Foret. He had actually gone on to adopt the gardener, who previously worked in iron mines, and coached him as an artist, and the gardener, Edouard Dermit, later went on to paint the chapel.
Source: Mark Oeding, 2006.
Author, filmmaker and video artist Charles Picq (1952-2012) entered working life in the 70s through theatre and photography. A- fter resuming his studies (Maîtrise de Linguistique - Lyon ii, Maîtrise des sciences et Techniques de la Communication - grenoble iii), he then focused on video, first in the field of fine arts at the espace Lyonnais d'art Contemporain (ELAC) and with the group « Frigo », and then in dance.
On creation of the Maison de la Danse in Lyon in 1980, he was asked to undertake a video documentation project that he has continued ever since. During the ‘80s, a decade marked in France by the explosion of contemporary dance and the development of video, he met numerous artists such as andy Degroat, Dominique Bagouet, Carolyn Carlson, régine Chopinot, susanne Linke, Joëlle Bouvier and regis Obadia, Michel Kelemenis. He worked in the creative field with installations and on-stage video, as well as in television with recorded shows, entertainment and documentaries.
His work with Dominique Bagouet (80-90) was a unique encounter. He documents his creativity, assisting with Le Crawl de Lucien and co-directing with his films Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux and 10 anges. in the 90s he became director of video development for the Maison de la Danse and worked, with the support of guy Darmet and his team, in the growing space of theatre video through several initiatives:
- He founded a video library of dance films with free public access. This was a first for France. Continuing the video documentation of theatre performances, he organised their management and storage.
- He promoted the creation of a video-bar and projection room, both dedicated to welcoming school pupils.
- He started «présentations de saisons» in pictures.
- He oversaw the DVD publication of Le tour du monde en 80 danses, a pocket video library produced by the Maison de la Danse for the educational sector.
- He launched the series “scènes d'écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library's digital conversion and created Numeridanse.
His main documentaries are: enchaînement, Planète Bagouet, Montpellier le saut de l'ange, Carolyn Carlson, a woman of many faces, grand ecart, Mama africa, C'est pas facile, Lyon, le pas de deux d'une ville, Le Défilé, Un rêve de cirque.
He has also produced theatre films: Song, Vu d'ici (Carolyn Carlson), Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux, 10 anges, Necesito and So schnell, (Dominique Bagouet), Im bade wannen, Flut and Wandelung (Susanne Linke), Le Cabaret Latin (Karine Saporta), La danse du temps (Régine Chopinot), Nuit Blanche (Abou Lagraa), Le Témoin (Claude Brumachon), Corps est graphique (Käfig), Seule et WMD (Françoise et Dominique Dupuy), La Veillée des abysses (James Thiérrée), Agwa (Mourad Merzouki), Fuenteovejuna (Antonio Gades), Blue Lady revistied (Carolyn Carlson).
Source: Maison de la Danse de Lyon
Artistic Direction: Jean-Albert Cartier
Europa Dance was founded in 1999 by Jean Albert Cartier, inspired by Claudio Abbado's Youth Orchestra. Why not apply what has worked so well for young musicians to young dancers, by offering them the necessary bridge between the end of their studies and their entry into professional life? To this end, Europa Dance has hosted nearly 250 dancers aged between 16 and 21 since it was founded. Classically-trained, they have been selected with the assistance of Hélène Traïline, from European conservatoires and private schools. After eight years, 90% of the dancers trained at the Europa Dance Academy are dancing professionally. Some are already starring in major international ballet companies such as the San Francisco Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, the Het National Ballet of Amsterdam, the English National Ballet, the Culberg Ballet and the companies of Jiri Kilian, Nacho Duato, John Neumeier, Lyon Opera, etc.
Source: Maison de la Danse show program
Artistic direction / Conception : Susanna Della Pietra supervisée par Lorca Massine (remontage)
Choreography : Léonide Massine
Interpretation : Europa Danse
Text : Jean Cocteau
Original music : Erik Satie
Settings : Didier Courel (peinture)
Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : «Picasso et la danse» est présenté avec le concours de l'École de Flamenco du Conservatoire Royal de Madrid et avec l'accord de Picasso Administration // avec le soutien du Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication - Délégation au développement et aux affaires internationales - DMDTS, Région Centre, Région PACA, Département d'Eure et Loir mécénat Veolia Environnement, North Management Consulting, Harlequin, Repetto
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