Now more than ever, we stay comitted to our goal of moving our audience with our art. That is why we have been working hard to continue to bring you the beauty of opera and ballet, even now that we can't enter our opera house just yet. A brand new series of video performances, titled #imaginationisalive, is the result.
Famous artists who are a part of our artistic family, such as Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Tom Goossens, Krystian Lada and Drew Jacoby work together with our singers, dancers and musicials to create these social distancing proof miniature artworks. Our two hometowns of Antwerp and Ghent form the stage. Sometimes you will see more opera, sometimes more ballet, but we always aim for a combination of both. As we begin with solo's and duets, we hope to increase in size in a later phase.
exit/awakening - Matt Foley & Kristie Su
For the first video of the series, principal Matt Foley and concert master Kristie Su were inspired by Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff. In their work, they express the artist wanting to break free from an artistic lockdown, and wants to reach out to the audience.
Choreography & dance: Matt Foley | Violin: Kristie Su
Quartet - Steven Prengels
In the second video, 'Quartet', composer Steven Prengels brings a sensory nightly encounter between Jacques Tati and Richard Wagner. To the tunes of the solo for cor anglais from Tristan und Isolde, dancer Joseph Kudra brings a playful and subtle choreography. The setting reminds one of Tati's masterpiece Mon Oncle.
Concept & direction: Steven Prengels | Choreography & dance: Joseph Kudra | Cor anglais: Tom van de Graaf | Eyes: Davy Smets & William Helliwell
Murmuration - Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
In the third video, Szymon Brzóska’s work for piano Murmuration of Starlings forms the acoustic landscape in which Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui transposes a turbulent collectivity into one single dancer’s body.
Music: Szymon Brzóska | Piano: Conal Bembridge-Sayers | Concept & choreography: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui | Dance: Daniel Domenech | Outfit Daniel: Jan-Jan Van Essche
Roxana's Song - Krystian Lada
For Roxana's Song, Kystian Lada was inspired by the opera Król Roger, in which the confrontation between mankind and nature is the main theme. Lada sees links between the story and the current pandemic. There are limits to man's unfettered ego, and he must aknowledge nature's superior power. For Lada, the future lies in a precious balance between ego and eco. The voice of the soprano is a force of nature that awakens an awareness in mankind - in this case, a dancer.
Concept & direction: Krystian Lada | Choreography & dance: Aaron Shaw | Music: Karol Szymanowski - Roxana's aria from Król Roger | Arrangement: Kasia Głowicka | Soprano: Dagmara Dobrowolska | Flute: Melanie Roosken | Oboe: Arie van der Beek | Study: Pedro Beriso
Pie Jesu - Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Pie Jesu is the second miniature by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui after dance solo Murmuration. One dancers symbolizes life, the other symbolizes death. The monumental and spiritual context of the cathedral in Antwerp gives this miniature a new breath of life.
Music: Gabriel Fauré - Pie Jesu from Requiem | Soprano: Annelies Van Gramberen | Organ: Conal Bembridge-Sayers | Choreography and direction: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui | Dance: Nicha Rodboon and Philipe Lens
Many thanks to the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal
Anepafa - Andonis Foniadakis
Physical contact has taken on a different meaning recently. We want to hold each other, but can't. In Anepafa (Greek for 'lack of contact'), two dancers show that longing to touch each other. A powerful and contemporary choreography by Andonis Foniadakis.
Concept & choreography: Andonis Foniadakis | Dance: Hector Ferrer & Misako Kato | Music: Luciano Berio - Psy | Double bass: Aykut Dursen
Bei Mir Bistu Shein - Barbora Horáková & Fanny Gilbert-Collet
Barbora Horáková and Fanny Gilbert-Collet give their perspective on the new reality we are all in. A visit to the barber shop, so trivial before the lockdown, nowadays feels like a controversial statement in a discussion about essential and non-essential workers. The Yiddish love song 'Bei Mir Bistu Shein', written for the musical 'I Would if I Could' in 1932, is the musical groundwork for this miniature performance. The English version, popularised by The Andrew Sisters in 1937, is sung here by Herlinde Van Den Bossche, Marta Babic and Sandra Paelinck. If you watch closely, you can even see a cameo by artistic director Jan Vandenhouwe!
Concept & direction: Barbora Horáková & Fanny Gilbert-Collet | Music: Sholom Secunda & Jacob Jacobs - Bei Mir Bistu Shein | Arrangement, piano & musical coaching: Pedro Beriso | Trumpet: Serge Rigaumont | Soprano: Herlinde Van Den Bossche | Mezzo: Marta Babic, Sandra Paelinck | Extras:
Pedro Beriso, Serge Rigaumont, Jan Schweiger, Peter Bellemans, Jan Vandenhouwe
Iustitia - Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
The post-modern pavillion by Charles Vandenhove at the Middelheim Museum forms the background for Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's third video miniature. Principal Nancy Osbaldeston takes on the role of Lady Iustitia, searching for the balance between good and evil.
Concept & choreography: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui | Music: Wim Henderickx - Fragment uit RAGA III voor altviool en elektronica | Viola: Béatrice Derolez | Dance: Nancy Osbaldeston
Zuilenpaviljoen, Charles Vandenhove (City of Antwerpen Collection)
Many thanks to the Middelheimmuseum