Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon
The choreographer Jérôme Bel will be overseeing this three-part programme. In it will be his latest work, devised in resonance to the other two. Going from a classical form to a contemporary approach, the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon will be taking us through the history of dance in this stimulating detour.
In response to the invitation by Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon, Jérôme Bel himself will be putting together the entire evening’s events. He has chosen Second Detail by William Forsythe to open the proceedings, followed by Set and Reset / Reset by Trisha Brown. His own work will bring the evening to a close. Via this programme, Jérôme Bel will be putting into perspective the history of dance. William Forsythe’s work, emblematic of a certain model of classical dance takes us back to the XIXth century. Trisha Brown’s brand of modernity then transports us into the XXth century. The question for him will be how to continue this History/Story put in motion by the two choreographers.
First performed in 1991 by the Canadian National Ballet, Second Detail was subsequently integrated into The Loss of a Small Detail, a work that William Forsythe devised that year for his own company, the Frankfurt Ballet. Set against the frenetic rhythms of Thom Willems’s score, the work sees thirteen virtuoso, grey leotard-clad dancers battling it out.
Although it premiered eight years prior to this, the dance in Set and Reset / Reset by Trisha Brown is of a truly contemporary nature. Its highly original stage design by Robert Rauschenberg was reworked in 2005 when the work entered the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon repertory. Despite the rigorous stage indications, the dancers move with a level of fluidity bordering on improvisation. This breathtaking, milestone piece became the manifest for American post-modernist dance.
The Second Detail
Choreography, stage and lighting design by William Forsythe
Realization of The Second Details (2017), Noah Gelber and Amy Raymond
Music, Thom Willems © Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Limited
Costumes, William Forsythe and Issey Miyake
A piece for 14 dancers // First performed by the Canadian National Ballet in 1991 in Toronto. It became part of the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon’s repertory of works on the 7th November 1995
Set and Reset / Reset
Choreography, Trisha Brown
Realisation of Set and Reset / Reset (2017), Brandi Norton and Katrina Warren
based on an original idea by Robert Rauschenberg
Music, Laurie Anderson
Stage design, Michael Meyers
Costumes, Adeline André
Lighting, Patrice Besombes
A piece for 6 dancers // The original version of Set and Reset was first performed in 1983 by the Trisha Brown Dance Company // The version for the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon became part of its repertory on the 17th May 2005
Posé arabesque, temps lié en arrière, marche, marche
Choreography and light, Jérôme Bel
Assisted by Cédric Andrieux
Music, Léon Minkus, part of La Bayadère
Costumes, Jérôme Bel in association with the dancers of Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon
First performance by the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon will be on the 14th September 2017
In association with Maison des Arts Créteil ; Théâtre de la Ville-Paris ; Festival d’Automne à Paris // With support from l’Adami
Partnership with France Culture
Jérôme Bel’s history with the Festival d’Automne began in 2004 with The Show Must Go On 2, a duet for himself and dancer Frédéric Séguette. The piece underlined one of the central themes of Bel’s work: the dependency of the dancing body on language that functions as a signifying machine sidestepping the intentions of both the dancer and the choreographer. Since then Bel has been a regular guest at the Festival d’Automne with the festival in 2008 even hosting a website with a Catalogue raisonné of Bel’s work between 1994 and 2008 consisting of over 8 hours of films and interviews with the choreographer.
Born in 1964 in Montpellier, Jérome Bel trained as a contemporary dancer for one year at the CNDC in Angers before dancing for a number of companies such as Angelin Preljocaj or Compagnie L’Esquisse Bouvier / Obadia. Bel started his career as a choreographer in 1994 with a piece for two dancers and eleven objects. Nom donné par l’auteur objectified the codes of choreography to the point where the two human bodies on stage were reduced to objects themselves. The piece, more of an analysis of the codes and conventions of dance than a dance itself, marked the beginning of Bel’s singular project in contemporary dance that considers the dancing body to be a product of culture rather than a residue of nature. His shows analyse the codes of a dance production thereby confounding audience expectations and allowing for a very intimate relation between the dancers and the spectators.
In 1995 Bel’s second piece, Jérôme Bel, scrutinized the body of the dancer by placing a male and female naked body on stage. Their bodies became a site for cultural inscriptions that visibly left their mark on the body. The piece was shown in the festival in 2014 and will be part of 2017 retrospective. Following on from that Shirtologie took a humorous look at the role of the costume in producing meaning on stage. While his previous productions avoided choreographing movement, in 1998 with The Last Performance Bel finally tackled the central feature of dance. By repeating the beginning of German dancer Susanne Linke’s solo from her piece Wandlung, Bel questioned the originality of movement so central to the idea of modern and contemporary dance. Shifting his perspective to the role of the audience The Show Must Go On (2001) invited the audience to follow a chorus of 20 dancers subjected to the lyrics of 19 well known pop songs performing just what the lyrics tell them to. The Show Must Go On will be shown for the fist time at the Festival d’autome this year. It will be performed by London-based Candoco Dance Company, which consists of disabled and non-disabled dancers.
Jérôme Bel’s project can be considered to be a project of emancipation. His first series of work from 1994 to 2004 was characterised by Bel’s desire to disappear both as a dancer and a choreographer. He handed these functions over to language and discourse or to the spectators that were constantly made aware of their own productive role in bringing the performance about. Bel’s entire work so far has been an analysis of the dispositif of dance, its modes of operation, its power structures, and its processes of subjectivation. In its live presentations the Festival d’automne has focused on Bel’s work from second and third period, which were preoccupied with the emancipation of the individual dancer and the emancipation of dance from its history of representation. In productions such as Véronique Doisneau for the Paris Opera in 2004, Pichet Klunchun & Myself, and Cédric Andrieux, which was shown at three editions of the Festival in 2009, 2011, and 2014, Bel handed the stage over to individual dancers from big dance companies to talk about their work and their relation to the institution. Bel’s talking portraits of dancers work on the the emancipation of the dancers by turning them into speaking subjects who address their process of subjugation.
With productions such as 3Abschied, a collaboration with Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and the chamber music ensemble Ictus that was part of the Festival’s 2010 edition, another element comes into play: that of risk. Just like De Keersmaeker risks the relation between music, movement and the singing voice the 11 mentally challenged actors and actresses form Theater HORA in Disabled Theater choreograph their own dances although they are not trained dancers. Disabled Theater, which disables the gaze of the spectators on theatre and its appropriate forms of representation, was part of the 2013 and 2014 editions of the festival.
The portrait of Jérôme Bel consists of 8 productions, 2 of which were not seen at the Festival d’automne before: Pichet Klunchun & Myself (Bel’s duet with the Thai Khôn-dancer Pichet Klunchun) and The Show Must Go On. Gala, Disabled Theater, Jérôme Bel, and Cédric Andrieux will be shown again as well as Bel’s most recent creation with the Opera Ballet of Lyon and a new experimental piece called Un Spectacle en moins especially conceived for the Festival.
Jérôme Bel: Questioning the Dispositif of Dance By Gerald Siegmund
GalaOctober 4 to December 23
Disabled TheaterOctober 6 to December 9
Cédric AndrieuxOctober 17 to December 15
Jérôme BelNovember 2 to November 7
Véronique Doisneau (film)November 5
Pichet Klunchun and myselfNovember 15 to November 18
The show must go onDecember 6 to December 16
Un spectacle en moinsDecember 8 to December 10