The West Coast debut of Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève: April 13-15
For Immediate Release: March 12, 2012
The West Coast debut of
Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève
General Director: Tobias Richter
Ballet Director: Philippe Cohen
Ballet du Grand Théâtre partners: Pro Helvetia and JTI
Featuring the North American Premieres of
Les Sylphides and Spectre de la Rose and Amoveo
Choreography by Benjamin Millepied
Three Performances only!
April 13-15, 2012
Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
"The Swiss company has a rich century long history [and] exceptionally supple ballet-trained dancers" The New York Times
March 12, 2012 - The 2011-2012 season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Centercontinues withBallet du Grand Théâtre de Genève performing the Northern American premieres of Les Sylphides and Spectre de la Rose, re-imaginings of the original works by Michael Fokine set on the famed Ballets Russes, as well as Amoveo firstcreated for the Paris Opera Ballet. All three pieces are choreographed by former New York City Ballet dancer and acclaimed choreographer BenjaminMillepied, widely known for his work in last year's award-winning film Black Swan. The Boston Globe says, "The acclaimed Swiss company hasbeen called one of the most original and inventive troupes in Europe with a repertoire that pushes the boundaries of contemporary ballet."
Since its inception, this company has explored the stylistic diversity of dance in the twentieth century, which led to work with renowned artists suchas George Balanchine (who served as artistic advisor from 1970 to 1978), Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, WilliamForsythe and Lucinda Childs. Now headed by Philippe Cohen, the Grand Theatre Ballet has 22 dancers of various nationalities. Classically trained, theyare all able to perform neo-classical and contemporary dances.
About Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève
The history of ballet in Geneva dates back to the beginning of the 19th century and is intimately linked with the "Théâtre deNeuve", initially located in the Bastions, and subsequently in the present-day Grand Théâtre. By the 1870s, the ballet master of thetime had two dozen dancers under his instructions, of whom several held the rank of soloist.
From the beginning of the 20th century, the evolution of dance in Geneva was strongly influenced by the presence in Geneva of EmileJaques-Dalcroze and subsequently Ernest Ansermet, who were responsible for the introduction of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and Nijinski tolocal audiences.
During this period and immediately after the Second World War (1939-1945), the Grand Théâtre's own corps de ballet was deployedprimarily in ballet scenes within operas and operettas, or in pas de deux. After the theatre was destroyed by fire in 1951 and during itssubsequent reconstruction, the Grand Casino played host on several occasions to the Paris Opera Ballet, as well as to Maurice Béjart's 20 th Century Ballet.
In 1962, to honour its re-opening, the Grand Théâtre acquired an enlarged company under the direction of Janine Charrat (1962-64). FollowingCharrat as Artistic Director was Serge Golovine, one of the most remarkable classical dancers of his generation. He held the post for five years from1964 to 1969. Alongside his work as choreographer and principal dancer, Serge Golovine was also a prolific teacher.
In 1969, summoned by his friend Herbert Graf, Director of the Grand Théâtre, George Balanchine, without doubt the greatest choreographer ofthe 20th century, became the Company's Artistic Advisor. He transformed the Geneva Ballet into a kind of European ambassador for the NewYork City Ballet, appointing as Director Alfonso Cata (1969-73), who would set a new direction for the Company and provide it with fresh impetus. Aswell as producing his own works, Cata produced Balanchine's great choreographies with the purest style and great musicality. In addition, he invitedother world-class choreographers, such as Tudor and Bolender, to Geneva, thereby strengthening the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève andwidening its popular appeal.
Subsequently, under the inspiration of Balanchine, Patricia Neary (1973-78), soloist at the New York City Ballet, took the reins at the Company. WithPatricia Neary's departure for Zurich, the Balanchine era came to an end, and Peter van Dyk, an exceptional former principal dancer at the Paris Opera,took charge of the Ballet for two years from 1978 to 1980.
As newly appointed Director General, Hugues Gall called upon Oscar Araiz to take over as Director of the Ballet in 1980. The great Argentinean wouldstamp a new expressionist style - modern and innovative - on the Company, during a tenure which lasted eight seasons (1980-88). More than 30premières were presented to the public over this period, including Tango, Adagietto, Scènes de famille and Cantares.
At the beginning of the 1988-89 season, Gradimir Pankov, former Director of the National Ballet of Finland and of the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm,took his turn at the helm. He was the Company's first Director who was not himself a choreographer. As a result, the Company, no longer attached to anyparticular style, opened a new chapter in its history. It became more polyvalent, adapting itself to the wide-ranging styles of its visitingchoreographers. Audiences were exposed to a new repertoire and several of the leading choreographers of the day came to Geneva for the first time, suchas Jiri Kylian, Christopher Bruce, Rudi Van Dantzig, Mats Ek and Ohad Naharin. This collaboration brought new blood to the Company and was warmlyreceived.
From 1996, Renée Auphan became Director General of the Grand Théâtre de Genève, and entrusted the direction of the Ballet toFrançois Passard and Giorgio Mancini. The Company continued to pursue its policy of inviting guest choreographers to Geneva, both neo-classicaland contemporary alike.
In 2003, Jean-Marie Blanchard, Director General of the Grand Théâtre de Genève since 2001, appointed Philippe Cohen to head the Ballet.Since his appointment, Philippe Cohen has continued to seek out new choreographers to bring to Geneva, such as Andonis Foniadakis, Sidi LarbiCherkaoui, Gilles Jobin or Benjamin Millepied, and has given these artists carte blanche for their productions. He has also continued toenrich the repertoire with works by renowned choreographers such as Carolyn Carlson, Lucinda Childs, Jerome Robbins, Nacho Duato or Saburo Teshigawara.
The Ballet du Grand Theatre continues to enrich and broaden it's repertoire with programs that invite the public to discover the "newcomers" such aschoreographers like Ken Ossola, Isira Makuloluwe or even Dominique Bagouet, Joëlle Bouvier, Michael Kelemenis and Emanuel Gat .
In 2009, Tobias Richter was nominated the Grand Théâtre de Genève's general director and nourishes the continuity and fully supports allprojects of the company. With the development of international tours, USA, Australia, South America, Asia, the Ballet now shares its passion for dancewith a wider audience who are captivated by the mere artistry.
About Philippe Cohen
Born in Morocco in 1953. In 1971, he began his dance training at "Le Centre de Danse International Rosella Hightower" and continued his studies until1974. The political openness of this school gave him the possibility to work with diverse personalities such as Anton Dolin, Nora Kiss, TatianaGrantzeva,
Igor Youskevitch, Sonia Arova, and John Gilpin. He joined "Le Ballet de Nancy" directed by Gigi Caciuleanu and performed in all of the company'screations including several by Dominique Bagouet. This encounter was important and Philippe Cohen followed the choreographer's artistic adventure from
1978. Until 1982 he accompanied Bagouet as an artist, professor and assistant notably in the production of Les Voyageurs performed by"L`Opéra de Paris ". And in parallel to the company's work, he explored different contemporary dance techniques including Peter Goss, Susan Buirgeand Alwin Nikolais.
Bursary winner from the French Ministry of Culture, he decided to leave for the United States and follow the teachings of Merce Cunningham and theSchool of American Ballet. In 1983 Rosella Hightower invited him to become the ballet master for " Le Jeune Ballet de France ". Apart from the dailyclass, he was responsible for the company's classical repertoire including La Sylphide, Napoli, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, andchoreographies by Maurice Béjart, John Neumier, Serge Lifar or George Balanchine. Also different creations from contemporary choreographers suchas Carolyn Carlson, Daniel Larrieu, Claude Brumachon, Joelle Bouvier and Régis Obadia, Larrio Ekson, Régine Chopinot, and PhilippeDecouflé.
From 1988 to 1990, he was the study coordinator for "Le Centre National de Danse Contemporaine " in Angers and worked with Michelle Anne de Mey,Hervé Robbe, Wim Vandekeybus and Trisha Brown.
Philippe Cohen was named director of chorographical studies for "Le Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon " in 1990, aposition he occupied until 2003. He developed an international political exchange, which was conducted in Vietnam, Cambodia, China, South Korea, HonkKong, Thailand, Belarus, Germany, England, Georgia and Canada. Since 2003, he has directed " Le Ballet du Grand Theâtre de Genève ". PhilippeCohen was distinguished by the French Ministry of Culture and was awarded the Arts and Letters Officers Medal. The Vietnam government honored him forservice rendered in the development of Vietnamese culture.
About Benjamin Millepied
Born in Bordeaux France, Benjamin Millepied began his dance training at the age of eight with his mother, Catherine Millepied, a former modern dancer.From age thirteen to sixteen he attended the Conservatoire National de Lyon, studying classical ballet under Michel Rahn. In the summer of 1992,Millepied made his first appearance in New York City, for a summer program at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York CityBallet. The following year, he became a full-time student at the school, having received the "Bourse Lavoisier," a scholarship award from the FrenchMinistry of Culture. In the 1994 School of American Ballet Spring Workshop, Millepied originated a principal role in Jerome Robbins' 2 & 3 Part Inventions set to music by J.S Bach. That same year, he was awarded the "Prix de Lausanne." In his last year at SAB, Millepiedreceived the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and was invited to become a member of New York City Ballet. In the Spring of 2001, he waspromoted to the rank of Principal Dancer. In 2004 and 2005, Millepied directed the Morriss Center Dance Workshop in Bridgehampton, New York. From 2006to 2007, he was choreographer-in-residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York. In 2007, Millepied received the United States Artists WynnFellowship. In 2010, he was made Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture.
Millepied's repertoire includes featured roles in George Balanchine's Agon, Ballo Della Regina, Coppélia, "Divertimento" from Le Baiser De La Fée, The Nutcracker, Harlequinade, Rubies, A Midsummer Night'sDream, Raymonda Variations, La Source, Stars and Stripes, Symphony in C, Tarantella, Tschaikovsky Pas De Deux, Theme and Variations, Valse-Fantasie; inJerome Robbins' 2 & 3 Part Inventions, Dances at a Gathering, Fancy Free, A Suite of Dances, In The Night, The Four Seasons, Dybbuk, Interplay,PianoPieces and West Side Story Suite; in Susan Stroman's Double Feature and Christopher Wheeldon's Carousel (A Dance) and Mercurial Manoeuvres; and in Peter Martins' Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. Additionally, Millepied originated roles in manyworks, including: Jerome Robbins' Brandenburg, Les Noces (revival), and Dybbuk (revival); Peter Martins' Hallelujah Junction; Angelin Preljocaj's La Stravaganza; Mauro Bigonzetti's Vespro and In Vento; and Alexei Ratmanski's Concerto DSCH. In 1999and 2002 he appeared in featured roles with the New York City Ballet for the nationally televised Live From Lincoln Center broadcast.
Millepied is recognized in the dance world both as a dancer and also as a choreographer. His choreographic works include: Passages for theConservatoire National de Lyon (2001), Triple Duet for Danses Concertantes performed at Sadler's Wells, London (2002) andCircular Motion also for Danses Concertantes, London (2004); Chaconne, a dance film, co-directed by film-maker Olivier Simola (2003); On The Other Side for Danses Concertantes performed at Maison de la Danse, Lyon (2004); Double Aria danced by the New York CityBallet, with the original score of Daniel Ott (2005); 28 Variations of an Theme By Paganini for the School of American Ballet (2005); anoriginal full-length Casse-Noisette for the Grand Théâtre de Genève with set designs and costumes by artist Paul Cox (2005);Closer as part of Benjamin Millepied and Company season at the Joyce Theater New York, with live accompaniment by Philip Glass (2006); Capriccio for American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company (2006); Years Later, a solo work for Mikhail Baryshnikov in collaboration withMr. Simola (2006); Amoveo for the Paris Opera Ballet with set design by Paul Cox and costumes by Marc Jacobs (2006); From Here On Outfor American Ballet Theatre, original score by Nico Muhly (2007); Petrouchka for the Ballet de Genève with set design and costumes byPaul Cox (2007); Triade for the Paris Opera Ballet with an original score by Nico Muhly (2008); 3 Movements for Pacific NorthwestBallet (2008); Without for Danses Concertantes (2008); Quasi Una Fantasia for the New York City Ballet (2009);Everything doesn't happen at once for American Ballet theatre (2009); Sarabande for Danses Concertantes, premiered in Lyon (2009);Why Am I Not Where You Are with a commissioned score by Thierry Escaich and scenery by Santiago Calatrava, New York City Ballet (2010); Plainspoken with a commissioned score by David La ng, New York City Ballet (2010); and One thing leads to another with a commissionedscore by Nico Muhly, costumes by Rodarte, Het National Ballet (2010).
In 2010, Millepied choreographed and starred in Darren Aronofsky's feature film Black Swan.
About Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center
Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center(KDMC) is one of the leading presenters of dance on the West Coast. The celebrated series offers significant works by prestigious ballet andcontemporary dance artists from around the world. Entering its second decade, KDMC continues to be a powerful commissioning force through the supportof new works and artists-in-residence projects by today's most influential companies and choreographers. Performances take place throughout the MusicCenter, from the historic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, providing the ideal setting for distinct and inspiringdance experiences.
About The Music Center
As one of the top performing arts centers in the world, the Music Center is committed to strengthening community through the arts. Set in the heart ofLos Angeles' downtown cultural district and home to four internationally renowned resident companies -- LA Phil, Center Theater Group, LA Opera and LosAngeles Master Chorale -- and the celebrated Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center, the Music Center offers the most compelling,highest quality engagements. In its effort to extend the reach and accessibility of the performing arts, the Music Center is a national model forexperiences in which people participate directly through its Active Arts® at the Music Center. As well, the Music Center presents specialproductions, events and festivals for children and families, including World City at the Music Center, and plays a leadership role inadvocating for and directly providing arts education in schools throughout the County. The Music Center boasts four venues -- the Dorothy ChandlerPavilion, Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and Walt Disney Concert Hall -- as well as a vibrant collection of outdoor theatres, plazas and gardens.For more information, please visit musiccenter.org.
Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève
||Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 North Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
||Friday, April 13 - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 14 - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 15 - 2:00 p.m.
||$34 - $125
||Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office
135 N Grand Ave. at 1st. Street
Los Angeles, CA USA 90012
||10 or more, call (213) 972-8555
||Online - musiccenter.org
Phone - Music Center Dance Information Line (213) 972-0711