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The mathematics of dance: Beethoven's 'Great Fugue' comes to Lyon

The Great Fugue is one of Beethoven’s late works – full of despair but also enthusiasm.

Now Lyon’s Opera ballet is performing the latest interpretation of the German composer’s classic with the help of world renowned choreographer Lucinda Childs.

Originally from New York, Childs is considered one of the most important representatives of Modern Dance and the minimalist style.

At first, Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Great Fugue” is not catchy. Contemporary critics said it was as “incomprehensible as Chinese”. But now it is considered one of the German composer’s greatest works, full of musical oomph and despair. When he wrote it, Beethoven was almost deaf.

For the dancers taking part in the production in Lyon, the “Great Fugue” is foremost a challenge of endurance and memory due to the elaborate jumps, turns, lifts and repetitions.

For the Opera in Lyon, it is the 3rd interpretation of Beethoven’s “Great Fugue”.

Lucinda Childs’ premiere is on November 17, when for the first time all three stagings will be shown one after the other.

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