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 video miniature by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. One dancer symbolises life, the other death. The monumental and spiritual context of the cathedral gives the choreography a new life. On the background, you can feel the turbulent dynamics of Pieter Paul Rubens' altar piece The ascension of Maria (1625-1626). The powerful piece with its upward motion, a tornado of light and movement, converses with Cherkaoui's darker, downward dance duet.
Music: Gabriel Fauré - Pie Jesu uit Requiem | Soprano: Annelies Van Gramberen | Organ: Conal Bembridge-Sayers | Choreography & direction: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui | Dance: Nicha Rodboon en Philipe Lens
Special thanks to the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal