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  1. Below a first set of announcements for the 17/18 season at various companies and venues in France. Bordeaux will announce their 17/18 season on 22 May; Ballet Nice Mediterranee, Mandalain Ballet, Ballet Preljocaj & others tbc. Feel free to add others. Theatre des Champs Elysees, Paris http://2018.theatrechampselysees.fr/saison/danse We’ve already known from toursenlair for some time that the National Ballet of Canada will perform Nijinsky in October. Further companies and works: St Petersburg Ballet Theatre (Swan Lake, Paquita, Chopiniana), LA Dance Project, a programme in honour of Ingmar Bergman, Tanztheater Wuppertal, and others Theatre Chaillot, Paris http://theatre-chaillot.fr/la-saison-2017-2018 Boris Charmatz, a flamenco festival, Angelin Preljocaj (La Fresque), a festival with dance from Scandinavia, Alonzo King, CNDC d’Angers with a Cunningham triple bill, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo (Le Songe), a number of contemporary works Theatre de la ville, Paris http://www.theatredelaville-paris.com/ Various works by Jerome Bel, a new work by Maguy Marin, a double bill by Shechter II, 2 triple bills with the Ballet de l’Opera de Lyon, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre Taiwan, and a number of contemporary works Ballet de l’Opera de Paris https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/season-17-18/ballet Already known, so here just for completeness Maison de la danse, Lyon http://www.maisondeladanse.com/programmation-2017-2018 Alonzo King, Ailey II, Yacobson Ballet (Sleeping Beauty), Maguy Marin, de Keersmaeker (Rain), Sao Paulo Dance Company (a triple bill with works by Goecke/Oliveira/Scholz), and a long list of contemporary artists Ballet de l’Opera de Lyon http://www.opera-lyon.com/page/saison-17-18 Forsythe/Brown/Bel (The second detail, Set and reset/reset, a new work), Kylian (East shadow), Roland Petit (L’Arlesienne, Carmen), Maliphant/Millepied/Forsythe (Critical mass, Sarabande, Steptext), Inger/ Kylian (A new work, Petite More, No more play) Opera national du Rhin, Strasbourg/ Mulhouse/ Colmar http://www.operanationaldurhin.eu/danse-2017-2018.html Mario Schroeder’s Chaplin, various triple bills e.g., with Forsythe/ Kylian/ Scholz, and a ballet for children based on Sleeping Beauty Theatre du Capitole, Toulouse http://www.theatreducapitole.fr/1/saison-2017-2018/saison-2017-2018-2373.html?lang=fr Belarbi’s Giselle, Belarbi’s Nutcracker, a double bill with works by Bombana and Bigonzetti, a triple bill with works by Roland Petit (Les Forains, L’Arlesienne, Carmen) Ballet de Marseille http://www.ballet-de-marseille.com/fr/calendrier Choreographies by Greco and Scholten
  2. The company is in the middle of a two-week run of Thierry Malandain’s new work Noé at the Theatre Chaillot in Paris, set to Rossini’s Messa di Gloria. I saw Tuesday’s performance. While the piece is inspired by the story of the deluge - complete with Noé, his wife, their three children, a raven and a dove, a float or ship in the midst of rising and falling water, plus Adam and Eve and their three children – the message that I’ve taken away is timeless and universal. The floor, a bench that spans across the width of the stage and pearl curtains on all three sides of the stage are in turquoise, illustrating the omnipresence of the water. The curtains will rise and fall along with the coming and going of the deluge. Dancers in muted tones of blue, brown, green and burgundy sit on the bench or dance in varying combinations. Three male dancers rise to interact and fight, leaving one person dead on the floor. As a result, the deluge is approaching. Movements ensue that depict the rolling waves (dancers sit on the bench and stand up and sit down in the form of a wave, …), the daily grind and the desolation of those affected by the deluge (robbing along while sitting or lying on the floor, shuffling forward in circular movements with a hunched back and clenched fists, moving sideways along the bench, individuals trying to break out from the group and joining in again in as there is no way out in the midst of the floods, …). Lots of movements in canon; this is where I started to notice Noé (Mickaël Conte, vastly impressive with his stage presence and stamina – he was dancing pretty much from start to finish) as he repeatedly starts with a solo and is then joined by more and more dancers, guiding his people throughout their journey in their search for hope and resolution. The pearl curtains are at full height by now – the deluge has reached its peak. Adam and Eve (nude leotards) appear, providing hope, vitality and renewal. The other dancer’s movements are much more upwards now, some high lifts, Noé is praised by his fellow men, illustrating the joy and optimism. A dove and a raven fly past (dancers in long flowing white/ black robes), and the curtains are now on the way down again as and when the waters recede. One by one, the dancers take off their day wear and appear in nude leotards … there’s a fresh start, renewal, a new world, a new chance, a clean sheet. How does it end? It ends as it started, with one person slaying another. The story has gone full circle. Mankind is given a new chance and does not use it, I thought, rather depressed, as I was watching the curtain go down at the end of the performance. Superb performance by all, full of engagement and commitment. Links to video extracts Trailer http://theatre-chaillot.fr/malandain-ballet-biarritz-noe Noé guiding his people https://vimeo.com/212740826 Close up of costumes and scenography http://malandainballet.com/actualites/article/premiere-de-noe-au-theatre-national-de-la-danse-de-chaillot-a-paris (“documentaire autour de la creation”)
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