• zoomReliefs d'un banquet
    Reliefs d'un banquet © M. F. Plissart
  • zoomReliefs d'un banquet
    Reliefs d'un banquet © M. F. Plissart
  • zoomReliefs d'un banquet
    Reliefs d'un banquet © M. F. Plissart
  • zoomReliefs d'un banquet
    Reliefs d'un banquet Dessins/Drawing: Oliver Koulischer
  • zoomReliefs d'un banquet
    Reliefs d'un banquet © M. F. Plissart
  • zoomReliefs d'un banquet
    Reliefs d'un banquet © M. F. Plissart
  • zoomReliefs d'un banquet
    Reliefs d'un banquet © M. F. Plissart
  • zoomReliefs d'un banquet
    Reliefs d'un banquet © M. F. Plissart
  • zoomReliefs d'un banquet
    Reliefs d'un banquet © M. F. Plissart
  • zoomReliefs d'un banquet
    Reliefs d'un banquet © M. F. Plissart

Reliefs d'un banquet

Synopsis


Récit (en lisant)

Reliefs d’un banquet is both an operatic and a choreographic production.  Based on Erik Satie’s symphonic drama, Socrate, to Plato’s dialogues, and Cheap Imitation – a “copy once removed” of Satie’s work that John Cage composed for Merce Cunningham fifty years later –, it revolves around the alternation of sung parts and solely danced parts.  In Satie’s view, the choreography was simply to ‘fill space’, to provide a framework for the sung parts.  In Reliefs d’un banquet, the dancing resolutely turns its back on this register to revolve around John Cage’s score. The theatrical strand steps back from these texts to focus on the issues of freedom of thought and morals and recalls how fragile humankind’s achievements in this connection are.

Satie gives the following instructions at the beginning of his score: récit, en lisant (narrative, to be read).  Reliefs d’un banquet is indeed a story based on different readings:  of Plato’s writings, of Socrates’ life, of Satie’s life, of the contexts in which the two musical works used in this new production were created – enlightened and progressive periods that were unfortunately followed by regression – and of the chords that these readings strike today.  The structures of the works, like the composers’ instructions, effectively leave great scope for dramatization.  The proposed staging for Reliefs d’un banquet is based in particular on the context in which Socrate debuted, that is, as American counterculture was in full bloom, and on Socrates’ “historical” end, that is, being sentenced to death in Athens, primarily for “corruption of the young”.  These parallels give rise to an apologue:  freedom (moral freedom, freedom of expression) is always threatened, the rights that society has achieved for its members are never definitive.  The figure of Socrates embodies the risk that individual freedoms run of being smothered.  This narrative is expressed by allusions, by body and voice.


Press

Press

‘The production, which is meticulously constructed (…), alternates sung and solely danced parts. Both lyrical and choreographic, it is a successful wager in which optical and auditory sensations combine to produce a unique form of “danced singing”. In opposition to the compartmentalisation of scholarly competence, lazy fiction of linear history, and illusion of steady progress, it puts emphasis on the transitions between disciplines and eras.’

Sonia Schoonejans, Ballet 2000, May 2004

‘The production’s great success lies in having succeeded in merging dancers and singers to produce one overall movement. The voices (…) melt into the choreography and sets. However, behind the reception’s pleasant appearance loom the harsher images of the rise of totalitarianisms and the ambiguous relationships between victims and their torturers. (…) A highly intelligent production that enthrals or shocks but delivers a polyphonic tale in its own way.’

Martine Dubois, La Tribune de Bruxelles, 15 April 2004


Tour

Tour

30-31/03/04

 

PREMIERE: Biennale Internationale Charleroi/Danses, Les Ecuries

Charleroi (BE)

23-29/04

& 4-8 /05/04

Théâtre Varia

Brussel (BE)

18/05/04

Théâtre du Muselet

Châlons-en-Champagne (FR)

4/06/04

De Velinx

Tongres (BE)

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