Orpheus and Eurydice | Rain | Tribute to Jerome Robbins

Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris Box-Set

The Paris Opera Ballet, though historically and famously a classical ensemble, proved over the years to be perfectly at ease with the demands and the subtilities of the contemporary repertoire. A tribute to its dazzling technique and unique style, this collector box-set features three milestones in the recent history of the French company : Pina Bausch’s Orpheus and Eurydice, a “Tribute to Jerome Robbins”, ten years after his passing, and Anne Teresa de Keersmaker’s Rain. All these programs were filmed at the Palais Garnier, a world-reknowned temple of classical ballet : a way to insure the continuity between the masterpieces of yesterday, and those of today.

ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE

Orpheus and Eurydice is Pina Bausch’s masterpiece and the ultimate symbol of the genius of this German choreographer, who died in June 2009. From the outset it had been Gluck’s wish that Orpheus and Eurydice should have a dance accompaniment; and it was Pina Bausch’s respect for his dramatic power that led her to transform the work into a tanzoper, a danced opera. Her version tackles the genre head on in its expression of Orpheus’s suffering, the suffering human beings must overcome in confronting unquenched desire. The dramatis personae – Orpheus, Eurydice and Cupid – are voices. But they are, too, bodies that dance. Pina Bausch’s aim was to create characters who are split, as if torn between their “singing” and “dancing” natures. Rather than contradicting Gluck, this version of the myth takes his vision further – and darkens it. While the free flow of the dance reveals bodies driven by love, it also, and above all, suggests their vulnerability. The singing entreats Zeus and moves him; but the dancing – bare feet anchored to the earth – is a reminder of the human condition, of the ineluctability of death.

RAIN

Set to Music for Eighteen Musicians, Steve Reich’s major score composed in 1976, Rain embodies the culmination of a dance form drawing its own spatial polyphony from the mathematical principles of musical composition, a polyphony which also materialises on the floor, where the infinite trajectories of the dancers criss-cross like brightly coloured pick-up sticks. Music and dance become one until, breathless and exhausted, they discover the motifs of an exhilaratingly profound work concealed within their own inner mysteries where freedom and constraint, rigour and profusion, unity and reduction all rhyme with each other. Rain also shares genetic links with other Rosas works. The choreographer likes to weave the discreet threads of an uninterrupted dialogue between them. Thus it is that Rain forms a diptych with Drumming, a long piece created in 1998 to another score by Steve Reich, which embraces formats at once symmetrical and yet opposing: one part all spirals, the other more angular. In the same way, in its work on breathing, conveyed by the ebb and flow of the music, Rain evokes some of the literary materials used for In Real Time, a dramatic work created in 2000 and inspired by Kirsty Gunn’s novel Rain, which describes a young woman’s attempt to save her drowning brother. As such, this piece offers an intimate view of the thought mechanisms at work in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s creative process. One thinks of a “rain dance” that is both a festival of torrential, life-infused motion and a timeless, incantatory quest for the golden number and its perfect proportions.

HOMMAGE À JEROME ROBBINS

Ten years after his death, the Paris Opera Ballet payed tribute to the American choreographer who considered the Paris Opera as his second home after the New York City Ballet. The three pieces performed here illustrate not only the diversity of the choreographer’s repertoire and sources of inspiration, but also his love of music and his all-embracing attitude to the performing arts. Jerome Robbins brought new energy to classical dance, introducing 20th century urban rhythms, confirming its status as a modern entertainment form and instilling it with the interrogations of contemporary theatre.

En Sol, set to Maurice Ravel’s Concerto en sol, follows no particular narrative line or dramatic effect. Echoing the music’s jazzy invitations and light-heartedly copying Broadway style, this is a light and joyous piece for two soloists and an ensemble. It provided Jerome Robbins with an opportunity to reveal the relaxed, fluid feel so emblematic of his style. In the Night and The Concert are two tributes to Frederic Chopin, each in a different register. Seeking to free the composer from the commonplaces that have often belittled his music, Robbins transforms Les Nocturnes into In the Night, a long and poetic pas de deux built like a metaphor of love in all its states. The Concert joins the ranks of the few comic ballets in the history of dance. Taking as its point of departure images inspired by some of Chopin’s more fancifully entitled scores, Jerome Robbins’piano recital is a comic plea for the cause of human vulnerability. The fact that, at the very same period, he was contributing to the renewal of the musical by bringing a tragic side to his West Side Story, only underlines his insatiable thirst for originality and his immense talent for freely combining genres and styles. Lastly, Benjamin Millepied, who made his dance debut with Robbins in New York, dedicates his second creation for the Paris Opera Ballet, Triade, to the choreographer. “Dance is composed of human relations”, Robbins used to say. A worthy heir to his master, Benjamin Millepied matches this credo through a fruitful dialogue with composer Nico Muhly.

Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris Box [DVD & Blu-ray]

ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE
Music : Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)

Choreography and stage direction : Pina Bausch

Sets, costumes et lighting design : Rolf Borzik

Orpheus Yann Bridard (dancer) • Maria Riccarda Wesseling (mezzo-soprano)
Eurydike Marie-Agnès Gillot (dancer) • Julia Kleiter (soprano)
Amor Miteki Kudo (dancer) • Sunhae Im (soprano)

Balthasar-Neumann Chor & Ensemble
Conductor : Thomas Hengelbrock

TV direction : Vincent Bataillon

RAIN
Music : Steve Reich (1936*) | Music for Eighteen Musicians

Choreography : Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker

Sets and lighting design : Jan Versweyveld
Costumes : Dries Van Noten

With Valentine Colasante • Muriel Zusperreguy
Christelle Granier • Sae Eun Park
Léonore Baulac • Amélie Lamoureux
Laura Bachmann • Vincent Chaillet
Nicolas Paul • Daniel Stokes

Ensemble Ictus
Synergy Vocals
Conductor : Georges-Elie Octors

TV direction : Louise Narboni

TRIBUTE TO JEROME ROBBINS

En Sol
Music 
Maurice Ravel
Choreography Jerome Robbins
With Marie-Agnès Gillot danseuse étoile
Florian Magnenet

Triade – World premiere
Music : Nico Muhly (commissioned by the Paris Opera)
Choreography and sets Benjamin Millepied
With Marie-Agnès Gillot danseuse étoile
Laëtitia Pujol danseuse étoile
Audric Bezard
Marc Moreau

In the Night
Music Frédéric Chopin
Choreography Jerome Robbins
With Clairemarie Osta danseuse étoile
Benjamin Pech danseur étoile
Agnès Letestu danseuse étoile
Stéphane Bullion premier danseur
Delphine Moussin danseuse étoile
Nicolas Le Riche danseur étoile

The Concert
Music Frédéric Chopin
Choreography Jerome Robbins
With Dorothée Gilbert danseuse étoile
Stéphane Phavorin premier danseur
Alessio Carbone premier danseur
Emmanuel Thibault premier danseur

Orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris
Conductor Koen Kessels

TV direction : Vincent Bataillon

technical informations

HD recording : Palais Garnier (Opéra de Paris) | 2008 (Orpheus and Eurydice | Tribute to Jerome Robbins) • 2014 (Rain)
Release date : 24 November 2017
Distribution : Naxos Distribution

3 DVD [DIGISTACK]
Reference
: BAC613
Barcode : 3760115306134
Running time : 289 min.
Orpheus and Eurydice : 104 min.
Rain : 74 min.
Tribute to Jerome Robbins : 111 min.
Image : Color, 16/9, NTSC
Sound : PCM 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1
Region code : 0

3 BLU-RAY [DIGISTACK]
Reference : BAC612
Barcode : 3760115306141
Running time : 289 min.
Orpheus and Eurydice : 104 min.
Rain : 74 min.
Tribute to Jerome Robbins : 111 min.
Image : Color, 16/9, Full HD
Sound : PCM 2.0, DTS HD Master audio 5.1
Region code : A, B, C

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