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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:06 am ]

Photo by Icare

Angelin Preljocaj’s Le Parc (UK Premiere)

Fri 14 & Sat 15 October, 7.30pm
Sat 15 & Sun 16 October, 2.30pm
Sadler’s Wells 0870 737 7737
Tickets £13 - £50

Angelin Preljocaj is one of Europe's most intriguing choreographers: infinitely creative and highly distinctive. His full-length contemporary ballet, Le Parc, is a grand scale exploration of 17th century sexuality. It is performed by Paris Opera Ballet, making its first visit to London in over 20 years.

Created at the Palais Garnier in 1994, Le Parc is inspired by the pure geometry of 17th century formal gardens, Comtesse de La Fayette's La Princesse de Clèves and Laclos' Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

Set to some of Mozart's most beautiful piano concertos mixed with electronic sounds, Le Parc is a hymn to love and erotic feelings and their development from first encounters to resistance, conquest and consummation.

‘Preljocaj is a radical dance-maker in the way that he rethinks what the body can say.’ The Observer

A Brief Encounter with Christian Rizzo: Sat 15 October, 6pm, 6.30pm & 7pm and Sun 16 October, 1pm, 1.30pm & 2pm in the Lilian Baylis Theatre prior to performances of Paris Opera Ballet.

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Sep 22, 2005 3:14 am ]
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Casting for Le Parc should be as follows:

Fri 14: Aurélie Dupont Laurent Hilaire
Sat 15 2.30pm: Aurélie Dupont Laurent Hilaire
Sat 15 7.30pm: Laëtitia Pujol Manuel Legris
Sun 16: Laëtitia Pujol Manuel Legris

However Cathy on Danser en français tells me that Manuel Legris is currently injured, making him currently a little doubtful for the tour. Let's hope his injury is not too serious and that he is recovered by next month as this wonderful dancer has appeared only very infrequently in London.

In the meantime take a look at his web site - one of the very best dancers' web sites around.

Author:  Cassandra [ Mon Oct 03, 2005 8:44 am ]
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According to the Sadlers Wells web site, Yann Bridard now replaces Manuel Legris on Saturday (15th eve) and Sunday (16th).

Author:  kurinuku [ Fri Oct 07, 2005 1:35 pm ]
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Paris makes a leap in Le Parc
by MARK MONAHAN for the Daily Telegraph

Flattering as this is, the question remains: with such an international reputation for jewel-like classicism, and so rich a repertory of classics, why Le Parc?

"In fact," she answers, "I'd love to have brought everything with us - I'm a gourmande for dance! ..."

published: October 8, 2005

Author:  @urelie [ Tue Oct 11, 2005 10:52 am ]
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If I were you, I would avoid to see Bridard :roll: ...

Author:  KANTER [ Wed Oct 12, 2005 6:50 am ]
Post subject:  LE PARC

Leaving aside personality issues for the moment

(although yes, Yann Bridard does produce, at least on this writer, the effect of waving a red flag before a bull - NEVERTHELESS, we MUST NOT make Bridard into a punching-ball for the choreography),

what I find regrettable about this particular opuscule, is its distinctly voyeuristic quality.


Ho-hum. Not that again, and again, and again....

Author:  kurinuku [ Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:34 am ]
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Paris Opera Ballet
by JUDITH MACKRELL for the Guardian

The dancers tend to move as a collective: if one couple embraces, seven others also embrace in a tight, repeating loop of desire. And, while Preljocaj readily uses decorative ballet steps, they come juxtaposed with plain pedestrian moves. Even his Mozart score is spliced with electronic echoes and white noise.

published: October 17, 2005

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:50 am ]
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After the performances of the delightful "Le Parc", I spoke to various people over a wide range of ages; not one used anything like the phrase "voyeuristic" to describe the work. Like beauty, perhaps voyeurism is in the eye of the beholder.

I will try to get to Paris to see "Le Parc" again.

Author:  Guest [ Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:14 am ]
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judith Mackrell says that London audiences might have expected to see a more classical work. But Paris came under Dance Umbrella, so surely audiences and critics should realise that a work in a contemporary style is obligatory.

Author:  AnaM [ Mon Oct 17, 2005 11:23 am ]
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Paris Opera Ballet appeared at Sadler’s Wells dancing Angelin Prelijocaj’s “Le Parc” on 14th October, as part of Dance Umbrella Festival.

Praise must be given to Dance Umbrella for allowing London to see this company after an unexplainable absence of twenty years during which time the French company went through one of its most important and productive periods. Since 1983, when Rudolf Nureyev took over the directorship of the company, until his dismissal in 1988 the company managed to produce some of the best dancers in the West and, one could easily argue, in the world. Nureyev’s heritage lived on well after his death and, in fact, the company still lives up to those standards that the Russian artist set for them to achieve. Not only that, his productions of the classics are still danced in Paris and one can always sense the extreme care each revival gets whenever performed. The series of documentaries recorded for television and now available on DVD are living proof of the pride the French give to whom was one of its most distinguished directors.

Most of the dancers that Nureyev promoted and nurtured have unfortunately retired by now. However, on this occasion we were lucky to see Laurent Hilaire once again on the London stages and, if only for this, going to Sadler’s Wells last week was worth the effort. Hilaire is one of that privileged group of dancers that learnt from Nureyev the power of transcending the stage. The eloquence of their movement and the ability to communicate the subtle meaning of why everything is performed the way it is to their audience makes their dancing stand on a class of its own. When these dancers move, you can see the eloquence of the steps and the need for those steps to be performed, to be rendered in a specific way that responds both to the music and the choreographer’s intentions.

On this occasion, the choice of programme may not have been the best the Paris Opera Ballet has to offer, but it served the purpose. Created in 1994, “Le Parc” was the first full length ballet created by Prelijocaj and the work thus possesses both the boldness and inevitable failures of all first attempts of this kind. Preljocaj wanted to do a work that reflected the love attitudes of the French in the 18th century, a subject matter that perhaps is best known by Choderlos de Laclos’s novel “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”. Set to Mozart’s music as well as sound compositions by Goran Vejvoda, the ballet tells the development of a love relationship from its initial indifference and coolness to its most passionate ardour. Four mechanic gardeners are the present day cupids and they are the ones who make the woman yield to the man’s attentions.

Choreographically, the ballet does not show great consistency in the telling of the story and, in fact, there is little in it that hints at the fact that there is a story at all. Most of the numbers where the lovers are not involved seem quite irrelevant and disconnected from the plot. It is only in the duets, set to different adagios of Mozart’s Piano Concertos, that the ballet takes on a different route, engages the spectator and actually hints at some sort of development of characters and situation. The choreography is contemporary in its vocabulary movement, but not very radical in its look. It showcases the company’s command of whatever style they dance in, something that is embedded in French dancers through their schooling; an outstanding ability to take on different choreographic styles.

Prelijocaj tends to repeat sequences all too often and it is only through the dancers efforts in making each one of these sequences interesting that the work makes its way through. In the first act, for example, each one of the variations the women perform for the men has its opening phrase repeated at least four times. This is tiring for the eye, as any choreographer should know. Music may work through repetition of phrases, but dance does not. The eye gets used to repetition more than the ear does and recognition of a step becomes an alarming lack of choreographic invention all too soon.

Nevertheless, the duets were beautifully crafted and they did show the development in the story that the choreographer obviously intended in his work. The interpretations of both Aurélie Dupont and Laurent Hilaire were magnificent. The ballet had been created for Isabelle Guérin and Laurent Hilaire and obviously Hilaire’s command of the role was evident.

The best part of the ballet was the last duet. It managed to make full use of the wonderful stage personalities of the performers and the choreography was utterly beautiful. It transcended the irrelevance of some of the other numbers in the piece and focused unashamedly in the deepest desires of the characters. It also showed how musical Prelijocaj can be and how inventive when devising a pas de deux in contemporary language. There was nothing missing or wanting in it. It was transcending in the use of aerial movement and lifts combined with falls and recoveries that explained beautifully the surrender, longing and abandonment of the two lovers.

The company overall looked wonderful. The dancers have a unity of style and beauty of lines in the performance of their ballets that showcases their schooling to perfection.

Let’s hope it does not take another twenty years for the whole company to return.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:59 am ]
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Le Parc
By Debra Craine for The Times

First the good news. After an absence of 22 years, Paris Opera Ballet — one of the world’s great companies — has returned to London. Now the bad news. The visitors brought Le Parc.

This is the ballet that almost made it to Covent Garden a few years back, until Monica Mason decided to cancel her predecessor’s plans to acquire it for the Royal Ballet. The French, on the other hand, are very proud of Angelin Preljocaj’s 1994 full-length seduction tale and were no doubt keen to prove us British wrong.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Oct 22, 2005 6:23 am ]
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Le Parc
By Gavin Roebuck for The Stage

The Paris Opera Ballet has an illustrious history dating back over 300 years. Their dancers are some of the finest in the world. How odd and disappointing that on their first visit to the capital in over two decades the should choose to present Le Parc, a unimportant contemporary work which fails to show off the technique and talent of the performers.

Using fragments of diverse pieces of music by Mozart, the dancers perform simple and at times repetitive steps and at one point run around the stage playing musical chairs.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Oct 23, 2005 1:58 am ]
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A bit of a lark in the Parc
If only Paris Opera Ballet had offered more dangerous liaisons, says David Dougill for The Sunday Times

Considering the huge range of international dance companies that London attracts, it has been a long-standing regret that one of the greatest (and the oldest), Paris Opera Ballet, is such a rare visitor. Its last appearance here was more than 20 years ago, and the previous one — would you believe it? — 50.

So it was a coup for Sadler’s Wells and Dance Umbrella to secure a return last weekend, albeit for only four performances. This wasn’t the occasion for a grand classical display — again, that will have to wait.

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Le Parc
By Jann Parry for The Observer

The Paris Opera Ballet's flying visit last weekend, its first appearance in the capital for 20 years, was part of France Moves, the Umbrella's French component. Angelin Preljocaj's Le Parc, created for the company in 1994, is one of their modern dance works, set in a time-warp. The cast of 35 indulge in games of love drawn from the amorous conventions of French 17th and 18th century literature. The landscape in which they dance (designed by Thierry Leproust) suggests the formal gardens of Versailles; the giggles on the soundtrack could be those of long-dead courtiers or today's young people.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:03 am ]
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Le Parc
By A C Greyling for Online Review London

Angelin Preljocaj's 'Le Parc' is about men and women encountering each other erotically; it is an essay on desire and the game of resistance and courtship, ardour and acceptance, and finally abandonment. It takes place in a park where a somewhat menacing set of four gardeners provide a modernistic framework to the eighteenth century playing-out of the erotic game.

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