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Young artists

Video on demand: Ukiyo-e

Watch online on www.gtg.chRecorded at Grand Théâtre de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
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On demand until Tuesday 28 February 2023 23:59
Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève
Alexander DodgeSet Designer
Yuima NakazatoCostume Designer
Dominique DrillotLighting Designer

For the opening of the season of the Geneva Ballet, Skid by Damien Jalet, the company’s new associate artist, and the world premiere of Ukiyo-e by its director Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, will bring into play the forces that give way to or resist the Earth’s law of gravity, by which our fragile existences sometimes rise and often fall. They both take the side of resilience, to exalt the scars left by the wound of the fall or the vertigo of height. Oscillating between verticality and horizontality, Damien Jalet’s Skid is presented on a platform inclined at 34 degrees that plunges directly into the orchestra pit, inspired by the Earth’s gravitational acceleration of 9.8 metres per second. With only two entrances into the angular space, above and below, the dancers draw lines of physical history between appearance and disappearance. Sometimes epic, dangerous, humorous or moving, the slope of Skid creates a chain reaction of physical and emotional events where the physical relationship with others is often the only solace against the call of the void. Ukiyo-e, or how to survive together in a world constantly in crisis? A meditation on our capacity for resilience, this new piece by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is named after the “images of the floating world”, the famous artistic movement that emerged in Japan during the Edo period, in the demi-mondes of urban hedonism. The piece activates a work of balance in the face of impermanence. Beyond dualities, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui proposes to envisage bodies that do not end with fractures and limits, but rather to exalt these as augmentations of our person, like the Japanese technique of kintsugi that repairs broken porcelain with joints of pure gold. Alexander Dodge’s set will present a network of impossible staircases in which the dancers lose themselves. These mobile labyrinthine structures are intended to evoke both the ascent and the abyss. It is in this sequence of degrees, potentially enabling or disabling, that the bodies are called upon to unite, dialogue and contaminate each other. The performance will be accompanied on stage by Szymon Brzóska’s new compositions for string trio and piano and Alexandre Dai Castaing’s rhythmic, percussive and electronic creations. Gathered in Ukiyo-e, these worlds resonate with the ballet’s search for repair and transcendence.

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