Paris’ Opera Garnier has asked Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui to produce a new version of Ravel’s Bolero, which was first performed there in 1928.
Choreographer Damien Jalet and Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic worked with him.
“Bolero, for me, is about energy, electric energy. That’s why I was thinking: how can I transmit this in scenography? How can I have an idea to make the public feel the same? And then I took something very simple: static electricity from a TV set,” said Marina Abramovic.
Damien Jalet added: “I think here is something very obsessive about the Bolero, with the repetition of a theme that grows and grows during 15 minutes. At the time, it was a very avant-garde piece, that has had a strong influence on minimal music, like Steve Reich and many others, as well as the techno movement. And, I think that working in such an obsessive way with the dancers on this idea of rotation has a lot to do, in a certain way, with performance art and with what Marina is looking for in her work.”
“It is so difficult to get everything right: the right light, the right scenography, the right dance, the right music and then the energy of the dancers,” said Marina. “It’s like you’re making a good soup. I think we made good soup.”
The new Bolero runs at the Opera Garnier in Paris until June 3.