Bordeaux Opera: An ex-Daft Punk enters the dance of Preljocaj

In ‘Mythologies’, his latest world creation, presented in Bordeaux on Friday, choreographer Angelin Preljocaj offers the music of an unexpected composer: ex-Daft Punk Thomas Bangalter, who is signing his first piece for symphony orchestra.

Half of the once-star French-tinged duo are back on the music scene, this time to a score we weren’t expecting. “It’s amazing, Daft Punk splits up and what comes out is an orchestral work without electronics,” Angelin Preljocaj marvels a few hours before the premiere.

Scheduled until July 10 at the Grand-Théâtre de Bordeaux, the creation will tour in co-production with the Bordeaux National Opera for 37 dates starting in September.

“Creative table tennis”

“We’ve wanted to do something together for a number of years,” the 65-year-old French choreographer told AFP. “I asked him if he would like to write for an orchestra, he really did, well before Daft Punk split,” the prolific duo announced in February 2021 after 28 years of service.

“Thomas needed a libretto to work with, to invent, so I wrote a libretto with multiple mythologies, and he wrote the music, and then I got the music, and what it inspired me I put somewhere else again, it was like a palimpsest ‘ the choreographer continues.

Abandoning the machines to compose the score of a ballet is a process that necessarily “took a lot of time”, believes the conductor Romain Dumas, who is at the center of the production of the work shaped by three, as in a “creative Ping-pong”.

passion for Vivaldi

“When we’re writing for electronics, we don’t have to consider these data, like wind instrument players’ breath management or the way the strings play a note,” he notes.

This project has also proved to be a challenge for the musicians who, in “diligent training”, almost “athletic”, have to transform Thomas Bangalter’s music into perseverance, sometimes nervous with its breaks, but sometimes lyrical or with cinematic accents.

In this score, the composer evokes influences from Baroque music. “Thomas has a passion for Vivaldi and Bach,” but also for the “current of American minimalism,” from John Cage to Steve Reich, “which has innervated the entire style of contemporary American film music,” says Romain Dumas.

And in this set “more electronic things, extremely short and repeated motifs (…) are something very complicated for the human instrumental gesture”.

From the Minotaur to Roland Barthes

For his part, in the only interview given to the Opéra de Bordeaux’s Facebook account with his face uncovered, Thomas Bangalter confides: “The reason why I took on this project (because I don’t like doing things that I’ve already finished) , it would be compositionally interesting”.

In his “Mythologies” Preljocaj examines the myths that have passed through time since ancient times and their resonance with today’s world in a series of paintings that alternate in cold or shimmering tones.

We encounter “ancient mythologies, the Amazons, the Minotaur, but also the mythologies conjured up by Roland Barthes, such as wrestling, and then those that we create without realizing it, and that may become 21st century mythologies like war or Covid -19”, explains the choreographer, whose style combines classical language and contemporary dance.

In a sophisticated production with antique-inspired costumes, ten dancers from the Ballet Preljocaj and just as many from the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Bordeaux crown four years of collaboration between the two houses.

With this creation, Preljocaj confirms his love for electro after collaborations with Air, DJ Laurent Garnier and Daft Punk, from whom he had already borrowed the soundtrack of the film “Tron” for his piece “Gravité”.

This article was published automatically. Sources: ats/afp

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