Thursday , August 11 2022

Ballet “Toulouse-Lautrec”: immerse yourself in the French-cancan in virtual reality


The ballet “Toulouse-Lautrec”, which made its world premiere on Saturday, October 16th on the Capitole stage in Toulouse, pays homage to the painter of Montmartre nights, choreographed by Kader Belarbi. Special feature: headsets are available to experience various sequences in virtual reality.

The Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse presents an entirely new show from Saturday, October 16th. The danced portrait of painter Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), innovator in his subject, witness of an era, inventor of forms and supports, the choreographic work of Kader Belarbi, who was the dance director of the Toulouse ballet for ten years, is also realized with the introduction of virtual reality.

At the heart of the dance and behind the scenes

For the first time, for an additional fee, audiences will be able to wear connected headphones to “experience” thirteen short sequences as close as possible to the performers on stage or even backstage thanks to a 210° viewing angle. That way, even if we’re far from the stage, we can plunge into the heart of the dance, the trance of the French-cancan that ignites the Montmartre nights… out of cardboard.

This intimacy prompted Belarbi, a former principal dancer of the Paris Opera, from the initial idea of ​​her project… Its origins can be found in the dance steps she shared with Carolyn Carlson in the spring of 2018. Exhibition in the Albi museum, where there are many works of the native master of Tarn. A few months later, he called a show dedicated to Toulouse-Lautrec in an interactive scenography that was as close to the audience as possible, which critics recently named “the choreographic personality of the year”. Maybe a little “Moulin rouge”! Covid-19 has ended that intent, limitations, and necessity of barrier gestures that question all ballet.

Remote work during the pandemic

However, during these eighteen months under the pandemic regime, the contingent of fourteen nations has not been discouraged, each working on improvised bars at home under the remote direction of the director, who is busy redesigning his own piece. Because Toulouse-Lautrec can dance (with his cane, opening a reflection on blocked bodies, a theme that Belarbi loves so much), it is on paper that the choreographer sees the dancers’ movements born. Originally scheduled for May 2020 and then November, the final version was under the mask at major studios in the Montaudran region where it was being worked on.
Suffice it to say that after Olivier Bériot’s costume rehearsal last week, today’s pre-general on Thursday will have a foretaste of success for the entire ballet. And for her choreographer, “Le Corsaire” will be a step in a creation she has never experienced before on “Giselle”, “In Search of Nureyev” or “The Nutcracker” (at the end of the program). Photo of the year at Liceu in Barcelona). Impatience and fire are not written but felt in the Théâtre du Capitole.

Toulouse-Lautrec, Destiny Belarbi, 16/23 October at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse. Music Bruno Coulais, costumes Olivier Bériot, scenography Sylvie Olivé, virtual reality production Luc Riolon (from 8 to 63 €), tel. 05 61 63 13 13.

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