In line with the spirit of gathering in the Principality the best professional dancers from all over the world, the Monaco Dance Forum, under the auspices of H.R.H. Princess of Hannover and the artistic direction of Jean-Christophe Maillot, renowned dancer and choreographer and current Director of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, inaugurated “L’Été dance” (Summer dances) last Thursday (12th July 2018) at the Monaco Opéra Garnier. A set of high-quality dance performances which includes two major events in July 2018.
A large audience welcomed “Dancing with Bergman” (scheduled until 14th July 2018) that opened the 2018 Summer Season to pay tribute to a milestone in international filmmaking, the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman on the occasion of his 100th anniversary. Three of the best contemporary Swedish choreographers interpreted, very effectively, the detailed inner soul of Bergman cinema focused on existential questions on the edge between human needs and religious belief. An innovative interactive dance approach, supported by multimedia, led the audience to relive the best shots from key movies like “Thirst” (1949), “Persona” (1966) “Fanny and Alexander” (1982).
Dynamism, pathos, synchrony of bodies, harmony of movements characterized the first pièce, “4 Karin”, by the choreographer Johan Inger, recreating the same ‘generational’ atmosphere of the movie The Dance of the Damned Women (1976), where the role-playing of the four protagonists (Two damned souls coming alive, one death soul and a child) are interwoven up until they blur together, almost portraying the fight between good and evil. A perfect teamwork by all performers (Anna Herrmann, Nina Botkay, Olivia Ancona and Alva Inger Armenta) highlighted a good balance between their artistic and dramatic talent.
Charisma and a great sense of body-improvisation creativity was expressed by the solo performance of the Swedish dancer and choreographer Alexander Ekman interpreting the pièce, “Thoughts of Bergman”, he created. An intriguing ‘journey’ into Bergman thoughts about dance and music which involved the whole public to the discovery of the incredible power which may arise from expressing ourselves through dance. According to the same Bergman, expressing ourselves freely by way of our body movements or by a musical instrument is the quintessence of dancing and playing music, able to influence whoever around us. Ekman showed a great knowledge of his body, with the strains of the 2nd Nocturne by Chopin, nicely mixed with communication skills willing to attract the attention and making the audience part of his performance.
A charming duo concluded the trilogy with “Memory” by the choreographer Mats Ek, one of the most respected dancer worldwide, who offered the public an impactful pièce expertly portrayed by himself and the talented ballet dancer Ana Laguna (his wife in real life). The empathy between the two protagonists revealed through their synchronized dance steps expressing the everlasting love that goes beyond times and spaces within everyday objects: a television, a bed, an armchair, a lamp, pushing the audience to change their perspective of looking at things, defying laws of gravity.
A great performance as confirmed by the final general standing ovation which motivates the audience to attend the second event programmed from the 26th to the 29th July 2018, performing “White Darkness” by Nacho Duato and “The Lavender Follies” by Joseph Hernandez interpreted by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. A must not to be missed!