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 Post subject: SCOOP!!! Mats Ek's new creation in Paris...
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2000 8:17 am 
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Location: France
As my Editor is covering this for the magazine, I'm giving this to my new friends at criticaldance, some I now know love dance like I do and who I have a hunch might appreciate it.<P>It was incredible - wish you could have been there.<P> Image <BR>Palais Garnier<P> Image <BR>Mats Ek<P>Mats Ek – "Appartement"<P>Paris Opera Ballet<BR>Palais Garnier<BR>27/05/2000<P><BR>The orchestra pit was raised to dance on at the Paris Opera, not a common occurrence there, for the eagerly awaited world premiere of Mats Ek’s, "Appartement". With merely a bidet placed on this extension into the audience, we were plunged into the intimicies of the human existence in a raw, observant and breathtakingly intense form – living will never be the same again.<P>The work is constructed in eleven uninterupted scenes, each representing a different room or reality, the bathroom, the television, the *******, the march of the vacuum cleaners, just to give you an idea; Ek has ideas in abundance.<P><BR>The "salle de bains" starts as a solo for Marie-Agnés Gillot where Mats Ek’s use of the language of the mundane, immediately displays his genius. The patting movements accompaning the ritual of the "toillette"; never separated from the dance, the deep subconcious interior relationship with the objects surrounding us. All phantasmagoricly brought to light in this work.<BR> <BR>The painted front Opéra curtain is lifted to reveal another reality, with an identical Opéra curtain further upstage, this technique is subsequently used throughout the ballet to define new spaces.<BR>In the second scene José Martinez is revealed sprawled on an IKEA couch watching the TV. You could also call this The Couch Potato solo. Martinez illustrated the greatest degrees of sensitivity and depth I have yet seen him expunge, it would seem Ek here gives him an opportunity to access the interior world, further than he has ever ventured previously. He eats the dance in the same way Mats Ek has him literally eating the couch.<P>"Le Passage Pietons" is a space Ek names specifically in the programme notes, as the space just in front of the bistro Mistral, beside the Théâtre de la Ville. Where he spent much time obseving people over the years.<BR>It was here the piece exploded in an energetic melange of athleticism, gesture, vocalisation and human force, which set my solar plexus buzzing ; a sensation that did not leave till hours later.<P>This was followed by an extraordinary ******* pas de deux, danced by Clairemarie Osta and Kader Belarbi, it was here that his expression of mundane reality won me. Steeped in the suppression of the domestic condition, the role playing inherent in the « normal » family context, this duet is rather sad, the antagonists always connecting in a frustration or not connecting at all ; at the same time she is preparing dinner in an oven. The duet ends shockingly, with the wife producing the smoking baby to serve to her husband.<P>Perhaps the comic highlight of the evening was The March of the Vacuum Cleaners.<BR>Just when you think you’ve seen everything, along comes Mats Ek.<BR>Kicking off with Gillot and her Hoover, the stage is soon witily ablaze with an army of housewives on the march. You have to see this to believe it. Ek uses an almost Irish Dance vocabuary to hillarious effect. I think, it’s his answer to Riverdance.<P>A little later comes the Grande Pas de Deux, danced by Nicolas Le Riche and Celine Talon.<BR>For this a door is used and we realise it is an encounter, she is the visitor - he is receiving.<BR>This was a universal encounter which could have taken place in any time or location in the world. A complete witness to an encounter between two bodies and two souls, I will go as far as to say, a work of genius ; Le Riche was superb, a pheomenon of our time and Talon captured Ek’s essence entirely.<P>This leads us to the "Barrières de Protection", where emergency barrier tapes are spread criss-crossing the stage which is left to the band, Fleshquartet : whom we have realised have been providing the music, live, from behind the final upstage barrier. They certainly give good dance music. And by the ensuing Finale you remember what great dance, executed by perhaps some of the greatest dancers existant on the planet, looks and feels like.<P>The without doubt IKEA like decor and the costumes were effective - 100% , and designed by Peder Freiij. <BR>The exemplary lighting, executed by Eric Berglund.<P>I predict a long shelf life for this work of art, for it is no doubt that – an incredible, honest testament of the human condition. Created by a living genius.<P>So when you do get a chance to see it – don’t miss it.<P><BR>As I rushed this out to get it to you the afternoon after...<BR>Please forgive all remaining spelling errors, that is a task usually left to my editor - I'm not going to touch it again!<BR>(how do you spell phantasmagor...???)<P><BR>[Edited by Azlan to include images]<P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited June 01, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: SCOOP!!! Mats Ek's new creation in Paris...
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2000 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Michael, this is wonderful. Thanks so much. I will try to get a piccie or two to insert in this thread.


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 Post subject: Re: SCOOP!!! Mats Ek's new creation in Paris...
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2000 10:11 pm 
Michael, glad to read your wonderful review. I hope I can see this programme when they repeat it next season.<p>[This message has been edited by Kevin Ng (edited May 29, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: SCOOP!!! Mats Ek's new creation in Paris...
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2000 7:03 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: France
I hope they perform this work at every opportunity they can find.<BR>But as you can see, when you visit the site, the programme has been decided for some time to come - "###¤¤****!!!(****)!"<p>[This message has been edited by Michael Montgomery (edited May 29, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: SCOOP!!! Mats Ek's new creation in Paris...
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2000 6:07 pm 
Michael, by the way, when I visited your website several weeks ago, I also tried to access the websites of Pietragalla and Le Riche that are linked to your site. But I couldn't open them at all. Are those two dancers' sites still in operation?


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 Post subject: Re: SCOOP!!! Mats Ek's new creation in Paris...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2000 3:15 am 
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Location: France
I think that should read - <A HREF="http://www.pietragalla.com/" TARGET=_blank>http://www.pietragalla.com/</A> <BR>Nicolas Le Riche has a page on the site, visit - Rencontres(Encounters).


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 Post subject: Re: SCOOP!!! Mats Ek's new creation in Paris...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2000 4:49 am 
Thanks Michael, yes, it's working now. Grace, what a sensational photo you've selected.


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 Post subject: Re: SCOOP!!! Mats Ek's new creation in Paris...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2000 6:00 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: USA
Michael, I WISH I could have seen this! It looks fabulous! I sense a cultural trip in my future.


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 Post subject: Re: SCOOP!!! Mats Ek's new creation in Paris...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2000 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Michael, let me add my thanks as well for the fascinating review. I suspect that it wil be a long time before we see any Mats Ek in London. I can't see any of the major companies commissioning a new work or even taking an existing work by him into the rep. Similarly with Sadler's Wells strapped for cash, it seems unlikely that we will see Culberg in London.<P>Looks like I will have to go to Edinburgh when they are next at the Festival or venture across to the Continent if I want to see some of his work.


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 Post subject: Re: SCOOP!!! Mats Ek's new creation in Paris...
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2000 1:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
And... is there a forthcoming video...


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 Post subject: Re: SCOOP!!! Mats Ek's new creation in Paris...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2000 1:04 am 
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Location: France
Dear Grace,<BR>Sorry it took so long, but these superb images were taken by Francis Giacobetti.<BR>They are part of a series used for the promotion of Galleries Lafayette's Festival de la Mode, held in September of each year.<BR>A bit of attached trivia - A trampoline was used to capture the jumps!


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 Post subject: Re: SCOOP!!! Mats Ek's new creation in Paris...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2000 7:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Ah, trampolines! I just thought she had powerful legs. Image


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 Post subject: Re: SCOOP!!! Mats Ek's new creation in Paris...
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2000 3:47 pm 
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Location: France
She does - it's just that the photographer was not experienced in photographing dance!


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