Ballet Vlaanderen dances work by Merce Cunningham, Jonah Bokaer and William Forsythe: three American choreographers. Each with their own vision, identity and unique language of movement.
Pond Way – Merce Cunningham
Cunningham drew his inspiration for this work from his earliest childhood memories of skipping stones across pond. The ballet became a meditative experience in which the fluid movements of the dancers evoke the ripples on the water, as a sensual awakening. The choreographer was also inspired by the studies of nature that the painter Roy Lichtenstein constructed from the dot matrix style of newsprint.
Shahrazad – Jonah Bokaer
Based on the iconic figure from the Tales of the Arabian Nights, this central female character was able to save her own life and those of many other women through the stories she told. While the composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, working from a Western perspective, aimed to create a voluptuous Orientalist fairytale world, the American choreographer with Tunisian roots Jonah Bokaer explores who Shahrazad might be today, conceived from an Eastern perspective. With costumes by Azzedine Alaïa, for the first time working with the Royal Ballet of Flanders.
Approximate Sonata 2016 – William Forsythe
Approximate Sonata was created in 1996 to a sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven. However, the actual performance of the choreography is done to a fragmented composition by Thom Willems. This results in an incongruity between the movement and music, generating a tremendous tension. In Forsythe’s characteristic neoclassical style, the dancers push themselves and each other to extremes.