HD Ballet Screening
The Paris Opera & Ballet
Thierrée / Shechter / Pérez / Pite

Introduced by Adrian Danchig-Waring, NYC Ballet Principal Dancer and Director of the NY Choreographic Institute

NY Premiere

Sunday, February 3, 2019
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Presented in partnership with the American Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet

Four contemporary choreographers from diverse backgrounds come together to create distinctly original works for the Paris Opera’s resident dance company, leading the dancers to a new form of modernity where bodies vibrate with intensity.

Swiss-born James Thierrée takes over the Palais Garnier’s public areas and introduces us to his dream-like world in Frôlons. Israel’s Hofesh Shechter, often lauded for his trance-evoking dances, offers a new version of his piece The Art of Not Looking Back. Spain’s Iván Pérez occupies the stage of the Opera for the first time with The Male Dancer, a breath-taking creation for ten male dancers. Canada’s Crystal Pite returns with The Seasons’ Canon, a dazzling creation that thrilled audiences at the Palais Garnier in 2016.

Coffee, tea, and cookies will be served during the intermission.

3 hours 20 minutes including 1 intermission
Captured live during the 17/18 season

Creation in public spaces
Choreography, original music, scenography and costume design: James Thierrée
Lighting design: Cécile Giovansili Vessière

The Art of Not Looking Back
New Version
Choreography: Hofesh Shechter
Music: Hofesh Shechter, John Zorn, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Nitin Sawhney
Costume design: Becs Andrews
Lighting design: Lee Curran

The Male Dancer
Choreography: Iván Pérez
Music: Arvo Pärt (Stabat Mater, 1985)
Costume design: Alejandro Gomez Palomo
Lighting design & scenography: Tanja Rühl

The Seasons’ Canon
Choreography: Crystal Pite
Music: Max Richter (Recomposed: Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, 2012)
Set design: Jay Gower Taylor
Costume design: Nancy Briant
Lighting design: Tom Visser

Étoiles, Premiers Danseurs and Corps de Ballet of The Paris Opera
Film director: Cédric Klapisch
Cinéma distribution: FRA Cinéma

  • The Paris Opera & Ballet
    • The Paris Opera & Ballet is a world cultural treasure with a rich history that underpins an innovative, vital present. The Paris Opera traces its beginnings to King Louis XIV of France, who established a formal academy of music and dance at court in 1669. Over the centuries, the company has undergone many transformations as a public institution. Today the 430-member company of musicians and dancers, led by general director Stéphane Lissner, ballet director Aurelie Dupont, and music director Philippe Jordan, collaborates with acclaimed directors, choreographers, and singers, and enjoys a position as one of the leading opera and ballet institutions in the world. This year, it celebrates its 350th anniversary and the 30th anniversary of the opening of the larger of its two theaters, the Opéra Bastille.


  • James Thierrée
    • James Thierrée

      Director, author, composer, musician, performer, acrobat, and dancer, James Thierrée was born in Lausanne, Switzerland. From 1978 to 1994, he toured with Le Cirque Bonjour, Le Cirque Imaginaire, and Le Cirque Invisible. Between 1994 and 2012, he worked with Peter Greenaway, Robert Wilson, Carlos Santos, Beno Besson, Coline Serreau, Agniezka Holland, Jacques Baratier, Tony Gatlif, Claude Miller, Jacques Doillon and Roschdy Zem, among others. In 1998, he created his own company La Compagnie du Hanneton. The same year, he directed The Junebug Symphony, which won Molière Awards for best public performance, directing, theatrical newcomer, and best costumes for Victoria Thierrée in 2006. He has directed and performed in Bright Abyss (2003), Farewell Umbrella (2007), which won a Molière Award for regional touring, Raoul (2009), Tabac Rouge (2013), which won a Molière Award for visual effects in 2014, and The Toad Knew (2016).

      About Frôlons
      In this premiere for the Opéra national de Paris, James Thierrée totally immerses us in the world of dance, conjuring a choreographic anthill from the static marble of the Palais Garnier, to unfurl a primitive tribe that invites us into its strange ritual dances. So near, the bodies of the dancers and those of the spectators brush against one another, flow together, in the same movement. But where are they taking us? What are they preparing? We become entranced by their mysterious gestures, allowing ourselves to be transported into this world populated by strange creatures and sounds. Monsters? Endangered species? Insects? — Agathe Dumont about Frôlons

  • Hofesh Shechter
    • Hofesh Shechter

      One of the most gifted artists of his generation, Hofesh Shechter is the Artistic Director of the UK-based Hofesh Shechter Company, formed in 2008. The company is resident at Brighton Dome and Shechter is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells Theatre. His recent works for his company include Uprising (2006), In your rooms (2007), The Art of Not Looking Back (2009), Political Mother (2010), Survivor (in collaboration with Antony Gormley at the Barbican, 2012), Sun (2013), and Barbarians (2015). Shechter has also staged and choreographed works for leading international dance companies including the Royal Ballet, Netherlands Dance Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Bern Ballet, Carte Blanche Dance Company, Candoco, and Batsheva Ensemble.
      He has choreographed for theater, television, and opera, notably at The Metropolitan Opera in New York for Nico Mulhy’s Two Boys, the Royal Court on Motortown and The Arsonists, the National Theatre on Saint Joan, and for UK Channel 4’s series Skins. As part of #HOFEST, his own 4-week festival in four iconic London venues, he co-directed Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice with John Fulljames at the Royal Opera House. In 2016, he was nominated for a Tony Award for his choreography for the Broadway revival of Joseph Stein’s Fiddler on the Roof.

      About The Art of Not Looking Back
      The title of the work is both a question and a way of living one’s life. I can appreciate that it may be important to delve into the past and look back in order to resolve certain problems. But there is also the opposite attitude which consists of forgetting and living to enjoy the present moment. I really do not know which is best, or even if an absolute answer exists for everyone… Be that as it may, this piece with women asks the question. If you are the kind of person who “dwells on the past”, are there areas in which it is better not to enter? Will time eventually eradicate that which was left to wither by itself? It’s an open question that is important in my view. — Hofesh Schechter

  • Iván Pérez
    • Iván Pérez

      Born in Spain in 1983, Iván Pérez is a choreographer, director, and dancer based in the Netherlands. Iván Pérez began his career as a dancer with IT Dansa and the Netherlands Dans Theater (NDT). In 2006, he was nominated for the ‘Swan Best Dancer’ for his role in Indigo Rose by Jiří Kylián and received the award for ‘Best Interpretation’ during the International Choreography Competition New York-Burgos for his own solo, Polvo. After his debut choreography for the Netherlands Dance Theatre 2 Flesh (2011), Iván Pérez fully committed himself to his career as a choreographer. Working freelance, he created and set work for international companies such as Balletboyz, Ballet Moscow, Compañía Nacional de Danza, and Dance Forum Taipei. As an associate choreographer of the Dutch production house Korzo, he created Kick the Bucket (2011), Hide And Seek (2013), Exhausting Space (2015), and Waiting for the Barbarians (2016) with director Michiel de Regt. His works have toured in the Netherlands and internationally and have been shown at the prestigious Sadler’s Wells Theater in London and the National Theater of Taipei, among others. In 2016, he founded his own company INNE in the Netherlands. Deeply interested in exploring potentialities beyond dance, he collaborated with filmmakers and theater directors to develop new methodologies of movement. From 2016 to 2018, Iván was Associate Choreographer at ZfinMalta Dance Ensemble. In 2018, he served as curator of the Brave Festival in Wroclaw (Poland). He joined the new Dance Theatre Heidelberg (DTH) as Artistic Director in September 2018.

      About The Male Dancer
      When I started to conceive The Male Dancer, many questions occurred to me: how should a male dancer move? What should he look like? How should he behave onstage in today’s world? And how do these issues resonate within an institution such as the Opéra de Paris? With this production, I try to answer these questions personally, as a dancer, a man and an artist. For The Male Dancer, the French painter Claude Monet was one of my main sources of inspiration. The years of war he faced made him sink into a lonely artistic quest. He thus devoted himself to painting peaceful landscapes, as if it had become for him as much an emotional as an intellectual form of expression. The Water Lilies give “the illusion of an infinite whole, of a wave without horizon and without a shore”, as described by Monet himself. Intimately linked to the contemplation of nature, I see Monet’s ability of allowing himself to be affected as a powerful example of masculine sensibility. — Iván Pérez

  • Crystal Pite
    • Crystal Pite

      Canadian choreographer and performer Crystal Pite is a former company member of Ballet British Columbia and William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt. Pite’s professional choreographic debut was in 1990 at Ballet British Columbia. Since then, she has created over 40 works for companies such as Nederlands Dans Theater I, Cullberg Ballet, Ballett Frankfurt, The National Ballet of Canada, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (Resident Choreographer, 2001-2004), Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, and Louise Lecavalier/Fou Glorieux. She has also collaborated with Electric Company Theatre and Robert Lepage. Pite is an Associate Choreographer at Nederlands Dans Theater, Associate Dance Artist at Canada’s National Arts Centre, and Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells, London. In 2002, she formed her own company Kidd Pivot in Vancouver. Kidd Pivot tours nationally and internationally, performing works such as Dark Matters and Lost Action. Kidd Pivot’s residency at the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt (2010-2012) provided Pite the opportunity to create and tour The You Show and The Tempest Replica. More recently, the company has premiered Betroffenheit, a co-creation with playwright and actor Jonathon Young of Electric Company Theatre.

      About The Seasons’ Canon
      Max Richter’s score acted upon me as an invitation, and left me a lot of freedom of movement. I have always loved Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons: I listened to it “full blast” in my car every time I was on the road, and I dreamt of creating a choreography to such music. However, I was always hampered by its density,
      which I found difficult to penetrate, and I was also apprehensive about the inhibiting burden of its popularity.For me, the recomposed version by Max Richter gave new perspectives to those of Vivaldi, created new horizons, injected new emotions and character. It was as if he had given me new ears to listen to it. The structure of my piece follows that of Richter. The titles of the movements themselves acted as triggers: “Spring 1”, “Summer 2”, “Autumn 3”. This gave me the idea of dividing and classifying natural phenomena. I imagined producing a series of portraits that would describe the natural world […] Richter’s score contains a tension between simplicity and complexity, between vast and vertiginous spaces and tiny densities. This tension is something that I always try to achieve in my own work – I enjoy the energy created by contradictions. I am curious to see how choreography can evoke both the “micro” and the “macro”. — Crystal Pite

  • The American Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet
    • The American Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet (AFPOB) presents work by The Paris Opera & Ballet directly to the American public and fosters artistic cooperation between the Opera national de Paris and the creative community in the United States. Based in New York, the organization was incorporated in 1984 at the request of Rudolf Nureyev, the Ballet Director of the Paris Opera at the time, to help the company tour in the US. AFPOB helps to underwrite numerous US tours and guest appearances by the Paris Opera, the Paris Opera Ballet, and the Paris Opera Ballet School, as well as exhibitions from the Paris Opera Museum. AFPOB also supports works at the Paris Opera by leading American artists, such as Jerome Robbins, Trisha Brown, William Christie, Peter Sellars, and Robert Wilson.


  • Adrian Danchig-Waring
    • Adrian Danchig-Waring is a Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet, where he has performed since 2003. He was a founding member of Morphoses The Wheeldon Company (2007-2009), and has pursued project-based collaborations with artists such as Eliot Feld (Mandance, 2008), Luca Veggetti (The Bacchae, 2011), and Pontus Lidberg (Warriors, 2010 and Labyrinth Within, 2012). Since 2014, Mr. Danchig-Waring has worked in partnership with New York City Ballet’s Education Department and The Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center to develop a series of movement workshops for children with CP. This programming has expanded to include an ongoing partnership with NYU Langone focussing on young adults with Cerebral Palsy.  Mr. Danchig-Waring is the Director of the New York Choreographic Institute and was a 2017/2018 Research Fellow at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Jerome Robbins Dance Division.