This well-known but seldom seen production will have a ravishingly beautiful presentation when Les Arts Florissants returns to BAM, in a co-production of Opéra Comique. William Christie explores the hedonistic side of the Baroqu, leading his incomparable orchestra and singers in this French gem.
The dramaturgy combines singing and dance equally. Robert Carsen maintains that fluidity, while playing on the “liberal” reputation of Carnival being a time of relaxed behaviors and wild gaiety. Choreographer Ed Wubbe, with his Scapino Ballet Rotterdam dancers, reinterpret Baroque dance with contemporary wit and humor.
In the period between Jean-Baptiste Lully and Jean-Philippe Rameau, André Campra (1660— 1744) was the toast of the Paris opera scene. Engaged as music director of Notre-Dame de Paris, Campra instead found his calling in theater, especially in the new hybrid genre called opéra-ballet, which satisfied Parisians’ appetite for singing and extravagant dancing in one evening.
Gamblers, carnies, gypsies, and jilted lovers—baring lots of leg via scanty updates on period dress—populate a series of stories in this crimson-hued carnival of courtly music, dance from Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, and Venetian decadence, originally conceived in the anti-authoritarian ferment surrounding the Sun King Louis XIV’s final days. Play-within-a-play plot devices, melodies borrowed from Lully’s opera “Atys,” gliding gondolas, and dancing sheep round out Campra’s whimsical nod to French libertinism.
As the most long-standing dance company in the Netherlands, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam is at the forefront of Holland’s internationally renowned dance culture. Scapino is renowned for large, thematic productions, often accompanied by live music: innovative, entertaining and featuring talented dancers. With productions such as ‘Le Chat Noir’, ‘The Great Bean’ and ‘Pearl’, artistic director Ed Wubbe has created his own unique genre, a dance idiom melding art, artistic entertainment and crossovers with compelling themes.
In addition to the large-scale productions by Ed Wubbe, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam also presents shorter dance pieces by talented young choreographers such Marcos Morau and in-house choreographers Felix Landerer, Itamar Serussi Sahar and Fang-Yu Shen. This season the company celebrates it’s 70 year anniversary.