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Vivaldi's Four Seasons + Ballet + The French = Amazing
OK, we've all heard The Four Seasons, Vivaldi’s classic musical masterpiece that has served as the mainstay for every symphonic orchestra across the globe, scored or inspired many films and has even been turned into muzak to entertain you in your nearest elevator. Well, leave it to the French and Ballet Preljocaj to put a contemporary spin on this tried-and-true aural landscape and make it jump (a video clip is below, it's pretty amazing).
Collaborating with conceptual artist Fabrice Hyber, acclaimed choreographer Angelin Preljocaj has re-defined the four axes of the work as bursting forth, exaltation, suspension and vibration (NOT spring, summer, fall and winter). Then, in what is being described in promotional materials as his usual manner, Preljocaj only starts from there. He finishes by going off-course to where all parameters become unrecognizable.
This intermission-less work for 12 dancers is making its Los Angeles premiere at UCLA Live's Royce Hall this Friday and Saturday, May 1-2 as part of the company's West Coast tour.
French-born Albanian Angelin Preljocaj began studying classical ballet before turning to contemporary dance and has been the recipient of many international awards, including our own (NYC) Bessie in 1997. He has explored music and dramas that range from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring to Shakespeare's Romeo et Juliette and established his company in 1984. The company is now installed in the Pavillon Noir in Aix-en-Provence, a building entirely dedicated to dance, with Preljocaj as its artistic director.
Hyber, known for his work creating environments that provoke questions about our world, has previously turned the Arc de Triomphe into an internet portal entitled "inconnu.net" (unknown.net). He explains his role in Les 4 Saisons as a "chaosgrapher." He said, "I thought that just like the rain, sun, storms, the wind, I would be the unexpected element. Creating a sort of weather that one is subjected to. A weather made to order: a 'chaosgraphy.'
In this piece, the artist has created a scenography of dangling objects, bathed in colorful light, each offering it's own interactive movement possibilities; costumes that are like organic sculptures to complement a movement vocabulary that alternates between lush long lines of balletic technique and also includes skip rope and club moves.
The company makes irregular appearances in the southland and brings with it a satisfying glimpse into the high quality European dance. The production level is usually very high as the French government supports its selected artists very well.
Check out this and more youtube videos and wear your chapeau!