How does contemporary dance inspire classical ballet and vice versa? Where do the performance qualities of a classically trained dancer overlap with those of a dancer trained in modern techniques? What forms of hierarchy characterise contemporary dance?
These and other questions about the relationship between contemporary dance and classical ballet will be the focus of the workshop Le Corps du Ballet, organised jointly by the Dutch National Ballet and the International Choreographic Arts Centre (ICKamsterdam), which will take place from Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 April 2013. Young choreographers and dancers from the two companies will meet up in The Amsterdam Music Theatre, with the aim of sharing their interests and expertise in order to (re)discover joint strengths and the possibilities of classical ballet.
Janine Dijkmeijer, managing director of the Dutch National Ballet, said “The Dutch National Ballet wants to provide a platform for young choreographers who want to focus on creating new work based on classical ballet technique. We attach great importance to talent development. These workshop days will form a wonderful boost for dancers of the Dutch National Ballet who want to develop their choreographic skills. In this case, there is the added advantage of expanding the dancers’ movement idiom in preparation for the production Le Corps du Ballet in September. And of course the collaboration with the Amsterdam company ICK is also very important to us”.
Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten, the directors of ICKamsterdam, said “Le Corps du Ballet is the umbrella title for a series of activities initiated by ICKamsterdam, which aims to innovate classical ballet from the inside out. The activities will include performances, workshops and symposia. The workshop Le Corps du Ballet is the official kick-off to an intensive collaboration with the Dutch National Ballet in this series, following a similar collaboration we set up previously with Les Ballets de Monte Carlo”.
Participants from the Dutch National Ballet include the dancers/choreographers Remi Wörtmeyer, Peter Leung, Matthew Pawlicki-Sinclair and Ernst Meisner. And the choreographers Mor Shani and Florentina Holtzinger have been invited to represent ICKamsterdam. The workshop will be led by Sandrine Leroy (choreologist and ballet mistress with the Dutch National Ballet) and Bertha Pascual Bermudez (research project coordinator with ICK).
Workshop programme - 11 to 14 April 2013
Wednesday 10 April: introduction & lunch (14.00)
The workshop will start with a panel discussion between Emio Greco and Ted Brandsen, moderated by Bertha Bermudez and Sandrine Leroy. In the discussion, the artistic directors will be asked about their personal relationship with the dance idiom of classical ballet. The discussion will be continued over lunch, where all the participants will meet up in an informal atmosphere.
Day 1 – Thursday 11 April
During the workshop, the participants will be introduced to various warming-up methods. Day 1 starts with a classical ballet class. The six makers will then share their artistic vision with each other, by showing fragments of their own work – live in the studio or on video recordings. The differences in approach to dance, the body, aesthetics, space and time will be discussed. The day closes with a workshop given by Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten, based on one of the pre-choreographic elements. The pre-choreographic elements are the basic elements, or characteristic movement phrases, which form the basis for Greco and Scholten’s contemporary dance idiom. Pre-choreographic Elements is also the title of an interdisciplinary research project by ICKamsterdam, which focuses on developing an improvisation system based on these movement phrases.
Day 2 – Friday 12 April
On day 2, the participants will have a workshop, Double Skin / Double Mind, in the morning. Double Skin / Double Mind is a warming-up; a specific physical preparation developed by Greco and Scholten. This is followed by Lab #1, in which the makers share their artistic vision with dancers of the Dutch National Ballet and set to work with them in the studio. The day closes with a follow-up discussion, in which the main findings of the day are shared.
Day 3 – Saturday 13 April
On day 3, the participants can decide on their own warming-up method. They can either choose an existing form of warming-up or use a method they have developed themselves. They then proceed to Lab #2, a second intensive day of work in the studio, where there is room for both creation and discussion. The day closes with a presentation of the main results to everyone concerned and the employees of both companies.
Day 4 - 14 April
See day 3 – ends around 16.00
An evaluation will take place one week after the workshop. At the same time, plans will be made for a follow-up.