March, from 19 to 21

CCN BALLET DE LORRAINE. Direction Petter Jacobsson Cunningham Program: For Four Walls, RainForest i Sounddance

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The national choreographic center Ballet de Lorraine, directed by Petter Jacobsson, brings to the Market a program around the american choreographer Merce Cunningham, who continues to be a reference for many generations of creators. The works we will see are For four Walls, a piece with 24 dancers and music by John Cage performed live; RainForest, starring Andy Warhol, 6 dancers and 2 live musicians, and Sounddance, featuring 10 dancers.

For Four Walls

The original piece, Four Walls, was a show featuring text and choreography by Merce Cunningham and a score for solo piano by John Cage. Following its premiere and only performance in 1944, the piece was lost and forgotten. Its structure is based on contrasts (loud-soft, high-low, etc.) with a psychological intensity quite unusual in Cage. This piece preceded what we identify as the Cage/Cunningham body of work. Here we encounter their youth, full of introspection and conflicting emotions.

For Four Walls is a wanderlust through room, the individual and the history we share. The choreographers state: “We don’t see For Four Walls as a re-enactment of the lost original piece, but rather as a situation capable of reflecting its trajectory and our trajectory with Merce Cunningham.”

Choreography Petter Jacobsson i Thomas Caley / Performers Jonathan Archambault, Esther Bachs Viñuela, Alexis Bourbeau, Charles Dalerci, Angela Falk, Nathan Gracia, Léo Gras, Inès Hadj-Rabah, Tristan Ihne, Matéo Lagière, Margaux Laurence, Laure Lescoffy, Valérie Ly-Cuong, Afonso Massano, Emilie Meeus, Elsa Raymond, Rémi Richaud, Willem-Jan Sas, Céline Schoefs, Jean Soubirou, Luc Verbitzky / Music John Cage – Four Walls (1st Mov.) / Pianist Vanessa Wagner / Sets and costumes Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley / Costumes Petter Jacobsson, Thomas Caley, Martine Augsbourger, Annabelle Saintier / Lighting Eric Wurtz
Coproduction Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse


Sounddance could easily be considered Merce Cunningham’s most appreciated piece, both among the public and the critics. Cunningham created this work in 1973 after spending nine weeks at the Paris Opera Ballet, where he choreographed the show Un Jour ou Deux. Reunited with his dancers, he wanted to conceive a piece in direct opposition to the uniformity and synchronized nature of ballet. So he produced a very fast and vigorous “organized chaos”.

Choreography Merce Cunningham / Performers March 19 & 21 Jonathan Archambault, Esther Bachs Viñuela, Alexis Bourbeau, Léo Gras, Inès Hadj-Rabah, Matéo Lagière, Laure Lescoffy, Emilie Meeus, Elsa Raymond, Rémi Richaud; March 20 Charles Dalerci, Angela Falk, Nathan Gracia, Inès Hadj-Rabah, Tristan Ihne, Margaux Laurence, Valérie Ly-Cuong, Willem-Jan Sas, Céline Schoefs, Luc Verbitzky /Music David Tudor, Untitled 1975/1994* / Live Music Etienne Caillet / Sets, costumes and lighting Mark Lancaster / Staged by Thomas Caley and Meg Harper / Rehearsal Director Thomas Caley/ Created on March 8, 1975 by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in Detroit, Michigan (USA) / Premiered by the CCN Ballet de Lorraine March 14, 2014 at the Opéra national de Lorraine (Nancy)


The title RainForest comes from Merce Cunningham’s childhood memories of the Northwest and the rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula. This piece differed from Cunningham’s other pieces in that, except for him, all the other dancers (6) performed their part and then left the stage never to return. Andy Warhol gave Cunningham permission to use his Silver Clouds installation of Mylar pillows, inflated with helium so that they could float freely in the air.

Choreography Merce Cunningham / Performers March 19 Alexis Bourbeau, Esther Bachs Viñuela, Nathan Gracia, Inès Hadj-Rabah, Willem-Jan Sas, Céline Schoefs; March 20 Alexis Bourbeau, Angela Falk, Tristan Ihne, Margaux Laurence,  Elsa Raymond, Luc Verbitzky; March 21 Léo Gras, Esther Bachs Viñuela, Charles Dalerci, Inès Hadj-Rabah, Willem-Jan Sas, Céline Schoefs / Music David Tudor / Decor Andy Warhol – Silver Clouds / Costumes design by Jasper Johns/ Lighting Aaron Copp / Staged by Cheryl Therrien and Ashley Chen

Productions made by CENTRE CHOREGRAPHIQUE NATIONAL – BALLET DE LORRAINE. CCN – BALLET DE LORRAINE receives the support of Ministère de la Culture – DRAC Grand-Est, Conseil Régional Grand-Est and Ville de Nancy. CCN – Ballet de Lorraine Ambassadeur culturel de la Ville de Nancy & de la Région Grand-Est


Useful information

Season: 2020-2021

March, from 19 to 21

7 p.m. (sunday 6 p.m.)

Sala MAC

25 €

Running time: 100min ('For Four Walls', 40min + Pause, 20min + 'RainForest', 20min + Pause, 5min + 'Sounddance', 15min)


web cia
‘El paradigma Merce Cunningham. Pràctica artística com a innovació’, by Ester Vendrell Sales on blogsite

Read the booklet

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