Da “In Memoriam” – coreografia di Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

Moving and mysterious is this pas de deux from Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s ballet, In Memorium. It is danced by Marion Rastouil and Paul Soriot, dancers from the Ballet de Monte Carlo. The music is a collaboration with the Corsican polyphonic ensemble, A Filetta, directed by Jean-Claude Aquarian.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is a Belgian dancer, choreographer and director. He grew up in Antwerp to parents of mixed heritage, a Belgian mother and Moroccan Father. It is his background of cultural duality that has been a major influence in his work.

He taught himself to dance by watching music videos and later began dancing for TV shows while dancing with a hip hop company called Bang Gang Dance Company. He also studied contemporary dance at the Contemporary Arts School in Brussels, run by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. It is shortly after entering this program that he received his first choreographic award for a solo work in 1995. From there he has gone on to receive many awards for his works in contemporary dance and interdisciplinary creations.

Charkaoui is open to diverse forms of representation that appear eclectic and theatrical. He is not afraid to side step conventions by fusing all kinds of dance techniques from ballet, contemporary, hip hop, modern, jazz, Afrian, Kathak, Indian Classican dance and more. He has worked with independent artists, a wide range of dance companies, theatres and opera houses around the world. He eventually started his own company in 2010 called Eastman.

In this video showing the duet from, In Memoria, we see that he has combined Moroccan music with western contemporary ballet.

The ballet was inspired by the deaths of some of Cherkaoui’s family members. He created this work as an Ode to The Departed, in honor of his ancestors. Through this theme Cherkaoui shows the bond between reality and memory. He sets the ballet in an imaginary under world where dancers use magnetic forces to revive each other. Dancers were led to explore movements that create the illusion of “energy forces” that attract, repulse; magnetic and anti-magnetic, to examine the meaning of harmony.

In the duet we see the male dancer bringing the woman to life by the energy of attraction as he “moves” her limbs like a puppet with the “force” from his hand. This is very moving and beautiful with magical moments when it does look as though he is “moving” her. Throughout the ballet dancers move around each other in all kinds of ways but never touch till the moment this couple kiss.

I thought this was an unusual dance seeing how one dancer is the actor and the other is acted upon and made mysterious and sad by the longing and haunting harmonies woven in the music of another world.

This is a lovely pas de deux, touching and remarkable in its seeming simplicity and effect.

I hope you will enjoy it too! And SHARE with friends!


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