April 18, 2021

The challenge of transforming Wagner – The Province

The challenge of transforming Wagner - The Province


The Ballet of the Grand Theater of Geneva explores the Wagnerian universe with 'Tristn and Isolde', which arrives this weekend at the Cuys Theater in the capital of Gran Canaria, with performances on Friday and Saturday, at 8:30 p.m. A spectacular production directed by Philipe Cohen with choreographies by Jolle Bouvier, founder of the company L'Esqisse. The assistant director Victorio Casarin, one of the most veteran of the company explains the keys of this piece by Wagner conceived by the German composer as a pear in three acts.

It is one of the most risky projects that have been carried out in the field of dance in recent years: converting the opera of Wagner Tristan and Isolde in a contemporary ballet. But that has been achieved, and with more than satisfactory results, the Ballet of the Grand Theater of Geneva, which will interpret the masterpiece of the German composer of Romanticism transformed into a dance show, in the Cuyás theater this Friday and Saturday at 20.30, on his first visit to the Canary Islands. An arduous job for which the Swiss company received the Prize of the Critics of Paris.

The assistant director, Vitorio Casarin, is the most veteran of all, since he has been working for 27 years in this team with different responsibilities, and affirms that the most complex of the work was music because "it is not intended for dance", and second "to reduce an opera four and a half hours in one hour and twenty minutes, but the latter has been the work of the prestigious choreographer Joëlle Bouvier, founder of the legendary company L'Esquisse, which "has conserved the three acts and the chronology, and condensed in one hour and twenty an opera of four and a half hours ", with which" the dancers are forced to go through many emotions to convey the plot well ".

For Casarin, an aspect that especially worried the company was the receptivity that they could have in the Wagnerians with this assembly. "We were all afraid to go to Germany since the most expert fans are there, but we always had a good reception", to which he adds that in the Tenerife Auditorium, where the company interpreted this same assembly last weekend, was also received in a "very warm" way.

The dancer Sara Shigenari will be the one who plays Isolda in the performances of Las Palmas since Madeline Wong, who played the princess at first, suffered an injury recently, and Geoffrey Van Dyck will give life to young Tristan. Armando Gonzalez transforms himself into King Mark and Lysandra Van Heesewijk will be the Witness. Complete the dance corps Yumi Aizawa, Céline Allain, Louise Bille, Ornella Capece, Diana Duarte, Léa Mercurol, Tiffany Pacheco, Mohana Rapin, Valentino Bertolini, Natan Bouzy, Zachary Clark, Xavier Juyon, Nathanäel Marie, Juan Pérez, Simone Repele, Sasha Riva and Nahuel Vega, a body of bailae with an average age of 25 years.

The work of director, Philippe Cohen, has been to choose the choreographers, and dancers that participate in this production. "He is responsible for the whole artistic part, he has been with this company for fifteen years, and in 2009 he made Romeno and Julieta for us also with Joëlle Bouvier". Precisely, Cohen, always chooses young dancers "because they are easier to modulate".

The Ballet of the Grand Theater of Geneva It is a contemporary company that does not have resident directors. "We do two programs with independent choreographers that come from all directions, but the dancers are trained in classical which allows a style of dance in a hurry," says the assistant director. But a special characteristic is that "it is a medium-sized company, which has a vocation to turn". This is explained because "Switzerland is an island in the world, and we are not a company that depends on the government, the authorizations or the sponsors, we only dance twice in Geneva and the rest are in other countries, so we have a capacity to adapt to all the places we go to and that is why there is great diversity in the company, all of different nationalities ".

On tour

Vitorio Casarin also highlights the bright lighting and that the work has a "simple, but very ingenious" decoration, with a spiral staircase that evokes a ship; a castle and a rope that symbolize the filter that irremediably binds lovers; simple wooden planks remind of the forest, a wall or a room, and the large blue fabrics, iridescent and moving, evocative of the waves in the sea. Scenic elements all suggest more than what they show. "It is the result of many small things that together make it all very original," he adds.

Tristán e Isolda was created in 2016 and in three years it has already toured all over the world, always working perfectly because it guarantees an unprecedented and impressive visual spectacle, with the medieval drama always present among one of the Knights of the Round Table with an Irish princess.

But if it had to stay with a scene, Casarin indicates that "I like especially the part of the death of Tristán, by the music, the scenography and the images that transmits".

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