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 Post subject: Les Ballets C de la B
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2001 3:56 am 
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Posts: 2172
Location: London
<B>Square dance<P>Getting 81 people aged one to 81 to perform on the same stage can be problematic, as Susan Mansfield of the Scotsman discovers</B> <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Think big. Think a dance project involving 81 people who have never danced before. Even more than that - 81 people who form a complete chronology of age from one to 81. <P>Chaos? Well, possibly. But Flemish dance company, Les Ballets C de la B, are well versed in big productions. They have devised their 81-person show, 9x9, eight times, from Rotterdam and Berlin to Montreal. The Glasgow show, the first in the UK, will be the ninth. There has been a 9x9 with 81 babies, one with 81 senior citizens and one with 81 young people, but this is the first with 81 people of different chronological ages.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><A HREF="http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/index.cfm?id=115718&keyword=ballet" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>


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 Post subject: Re: Les Ballets C de la B
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 3:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Survival is at the heart of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s new dance
piece with Les Ballets C de la B

By DONALD HUTERA for The South Bank Magazine

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is half-Moroccan, half-
Flemish, and dances like an elastic angel. Little
surprise, then, that several of those divine winged beings figure in the choreographer’s Foi (belief).

With this performance the Belgian company Les
Ballets C de la B – Alain Platel’s acclaimed and unorthodox production outfit, well-known for nurturing young innovators – makes a welcome return to the South Bank.

Cherkaoui is unquestionably the brightest star in
Platel’s constellation of artistic associates.

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 Post subject: Re: Les Ballets C de la B
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2003 12:27 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Les Ballets C de la B
By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian

Post 9/11 has become the new cultural branding, and it is easy to fix that label to Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's latest work, Foi, which is as fissured by images of conflict as any dance I have seen. The opening scene, in particular, feels hard-wired to our current jumpy times. Inside a concrete-walled square, bodies lie scattered. Medieval music (played and sung live by Capilla Flamenca) drifts through the air, while dancers dressed in beige costumes flit mournfully past the devastation like angels from a more innocent age.

But Foi is imagined on too broad a canvas to file under a single soundbite. Within minutes, these dead bodies are engaged in a talking, dancing dialogue with the angels, and what follows is a hallucinatory kaleidoscope of scenes, violent and tender, poised on an imagined interface between present and past. There is no binding theme other than the whisperings of people across centuries and cultures.

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 Post subject: Re: Les Ballets C de la B
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2003 10:52 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Foi
By Donald Hutera for The Times


TWO years ago the young Belgian-Moroccan dancerchoreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui scored a deserved international hit with Rien de Rien, a production sponsored by the innovative company Les Ballets C de la B. Set in a mosque, the piece was an unforgettable cultural crossroads for a motley cast of seven, including Cherkaoui himself and one live musician.
Cherkaoui is back with a bigger, thematically deeper and artistically riskier 90-minute performance entitled Foi (French for “belief”). Using the wide-open genre of dance-theatre, he and 11 performers — plus the seven members of the Flemish vocal/instrumental consort Capilla Flamenca, specialists in medieval music — question collective spiritual mythology, individual belief systems and human survival, particularly in the wake of September 11.

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 Post subject: Re: Les Ballets C de la B
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2003 2:38 pm 
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Location: london, england
Foi is choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s second work for Ghent-based company, Les Ballets C de la B. The dancers and physical performers (black, gospel-spouting drag Queen, air hostess turned Judy Garland-on-a-scratched-record impersonator) are joined by seven musicians and singers from the Flemish group Capilla Flamenca in a performance that asks questions about belief, identity and the past. Foi means belief, and Cherkaoui’s exploration is studded with religious and ritualised behaviours, icons and patterns. In a world where pain and disaster prevail, belief appears to be sometimes warped, inaccurate and belittled but sometimes meaningful, valuable and desperately hankered after.

Set in the aftermath of a disaster in a grey featureless, warehouse-type setting, there is a sense of relentlessness, confusion and painful self-destruction that builds through the piece. The white-clad guardian angels begin as benevolent imperceptible souls, gently echoing and manipulating the movement and words of the colour-coded survivors, in a way that speaks of solidarity and faith. But, the distinction between the two groups gradually evaporates, along with the sense of calm, tenderness and pre-ordination. A battle for control ensues: control over oneself (the yogi figure in white loin cloth, with legs folded into lotus position walking on his knees), control over others (the plaintive girl tortured effortlessly by two unflinching, belligerent men), control over creation (the mutant human puppet created by the intertwining limbs of all the performers) and control over space and time.

What the audience gets ultimately is an experience of huge talent. The dancers are lithe, athletic and extremely strong (the piece is two hours long, no interval) and make this test of endurance and pain-thresholds look hard. The haunting polyphonic, medieval music and voices of Capilla Flamenca, would be captivating on there own, and they can not only sing and play in the safety of their musicians’ gallery, three lit windows high up on stage right, but can do it lying on their backs. The piece, in terms of scale, commitment and expertise, is impressive, and although it seems never intended to make for an uplifting evening, it does make for an interesting and challenging one.

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