Nordic Festival at Théâtre de Chaillot, Paris
Nordic Festival at Théâtre de Chaillot, Paris
16-27 janvier 2018
The National Dance Theatre of Chaillot opened the Nordic Festival on January Tuesday 16th, a very good way to discover Scandinavian culture through rare and very singular choreographers.
To launch this Festival, Chaillot offers an evening combining dance and cinema.
The program opened on the duet …and Carolyn, choreographed by the Norwegian Alan Lucien Øyen in February 2008 for the dancers Camilla Spidsøe Cohen and Daniel Proietto. This short choreography was conceived on the audio-score from the Sam Mendes’ movie American Beauty, with music composed by Thomas Newman and texts by Alan Ball. In creating “…and Carolyn” on a cinematic score, the choreography becomes an abstract extension of the missing images from the movie. …and Carolyn has been often awarded for its choreography. Camilla Spidsøe Cohen and Daniel Proietto, both from the Norwegian National Ballet, are very expressive and their performance underline perfectly all the emotion coming from the choreography, combined to the melancholy of the monologue.
Then was projected a short film called Ingmar Bergman through the eyes of choreographers. Four well-known Swedish choreographers pay a poetic tribute to the famous movie director who used to conceive his shots with an approach similar to the one of a ballet director. Alexander Ekman, Pär Isberg, Pontus Lidberg and Joakim Stephenson visit Bergman’s house in Fårö to explore it and find inspiration. Thus is created a unique movie of contemporary dance. Here is a link to the trailer of the movie: https://vimeo.com/194171099
Alexander Ekman is one of the most popular choreographers nowadays in France as he presented A Swan Lake at the Theatre des Champs-Elysées last April, and signed this season a new creation for the Ballet of the Opera de Paris called Play. Ekman has his very own style: light, diverting, and even childish. Ekman shows that he has a great talent for choreography but seems to spoil it most of the time. He is able to create very intense moments of dance, but those moments are too rare and his choreographies too minimalist to show all the potentialities of a subject or even of the dancers. Here he performs a short choreography that seems to be improvisation. He has also a great talent to give intellectual dimensions to his works.
Pär Isberg was principal dancer from the Royal Swedish Ballet and his Nutcracker, created in 2005, has been danced more than 250 times around the world. He signs a very emotional and poetic duet in a more neoclassical tradition.
Pontus Lidberg is movie director and choreographer. He has been awarded for his movie Rain and created Shimmering Asphalt in 2017 for the New York City Ballet. He imagines a very interesting solo choreography in which he enters on a horse.
Joakim Stephenson is first soloist at the Royal Swedish Ballet. Stephenson choreographed different ballets, among which Butterfly Kiss in 2005, The Winner takes it all in 2011 and Sand in 2015. His choreography is made for two women in quite dramatic scenery that looks like a hospital.
The choreographies are linked together by wonderful pictures of Fårö’s natural beauty and the poetic house of Bergman, including the voice of the master himself who reveals his thoughts about
movements and music.
As part of the Nordic Festival, Chaillot hosted The Cullberg Ballet from January 17th to 21st for several performances of Protagonist, Jefta van Dinther’s second choreography, created after the success of Plateau Effect in 2013.
The Finnish choreographer Tero Saarinen presented Morphed, from January 18th to 20th. This choreographer had a great success in 2014 when he presented Borrowed Light at Chaillot.
Next week, from January 25th to 27th, will be presented another work signed by Alan Lucien Øyen and performed for the first time in France by the GöterborgsOperans Danskompani. Kodak is a cinematographic work that promises a unique reflection on our times, when illusions of photography for exemple worth often more than reality.
The last program of the Festival will be a mixt program with three different choreographers. Bára Sigfúsdóttir will present TIDE, on the music by Eivind Lønning. The Norwegian Ina Christel Johannessen, creates a Scheherazade adapted to the 21st century but on the original music by Rimsky-Korsakov. This ballet will be performed by the dancers from the Norwegian National Ballet, and among them Camilla Spidsøe Cohen. Last but not least, Andreas Constantinou, member of the Himherandit group, will present The WOMANhouse.
It is a wonderful and unique program which is offered by The National Dance Theatre of Chaillot in Paris. The Nordic Festival deserves a great success, knowing all the cooperation that has been required between embassies and Nordic cultural institutes in Paris to make it possible.