Video-marathon of the Mats Ek’s ballet films
From November 25 to November 27 at the Angleterre cinema theater, the festival presented a video marathon of films about the ballets of the famous choreographer Mats Ek, inspired by Petipa’s themes: Giselle and Sleeping Beauty. November 27 at 16.50 after the film — Public-talk with Ana Laguna. The discussion was led by Vita Khlopova
November 25 at 16.00 — “Giselle”
A film-interpretation of the famous ballet Giselle by a Swedish choreographer, a living classic of the XX century – Mats Ek. In his production of Giselle the choreographer retained the music of Adolf Adam and took the classic libretto by Théophile Gautier, but he deliberately increased the sense of tragedy in what is happening, making Giselle the village madwoman and Albert – like an urban Don Juan – someone who stirs up a girl’s emotions just for the entertainment it provides him.
Mats Ek’s Giselle does not die, but her fate is no less sad. As a result of the horrible shock she loses her mind completely and finds herself in a psychiatric clinic inhabited by modern Wilis, who have changed their veils and long frocks straitjackets. Giselle’s best friend, Hilarion, vainly tries to bring her back to reality. But Albert can’t get the girl he has deceived out of his head either – she is so unlike the frivolous hangers-on in his entourage. Finally he decides to visit Giselle at the hospital and this step becomes for him the beginning of a new life. Pure, sincere feeling for Giselle allows him to realize the futility of material things and believe in the power of love.
November 27 at 15.00 — “The Sleeping Beauty”
The Sleeping Beauty became Ek’s latest reworking of the classical repertoire. The basic elements of the story remains the same, but the choreographer has waved his own magic wand and turned them all into beings from the second half of the twentieth century. A rebellious teenager, Aurora seeks to free herself from her uncomprehending parents, and a world of emptiness and surface glitter. Far from the classical original, the Mats Ek’s version is brilliant proof that there are many new possibilities for interpreting of the timeless music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
The idea of a new postmodern interpretation arose during a walk through Zurich, when Ek met young girls with glazed-over eyes, mindlessly wandering down the street, completely drugged. Syringes were scattered around the street and trash completed the scene of surrounding unpleasantness. At that time Zurich, and especially the city’s Station Square, was a place of serious drug addiction, and the tolerant attitude of the authorities to the all types of drugs drove the situation to absurdity. With fogged minds, and in isolation from reality, the girls were tried to seem like adults – independent yet openly destroying social standards. Among them was a young girl, attractive and completely lost,who particularly impressed Ek – she was like the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ of the 20th century”.
«… when interpreting the classics, Eck refers to the choreographic text of the original,
as directors address the text of the play.
This is the super-director’s theater in the ballet, and the choreographer is a dictator here»
— Inna Sklyarevskaya, «Petersburg Theatrical Journal»
Photos © Lesley Leslie Spinks
Public-talk by Vita Khlopova with Ana Laguna