Roy Assaf

Six Years Later photo Thomas Florestan-05

Choreography: Roy Assaf
Costumes: Marion Schmid
Music: Ludwig van Beethoven, Marmalade
Lighting: Alexandre Bryand
Entered the repertoire on 21st March 2014, Salle des Eaux-Vives, Geneva

Created in 2011, the duet "Six Years Later" by choreographer Roy Assaf has been hailed by critics and audience alike who have been entranced by the emotional richness which it exudes.

The duet is based on Beethoven's famous Moonlight Sonata and cleverly manages to avoid any clichés. The work paints a touching portrait of a partnership without power of control or manipulation. Based on a consistent physical contact, "Six Years Later" creates an intimacy between two people who share the same vulnerability.

"Six Years Later" reveals an exceptional cinematic synergy based on two bodies sharing the same mind. The stage is filled with the magical charm of the beauty, subtlety, intricate and revealing movement of the work.


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Choreography: Stijn Celis
Music: Bob Dylan
Lighting: Arnaud Viala
Costumes: Marion Schmid
Created June 12th 2012

This piece by Celis was inspired by the images brought to mind by Bob Dylan's album, "Time Out of Mind".

"With this work, I want to portray a particular community of people, always on the move. The dancers are like rock-stars, constantly trying out new things and equally always on the go. Bob Dylan is a giant, a shambolic poet. His scorn, anger and aggression are tremendous."
Stijn Celis

Interview with Stijn Celis a few days before the new Ballet Junior de Genève programme, MIX5, which was shown from 6th – 10th June 2012.

- Why have you chosen Bob Dylan for this work?

I needed to have a fixed narrative thread on which I could then adapt my own ideas. For me Bob Dylan is an artist, someone who has had a very unique career. He's the person I really wanted to think about.

- How did you set about creating the work?

There was lots of exchange of ideas with the dancers. I let them make suggestions, we worked with improvisations, instructions, tasks I gave them. A basis then emerged which was sufficiently workable to begin to flesh out. It was like a number of spare parts which came together in this space. An association / (collaboration) with and between these people.

- You work with the most prestigious international dance companies. Did you set about this piece in a different way given the young age of the dancers at Ballet Junior de Genève?

I always adapt my method of working according to the particular group of people I have in front of me. There always has to be an artistic requirement, a choreographic expertise that I want to achieve. Working with younger dancers offers so many possibilities. They are like blank sheets of paper which is not always the case when one works with a company that has an established repertoire.

- What are you looking for when you choose a particular dancer for a work?

First of all you have to watch the dancer closely. I quickly try to establish what particular qualities I want to see in the work, like a sort of organisation of the process. The creativity of the dancers was important with this piece for the Ballet Junior. I was interested in seeing how I could encourage their creativity and how I could push the dancers to develop their connection with the subject. I chose dancers who had the potential to create the moves as well as execute them.

- The dancers in the first year at Ballet Junior are currently working on performance skills. Who has impressed you most with their performance?

I haven't singled out one individual, but I'm always impressed by, and full of admiration for those who have unusual career paths – people for whom dance plays a key role in their existence, when all their physical strength and spirit is dedicated to their art. There has to be a real need to dance. Meetings and priorities allow for this to happen.

- What kind of a dancer were you?

As a dancer I was a performer rather than a creator of dance. Pina Bausch was a great inspiration to me as was Martha Graham whom I met in Florence. Then as a choreographer I felt the need to find my own way and I was enormously inspired by those around me. There has been a break with classical dance, lots of experimenting back and forth to see where I stand between my classical training and my desire to be more contemporary. I'm also interested in dance in Belgium. If asked what really inspires me, I would say that every form of artistic expression is important, but so are philosophy, politics and social ritual. They all contribute to the forward movement of contemporary dance. In my view this development is absolutely vital as a way of influencing our narrative.

- What are your upcoming projects?

Mozart's Mass in C minor for the Royal Swedish Ballet, a work for Dancenorth, an Australian company and "Romeo and Juliet" for the Semperoper in Dresden

- What advice would you give to a young dancer?

I don't like to give advice because there is such a mixture of things to include, but if I had to say one thing it would be to have self-respect while at the same time being curious and brave.

Interview de Stijn Celis par Patrice Delay, le 23 mai 2012

DO US APART - Andonis Foniadakis

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Choreography: Andonis Fondiadakis
Costumes: Marion Schmidt
Lighting: Marc Gaillard
Music: Diamanda Galas

In Do us apart, set to music by the brilliant fury Diamanda Galas, Foniadakis shows us a dying throng who, in a last gasp of humanity, seem to try and make sharing and love burst forth.

"A work that sits between heaven and earth, its taut structure highlights the dancers, all of whom wear skirts, whether male or female. In movements along the ground, or towards the wings, here is an uninterrupted dance chorale which knows how to manage its entrances and exits. Foniadakis has dramatic and scenic talent and if his desire is to choreograph one cannot but agree with him as one watches this work of unending exhilarating movement." Marie-Christine Vernay, Liberation (writing about Selon Désir)

Foniadakis' style is characterised by the energy, power and physical force of his dancers as they appear to become raging madmen. Whether dancing alone or in groups the dancers are often gripped by an unyielding frenetic style which makes them twirl and swirl and fall, rolling on the ground, often in unison. Their limbs are never still causing their long flowing hair and the shirts and skirts that they all wear, to become tangled in their movements. The perceived anarchy is shown in the repeated phrases of movement and choreographic sequences which are also repeated several times.



Olivier Dubois

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Choreography: Olivier Dubois
Assistant Choreographer: Cyril Accorsi
Music: Fraicois Caffenne, Richard Wagner WWV 93 in A flat major
Lighting: Patrick Riou
Work created on 28th August 2013 for the Ballet National de Marseille

"A lament, the mourning cry of an angel – such a melancholic being, "most realistic guardian/keeper of the invisible". This is the experience of creation.... I – damaged (mutilated) !
Taming this dark magma (confusion). Nothing. Hollowness ( emptiness) or barbaric survival, I am the victim of my own knife. I open the wound and watch my world become overwhelmed.
I am the Angel that is created, churned out, knocked over, swallowed up by this night which spreads its darkness over everything. I can see it there like an attempt at a dialogue in survival, a reprieve...such is the dizziness of an insane horizon, out of alignment, the artist is confronted with his own mortality, with the finite nature of human existence."
Olivier Dubois

The choreographer summons to the stage a solitary, semi-nude being, in a chiaroscuro that calls to mind the works of the romanticist artists such as Caspar Friedrich or Goya, thus allowing the power of imagination and dreams to unfold. Confronted by angels of the deep, these barely visible dancers, dressed in black and who appear and dissappear, threaten or carry him. The solitary silhouette crawls, fights, twists, seems to fly, emerges from the night then is drowned back into subliminal images. In this living tableau, movement is punctuated by the deeply resonant electronic score of François Caffenne where he mixes storm and rain soundscapes, before finally blending in a moment of tranquility to the accompaniment of an excerpt of Richard Wagner's "Elegy" for piano. Olivier Dubois thus sets the individual against another force: hell, the void, human chaos which he has to tame just as the work tames him, allowing him, little by little, to see the shapes in the darkness.
With "Élégie" Olivier Dubois produces a powerful work, a melancholic and hypnotic piece which seems, once again, to say that the strength of humanity is its power to fight back against the overwhelming forces of darkness by continually coming alive again in rebellious revolt.

BOLERO - Thierry Malandain

bolero malandainChoreography: Thierry Malandain
Music: Maurice Ravel
Costumes: Jorge Gallardo
Lighting: Jean-Claude Asquié

A work for 12 dancers created as part of a series of works in "Homage to the Ballets Russes".
In an enclosed and restricted space twelve dancers perform almost mechanically as Ravel's orchestral theme is repeated relentlessly. At the liberating finale of the music they escape stumbling into the silence, "imprisoned on the outside".

This Spanish "character ballet" was commissioned at the request of the Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein who was a friend and patron of Ravel. It was first performed by the Rubinstein company at the Paris Opera on 22nd November 1928 with choreography by Bronislava Nijinsky. The action took place in an Andalusian tavern where a gypsy girl, dancing on a table, caused sensuous intoxication among a group of men. I departed from this storyline, which was updated by Maurice Béjart in 1961, in order to focus exclusively on the musical motif which Maurice Ravel uses in an obsessive way until the final climax. The composer made no secret of the musical sexuality of this orchestral crescendo and finale.

"Instead of using this erotic analogy I chose to show the gradual gaining of liberty from imprisonment by challenging the performers and confining them in an enclosed and restricted space. This was a limit which existed in the uniqueness and mechanical repetition of the musical theme which explodes in an intense final moment before the silence falls and the dancers find themselves "imprisoned on the outside".
Thierry Malandain

CLASH - Patrick Delcroix

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Choreography: Patrick Delcroix
Music: Murcof
Costumes: Sean Wood
Created April 2008

Patrick Delcroix issues a real technical challenge to the dancers around a universal theme (a conflict using tense flow and suspention between masculin and feminin) even though they are experienced in accomplished exercises of style. This is the third work by the French choreographer for the company. His earlier works were "Tacuba Café" in 2005 and "Instant de Songe" in 2007. "Clash" is an abstract piece exploring the fluidity of movement through speedy and often complex sequences requiring a high level of performance skill from the dancers.


ROOSTER-Barak Marshall


Choreography: Barak Marshall
Music: Music mix by Barak Marshall and Giori Politi
Re-staging: Osnat Kelner
Assistants: Rachel Erdos, Alma Munteanu
Costumes: Marion Schmid
Lighting: Eric Pellin

This was a coproduction by the Suzanne Dellal Centre and the Israeli Opera which premiered in November 2009 at the Tel Aviv Opera House.

"Rooster" is based on a short story "Bontsha the Silent" by Isaac Loeb Peretz and is about an unfortunate young man during a night of sporadic dreams. Barak Marshall creates entertaining moments which will delight the audience. "Rooster" is very much a  dance theatre work at once funny, sad, and lively.

"Barak Marshall is a true creator, a mature choreographer with a powerful style and a unique voice. His work is original, powerful, frenzied, carried along by excellent dancers and by an inner momentum and an intelligence which give it a dramatic fluency."
Raphael de Gubernatis, Le Nouvel Observateur, 2nd February 2009


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: Angelin Preljocaj
re-staging: Naomi Perlov
Music: Igor Stravinski, Noces

"As far back as I can remember, weddings have always seemed to me like strange tragedies : Balkan tradition or viewpoint from an imaginative child, I knew that surrounding the bride, who is always absent from the festivities, the mystery would grow as the bridesmaids busied themselves to change her into a currency passing from one family to the other, and that finally she would appear at the ultimate moment, just when all spirits, dulled by a day of gentle drunkeness would turn their attention towards her, no longer being able to ignore that anticipation of the drama , with her as its veiled reflection.
Then offering herself in a back-to-front version of a funeral ritual, she would walk slowly, her eyes brimming with tears, towards the consented rape."

Angelin Preljocaj

DIPgeneve100pxThe Ecole de Danse de Genève is accredited by the Département de l’instruction publique, de la formation et de la jeunesse Service écoles et sport, art, citoyenneté and recieves funding from the République and canton de Genève. 
It is a member of  CEGM and certified Artistiqua .

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