23 December 2023

The Béjart Ballet Lausanne’s great adventure continues

More than 7,000 people gave a standing ovation to the program danced by the BBL at the Beaulieu Theater in Lausanne this week: Nivagation, a new creation by Belgian artist Marc Hollogne, and two choreographies by Maurice Béjart, the Concerto in D ballet and Adage pour deux. The press was enthusiastic.


“A terrific show!”, “insane technical mastery!”, “fantastic dancers!”: the audience was full of praise as it left the beautiful Beaulieu theater after a series of performances by the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, the last of which was last night. These comments were confirmed by the local press: “Hats off to the astonishingly creative Belgian orchestra-man (…)”, wrote the Lausanne newspaper 24 Heures, in reference to Nivagation, the latest Cinema–danse–theater production by the brilliant Marc Hollogne for the BBL.


“Marc Hollogne, who created Dixit here in December 2017, is a master in the art of depicting the hidden face of our tidy lives,” explains Alexandre Demidoff for Le Temps. “Gil Roman, the man on whom everything in Nivagation rests, is as stunning as a dancer (at 63) as he is as an actor,” adds dance critic and historian Jean-Pierre Pastori. The BBL’s Artistic Director, Gil Roman returned to dancing for the occasion, while also choreographing this audacious show imagined by Marc Hollogne, who wrote the text, directed, produced the films and composed the music with his brother Julien de Hollogne (with the participation of Philippe de Cock)…


“Like an alley cat in the winter, the Artistic Director of the Béjart Ballet Lausanne finally chases away his sadness in Nivagation, a creation by Marc Hollogne, a master of tricks and spells”, writes the Swiss newspaper Le Temps. What is Nivagation? The king piece of an evening in three parts, as many fragments, deliciously outdated, of a love speech,” continues Alexandre Demidoff (…) Gil Roman, 63, plays with the times of his life. His past makes a beautiful present. Nivagation is the inner journey of a depressed warehouseman, as a man (Paul, a.k.a. Gil Roman) boards an imaginary vessel towards the light and reconciliation with his past and present: the love of his life, a wonderful Penelope (his partner Jasmine Cammarota): “His choreography is both inventive and highly effective,” says Jean-Pierre Pastori. “They elevate the show, embellished by the costumes Henri Davila created for each scene.”


Two pieces by Maurice Béjart opened the show, both equally captivating the audience: the Concerto in D ballet, danced to Stravinsky’s music for the first time in Lausanne since 2002. Béjart wrote: “Shapes that never stand still roll and unroll around subtle melodies and rhythmic constructions. In the middle of this “game”, an instrument that is both tender, technically brilliant and sensual; a woman: a dancer”. Solène Burel, Kateryna Chebykina and Mari Ohashi were alternately this magnificent dancer, demanding and passionate, shining alongside their impressively expressive partners Oscar Eduardo Chacón, Oscar Frame and Alessandro Cavallo.


Elisabet Ros and Julien Favreau are also expressive and theatrical in a hieratic Adage pour deux taken from Malraux or La Métamorphose des dieux. A pas de deux created in 1986 at the Cirque Royal in Brussels on Beethoven’s sleek “Violin Sonata Op.30”. According to Le Temps, “these performers are past the age of foolishness: their pas de deux is full of tricks, bickering and distinguished effusions; like the old lovers celebrated by Jacques Brel”.


The end-of-year celebrations are almost here, but the Béjart Ballet Lausanne is not leaving the stage. The company will celebrate the New Year on the prestigious stage of the Palais Garnier in Paris in a completely different configuration (Tous les hommes presque toujours s’imaginent, by Gil Roman, Bhakti III, Duo, Dibouk and 7 danses grecques, by Maurice Béjart – from January 4 to 7 (all performances are sold out!). The Lausanne-based company continues its season, which began on September 19 in Timisoara (Romania). Mézières, Shenzen and Shanghai, Bari, Zurich and Athens have all welcomed the company with open arms. It danced twenty-nine shows, most of them sold out, to the applause of over 36,000 people!


The great adventure continues!…

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