New directions for les Grands Ballets canadiens

Photo: Sasha Onyshchenko
“The 7th Symphony of Beethoven” in rehearsal

While the institution just moved officially in the building, the Wilder, since last July, Ivan Cavallari took over the torch of the 18-year mandate of Gradimir Pankov. The ex-dancer Italian 53-year-old is preparing to kick off its first season at the helm of les Grands Ballets canadiens de Montréal (GBCM) with a double foreshadowing the new directions he intends to give to the company.


Formed within the great european institutions of the Bolshoi and La Scala, the former director of the Ballet of the national Opera of the Rhine are said to recover a certain degree of artistic freedom : “The fact of being independent of an opera is a great strength of the GBCM, and made sure that they have a head start over other european companies. “Even if they receive more funding from the State and are less dependent on sponsors. “After four years in France, I was looking for artistic freedom and I found it in Montreal. Here, we can all réenvisager, put things in question and go different directions. “


Transmission and creativity


Ensuring a continuity with the work of Gradimir Pankov, M. Cavallari, however, is to distinguish and import their brand to the artistic director : “I very much respect the work of my predecessor, though I have not really followed. I have my visions, my ideas, and I bring my own directory, the one in which I believe. “

Photo: Sasha Onyshchenko
Ivan Cavallari is preparing to kick off its first season at the helm of les Grands Ballets canadiens de Montréal.

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By opening the season with Stabat Mater by Edward Clug and The 7th Symphony by Uwe Scholz, two works diametrically opposed — one that is more contemporary, the other to the musicality and the technique is very classical, it is for him to give a preview of what it will look like to the company within five years. “I would like a lot to the classic database. One could say that the identity of the GBCM will surely change in this direction. I want the dancers to be able to level as much of a classic in the repertoire of today “, he said, anxious to continue to highlight the personalities of the dancers, while strengthening the rigor of music in making musical choices strong.


Another new element, the director was held to dedicate this first year to the creativity, inviting young choreographers that are less known on the north american. This is the case of the American Bridget Breiner and the French Étienne Béchard, this will be the first tors with the dancers of the company. “I would also like a lot to make place for the youth, the future generation. In the coming years, we will see the sides of the great choreographers existing also young choreographers and talented. “


Perfect reality and elevate the soul


In his eyes, what are the main challenges of the institutions of ballet in North America ? “As a dance company, it is important that we are in link with our company, meets Mr. Cavallari. We need to show a different aspect of the company, in which we can escape. If there was really all the time how the company really is, then we would not be artists. The art really needs to be able to show and to touch an aspect of life, but also to enhance it. We see these last few years of creations obscure to the limit of the experiment. And I need to be a little bit honest, in this day and age we are going through, it bothers me in that aspect, especially in some contemporary writings. On stage, nudity, screams, and everything that is related to the provocation, it is the already-seen. “

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“Our life today is so empty,” he said, citing the violence of the conflicts around the world, the attacks with ” those suicide bombers who kill themselves in the historical heart of the cities “, the dictators of this world, referring to the Korea of the North and the United States. “In North America, it is necessary to return to things that elevate the soul, that will provide pleasure to both the dancers and the public, but also to reflect. The role of the artist is to question where we are going with our company, what we make of ourselves, what is life and why it is worth to be lived. “

A doubled-oriented spirituality

With its poster censored by the STM, the piece Stabat Mater by Edward Clug has managed, in spite of itself, to draw attention on the Major Ballets in the beginning of the season. Ivan Cavallari is proud to present to the montreal public the work of the choreographer Romanian known european scenes. This last distinguished himself by working with the Nederlands dans Theater and by developing a signature modern and thorough, he even on the music of Radiohead. “This is an artist that we will be required to review as a guest choreographer in two years, GBCM,” says the artistic director. Composed on the religious music of Pergolesi, Stabat Mater (” The mother stood ” in latin) is inspired by the pattern representing the sorrow of Mary in the face of the crucifixion of his son. “It is a piece that aims not only to fascinate and that is not based on the entertainment,” says Mr. Cavallari. On the contrary, she wants to meet the Man’s soul and to his own being, leave us in peace and reflection, and give a moment of happiness subtle. This is not really a fireworks display. I prefer to start with a silence rather than a shout. “

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Stabat Mater
Choreography by Edward Clug

and The 7e Symphonie de Beethoven
Choreography of Uwe Scholz
Interpreted by the dancers of les Grands Ballets canadiens de Montreal theatre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts until 28 October.