Fat and fantastic, French dancers redo the classics

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Fat and fantastic, French dancers redo the classics


For those Anglophones who haven’t noticed, it’s 2006, Korea-France Friendship Year, marking the 120th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations. As part of the celebration, three choreographers from the Opera National de Lyon are planning to stage a show at the Goyang Sport Complex and Park in Goyang, Gyeonggi province. The performance, “Threesome Fugue,” features the choreography of Sasha Waltz, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Maguy Marin.
It’s been 18 years since the Lyon troupe last performed in Korea. Founded in 1969, its deconstructed form of ballet choreography has influenced modern dance, and Lyon dancers are noted for their mix of traditional and contemporary movements and themes.
The three choreographers, who also dance, have greatly influenced the contemporary dance scene with their daring exploration of the problems of modern life, delving into political and social issues with themes that focus on universal alienation and dehumanization. For this performance, the dance pieces will be choreographed to classical music, giving the modern and sometimes comic movements an abstract and unbalanced feel.

Maguy Marin’s “Groosland,” for instance, features 20 dancers dressed in foam-rubber fat-suits, dancing to the music of Bach. Ms. Marin, 43, began studying dance at the Toulouse conservatory at the age of eight and has been adopted into the Order of Arts and Literature, and won a Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival award for lifetime achievement in modern dance in 2003. Her pieces tend to be political, such as “One Can’t Eat Applause,” about human freedom and dictatorship.
Sasha Waltz’s “Fantasie” focuses on rugged motions in tune with the music of Schubert; the robotic motions of the dancers never stop throughout the piece. Ms. Waltz, born in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1963, studied dance and choreography in Amsterdam and New York. She has receive many prestigious awards, including the Prize for Choreography at the International Choreographer’s Competition in Groningen. In 1993, she founded the dance company Sasha Waltz & Guest.
“Die Grosse Fugue,” by Anne Teresa de Keersmaker, is choreographed to Beethoven’s “Grand Fugue.” The performance combines simple and unyielding steps with the composer’s elaborate music.
Ms. Keersmaker was born in 1960 in Mechelen, Belgium and studied at the Tisch School of the Arts. She founded her dance company, Rosas, in 1983 and a dance school, Performing Arts Research and Training Studios, in 1995.

by Cho Jae-eun

“Threesome Fugue” runs from March 15-16. The performances start at 8 p.m. Tickets range from 10,000 ($10) to 70,000 won. For more information, call (02) 1544-1559 or visit www.artgy.or.kr.
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