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Review: Ballet de Lorraine Brings Its Artistry to the Joyce

By Bethany Hopta, Contributing Writer, February 13, 2017

The Centre Choregraphique National Ballet de Lorraine graced the stage at the Joyce Theater on Friday, February 10, with a varied program. The evening opened with Devoted, choreographed by Cecelia Bengolea and François Chaignaud. This New York premiere featured nine female dancers dressed in emerald leotards, varied in cut and style. They pinged about the stage, in and out of the effective lighting, designed by Jean-Marc Segalen, spinning en pointe with their arms bent and rotating, giving the appearance of spinning tops. The dancer’s faces featured streaks of brightly colored makeup, while their leotards were accentuated by patterned bows, with each dancer wearing a footless stocking on one leg. The music by Philip Glass was layered, emphasizing the collective spinning, as well as the separate, flowing choreography given to the dancers.

Next was Hok Solo Pour Ensemble, a sharp, rhythmic piece which employed running and intricate patterns of movement. Alban Richard conceived and choreographed this piece, which was receiving its New York premiere as well. Utilizing both male and female dances, their precise movements in line formation characterized the performance, with music by Louis Andriessen providing the complementary inspiration for this work. The costumes by Corine Petitpierre appropriately enhanced the athletic choreography: gray shirts and trousers and black sneakers.

The evening concluded with Sounddance, choreographed by Merce Cunningham, with the stage transformed with strips of gold colored material, draped to resemble a curtain. The dancers, both men and women, were barefoot and wore gray leggings and gold shirts designed by Mark Lancaster, who also provided the set and lighting design. The dancers moved in pairs and separately with smooth, graceful motions, juxtaposed against music by David Tudor, which resembled propeller sounds as if a plane was passing overhead, coupled with high pitched sounds.

Artistic and general director, Peter Jacobsson, brought us a diverse program highlighting the range and scope of the company.  I would recommend an evening with the Ballet de Lorraine for a truly unique experience.

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Centre Chorégraphique National Ballet de Lorraine at the Joyce Theater, February 7-12, 2017. Peter Jacobsson, Artistic Director.

Devoted; Choreography by Cecelia Bengolea and Francois Chaignaud; music by Phillip Glass; lighting by Jean-Marc Segalen; costumes by Celcilia Bengolea and Francois Chaignaud with the CCN-Ballet de Lorraine costume shop. Dancers: Amandine Biancherin, Agnes Boulanger, Pauline Colemard, Laure Lescoffy, Sakiko Oishi, Marion Rastouil, Elsa Raymond, Elisa Ribes, Ligia Saldanha.

Hok Solo Pour Ensemble; Conceived and choreographed by Alban Richard; music by Louis Andriessen; lighting by Valerie Sigward; costumes by Corine Petitpierre. Dancers: Amandine Biancherin, Pauline Colemard, Laure Lescoffy, Valerie Ly-Couong, Sakiko Oishi, Marion Rastouil, Ligia Saldanha, Matthieu Chayrigues, Charles Dalerci, Tristan Ihne, Yoann Rifosta, Luc Verbitzky.

Sounddance; Choreography by Merce Cunningham;  music by David Tudor; set, costumes, and lighting by Mark Lancaster; staging by Thomas Caley and Meg Harper. Dancers: Amandine Biancherin, Agnes Boulanger, Valerie Ly-Cuong, Sakiko Oishi, Marion Rastouil, Jonathan Archambault, Mattieu Chayrigues, Justin Cumine, Tristan Ihne, Yoann Rifosta.


Cover: Members from the Ballet de Lorraine in ‘Sounddance’ by Merce Cunningham; photo: Laurent Philuppe.



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