The Grand Théâtre de Genève Ballet Company, Switzerland, 2016

Tour Dates: 16th April- 26th April, 2016

The history of ballet in Geneva dates back to the beginning of the 19th century and is intimately linked...

Tour Dates
  • 16th April- 26th April, 2016

16th April, 2016, 19:30, Kaohsiung Cultural Center - Jhihde Hall
17th April, 2016, 14:30, Kaohsiung Cultural Center - Jhihde Hall
22nd April, 2016, 19:30, Shanghai Grand Theatre
23rd April, 2016, 19:30, Shanghai Grand Theatre
26th April, 2016, 19:00, Peking University Hall

The history of ballet in Geneva dates back to the beginning of the 19th century and is intimately linked with the“Theatre de Neuve", initially located in the Bastions, and subsequently in the present-day Grand Theatre. During this period and immediately after the Second World War (1939-1945), the Grand Theatre’s own corps of ballet was deployed primarily in ballet scenes within operas and operettas, or in pas de deux. The theatre was destroyed by fire in 1951. In 1962, to honourits re-opening, the Grand Theatre acquired an enlarged company under the direction of Janine Charrat (1962-64). At the beginning of the 1988-89 season, GradimirPankov, former Director of the National Ballet of Finland and of the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm, took his turn at the helm. As a result, the Company, no longer attached to any particular style, opened a new chapter in its history. It became more polyvalent, adapting itself to the wide-ranging styles of its visiting choreographers. In 2009, Tobias Richter is nominated the Grand Theatre de Geneve’s general director and nourishes the continuity and fully supports all projects of the company. With the development of international tours in USA, Australia, South America, Asia, the Ballet now shares its passion for dance with a wider audience who are captivated by the mere artistry.

Artistic Director: Philippe Cohen

In 1971, he began his dance training with Rosella Hightower and continued his studies until 1974. He worked with diverse personalities such as Anton Dolin, Nora Kiss, Tatiana Grantzeva, John Gilpin, MauriceBejart. He joined “Le Ballet de Nancy”directed by Gigi Caciuleanu and performed in all of the company’s creations including several by Dominique Bagouet. This encounter was important and he followed the choreographer’s artistic adventure from 1978. Until 1982 he accompanied Bagouet as an artist, professor and assistant notably in the production performed by“L’Opera de Paris”. He explored different contemporary dance techniques including Peter Goss and AlwinNikolais.Bursary winner from the French Ministry of Culture, he decided to leave for the United States and follow the teachings of Merce Cunningham.

In 1983, Rosella Hightower invited him to become the ballet master for “Le Jeune Ballet de France“. He was responsible for the company’s classical repertoire and choreographies by Maurice Bejart, John Neumeier, Serge Lifar or George Balanchine. Also different creations from contemporary choreographers such as Carolyn Carlson, Daniel Larrieu, ClaudeBrumachon, Philippe Decoufle. From 1988 to 1990, he was the study coordinator for “Le Centre National de Danse Contemporaine“ in Angers.

Philippe Cohen was named director of choreographical studies for “Le Conservatoire National Superieur de Musiqueet de Danse de Lyon” in 1990, a position he occupied until 2003. He developed an international political exchange, which was conducted in Vietnam, Cambodia, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Belarus, Cambodia, England, Georgia and Canada.

Since 2003, he has directed“ Le Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve”. Philippe Cohen was distinguished by the French Ministry of Culture and was awarded the Arts and Letters Officers Medal. The Vietnam government honoured him for service rendered in the development of Vietnamese culture.

Program: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Who can resist the love-potions and possets whipped up by Michel Kelemenis; or rather, the magic juices of his Puck? In his very personal appropriation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the French choreographer behaves uncannily like Shakespeare’smischievous elf. But this is no careless Puck at work, and this is no mere sequence of Freudian slips: Michel Kelemenis means business when he starts playfully pulling the strings of the comic play Shakespeare had imagined as a satire of Elizabethan society. In alluring tones, he leads his audience into a world where the marvellous and the mysterious rub elbows with the grotesque. Le Songed’unenuitd’ete is full of surprises: a forest with no trees or bushes, where rude mechanicals with dramatic ambitions bump into a donkey, the consequence of Oberon and Titania’s quarrel.

The Geneva Ballet Company invites us to an evening of enchantment in a place where dreams rule over (and overrule) everything. Estranged lovers pass in the night and meet again, as the mechanicals’ band of amateur actors opens the doors to a land of dreams. The subtle strains of Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet merge into the exquisite orchestration of his famous stage music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, leading us into the darkest corners of a fairy wood. Let yourselves be carried away by the poetry of bodies moving in a universe of essential sensuality, lightness and undisguised instincts.

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