Three highlights from recent seasons at Royal Ballet Flanders are now being brought together for the first time. And also, three highlights from the oeuvres of three generations of choreographers: Martha Graham, Maurice Béjart and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Three highlights danced by virtually the entire Royal Ballet Flanders company, with unique solo roles in which the dancers are pushed to their limits and have the opportunity to outdo themselves in the versatile repertoire that is so typical of the company.
In his world-famous, legendary choreography ‘Boléro’, Maurice Béjart focuses on the essence. One soloist interprets Ravel’s spellbinding melody. Around him or her, a group of men dance the rhythm, in an exhilarating, highly erotically charged choreography. The soloist is alone until the ecstatic finale, a tremendous physical feat for the solo dancer, whether male or female.
A second exceptional choreography for this evening is devoted entirely to the power of women. In ‘Chronicle’, Martha Graham shows the isolation of a figure whose entire life force appears to have been sapped. In a second part, this individual figure confronts a crowd: with a renewed energy, never giving up, always fighting. In the last part, Graham vehemently denounces stagnation and issues a call to action. The solo part in ‘Chronicle’ is an iconic role, this time strictly for a woman, who brings the determination and strong personality of the dancer to the fore.
The triptych opens with ‘Fall’, the first work that the artistic director of Royal Ballet Flanders, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, created as a choreographer for his company in 2015. It is performed to the music of the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (°1935). ‘Fall’ is a layered piece. Like colourful, falling leaves, the dancers allow themselves to be scattered by the wind. Everyone is each other’s ally in this test of strength against gravity, driven by the power of the dancers to propel the other forward into the movement. No matter how often they are pulled down, as if drawn to the floor, time and again, they are lifted and carried by an invisible force.
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