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La Grande Nymphe

January, 25 and 26

The mythical figure of the Nymph is that of a carnal body that vanishes and reappears, embodying the rhythm of erotic desire. It is at the heart of one of Claude Debussy’s most famous compositions, the Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (1894), inspired by a poem by Mallarmé. The Prelude does not tell a story, but recreates the lascivious and sensual atmosphere of an afternoon in music, and would become famous in dance history through a rendition by Nijinsky. A century later, choreographer and dancer Lara Barsacq tackles this enduring image of the Nymph as depicted by men. She is accompanied on stage by Marta Capaccioli and Cate Hortl. Together, they create a hymn to the free body, and to dance as a chance to free oneself from a pre-existing idea of sexuality. They move on an explosion of sounds, in which the Prelude breaks down into electronic and synthesizer music, until it is eventually interpreted live by a classical ensemble. A sensual battle with tradition, for a new erotic imagery.

Lara Barsacq is a choreographer, dancer and actress. She likes to mix the tracks between archives, fiction, incarnation and documentary. Starting from history, autobiographical rituals and the material of reality, she tries to imagine dances, metaphors and to switch into incarnation. Graduated at the Conservatoire national de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP) in contemporary dance, she joined the Batsheva Company between 1992 and 1996. From 1994 to 2004, she devoted herself to choreography, whether for her projects or at the request of the CNSMDP and professional companies, such as the Batsheva Ensemble. In 2002, she decided to focus on her career as a performer, curious to confront the universe of other choreographers or creators, among whom we can mention: Benny Claessens, Lies Pauwels, Lisi Estaras or Jérôme Bel. Since 2016, Lara Barsacq created four pieces: Lost in Ballets russes (2018), IDA don’t cry me love (2019), Fruit Tree (2021) and La Grande Nymphe (2023).

A project by Lara Barsacq (creation 2023) / Creation and interpretation Marta Capaccioli, Lara Barsacq, Cate Hortl, Léonore Frommlet, Wanying Emilie Koang, Alyssia Hondekijn / Original music Cate Hortl / Set design and costume Sofie Durnez / Light design Estelle Gautier /Artistic advices Gaël Santisteva / Video Gaël Santisteva, Lara Barsacq / Video animation Katia Lecomte Mirsky / Music Claude Debussy / General management Emma Laroche / Sound management Sammy Bichon / Administration & production Myriam Chekhemani / Communication & diffusion Quentin Legrand – Rue Branly
Production Gilbert & Stock / Coproduction Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Charleroi danse – Centre Chorégraphique de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Théâtre de Liège, Les Brigittines (BE), CCN de Caen en Normandie dans le cadre de l’Accueil-studio, CCN2 – Centre Chorégraphique National de Grenoble (FR) / Résidences de création Charleroi danse, Grand Studio, Les Brigittines (BE), CCN de Caen en Normandie, CCN2 – Centre Chorégraphique National de Grenoble (FR) / With the support la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles – Service de la danse
With the kind participation of Mrs. Coralie Cadène, head of costume heritage at the Opera

Acknowledgements Astrid Vansteenkiste, Soledad Ballvé, Marion Sage, Sue-Yeon Youn, Marceline Bosquillon, Ivan-Vincent Massey, Benoit Pelé, Heide Vanderieck, Stéphane Barsacq, Julien Fournier, Soline Poteau, Jules Fournier, Belinda Mathieu, Erwan Ha Kyoon Larcher, Les Halles de Schaerbeek, Simon Thierrée, Fabienne Aucant, Daniel Blanga Gubbay, Frédéric Jamagne, Philippe de Lustrac, Stanislav Dobak