Raimund Hoghe La Valse


All of Raimund Hoghe’s shows have an underlying thread - an inflection, a melody, which is endowed, on stage, with the labyrinthine density of memory. As in L’Après-midi or Swan Lake, 4 Acts, the music often stems from the realms of the collective imagination. He fills it with affects - allowing it to work its way into the movements, and to act upon, and diffuse into a playing space which is propitious to associations. After Boléro Variations, which radiated around Ravel’s Bolero, and with its interplay between revivals and alternating dance styles, Raimund Hoghe’s attention was drawn to another of Maurice Ravel’s works: La Valse. Based on this rhythm in 3/4 time, which has sent endless couples swirling and twirling, Ravel composed a concentration of waltzes, a “magical whirlwind from which nobody can escape”. Commissioned by Serge Diaghilev for the ballets russes, which subsequently refused it, Ravel’s La Valse carries with it the heritage of the Viennese waltzes and images of balls that they conjure up - in addition to echoes of the noise and furor of the First World War. Within this partition full of dissonance, in which strident motifs threaten to disrupt the tempo, we catch glimpses of bodies swirling around to the point of giddiness, on the brink of the abyss. Accompanied by the pianist Guy Vandromme, with whom he collaborated on his production of Sacre - The Rite of Spring, Raimund Hoghe builds on the tones, colours and ambiances carried along by the two versions of La Valse - one for piano, played live, and the other, an orchestra version. Onstage with his familiar troupe of performers, he invites us to join in the 1, 2, 3-1, 2, 3, for a journey into a world of airs and dances - like reminiscences working their way into the depths of History right up to the present day.