Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve Returns to The Joyce Theater, Now thru 3/30
The Joyce Theater is pleased to present the return of Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève from today, March 25 - 30 following its critically acclaimed Joyce debut in 2007 and return in 2012. For this engagement, the company will present the New York premiere of Glory, an evening-length work by internationally lauded choreographer Andonis Foniadakis. Tickets range in price from $10-$49 ($26-$37 for Joyce Theater members), and can be purchased through JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800 or via the internet at www.joyce.org. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street.
Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, the century-old Swiss company known for its spectacular dancers and a repertory of varied works by today's leading choreographers, will perform the New York premiere of Andonis Foniadakis's Glory (2012). With 22 dancers performing solo, duet, and group sections to magnificent Handel choral and instrumental works, the piece features precise, lively musical rhythms that form the perfect backdrop for the choreographer's elaborate movement patterns. One of the most beloved pieces in the company's repertory, Glory is a beautiful example of Foniadakis's ability to create intricate, moving work, showcasing his signature physical and urgent expressivity, with every step and gesture calculated with utmost accuracy. Ultimately, Glory's complex polyphony of bodies and contrapuntal architectures of movement are a compliment to Handel's mastery of choral composition. The music, a re-mastering of Handel's most popular works, including the Hallelujah chorus from Messiah, along with lesser-known excerpts of earlier works such as the Dixit Dominus, makes Glory an experience to be listened to as much as to be watched. This engagement is supported by The R. Britton Fisher and Family Gift for International Dance.
Andonis Foniadakis began his dance training with Niki Papadaki at the local dance school in Crete, Greece, where he grew up. From 1990 to 1992, he studied at the State Dance School of Athens where he received the prestigious Maria Callas scholarship to continue his studies in Rudra Bejart Lausanne, in Switzerland. As a dancer, Andonis has collaborated with Bejart Ballet Lausanne (1994-1996) under the direction of Maurice Bejart; Lyon Opera Ballet (1996-2002) under the direction of Yorgos Loukos; and Saburo Teshigawara / Karas (2004) under the direction of Saburo Teshigawara. In 2003, he created Apotosoma, his own dance company, in Lyon, France. As a choreographer he has collaborated with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Bern Ballet Ballet du Rhin, Maggio Danza, Benjamin Millepied Dance Company and Washington Ballet, among many others. Foniadakis choreographed two operas, Opera National du Rhin's Les Boreades by Rameau, and GRAME Lyon's Il canto de la pelle by Claudio Ambrosini. He received the Danza & Danza Award for the "Best Choroegrapher 2012" in Italy. Foniadakis has shown his work in France, Greece, Italy, Finland, Luxembourg, Germany, England, and in the United States.
BALLET DU GRAND THÉÂTRE DE GENÈVE
The history of ballet in Geneva dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. The evolution of dance in Geneva was strongly influenced by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and the great Russian dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky. Almost a century later, the Grand Théâtre was put under the direction of Janine Charrat (1962-64). Following Charrat as Artistic Director was Serge Golovine, one of the most remarkable classical dancers of his generation (1964 to 1969). George Balanchine became the Company's Artistic Advisor in 1969. He transformed the Geneva Ballet into a kind of European ambassador for New York City Ballet, appointing as Director Alfonso Cata (1969-73), who set a new direction for the Company and provided it with a fresh perspective. As well as producing his own works, Cata restaged Balanchine's works. In addition, he invited other world-class choreographers, such as Tudor and Bolender, to Geneva, thereby strengthening the Company and widening its popular appeal. Subsequently, under the inspiration of Balanchine, Patricia Neary, soloist at New York City Ballet, took the reins of the Company (1973-78). With Patricia Neary's departure for Zurich, the Balanchine era came to an end, and Peter van Dyk, an exceptional former Paris Opera principal dancer, took charge of the Ballet for two years from 1978 to 1980. As newly appointed Director General, Hugues Gall called upon Oscar Araiz to take over as Director of the Ballet in 1980. The Argentine brought with him a modern and innovative style, during a tenure which lasted eight seasons (1980-88). At the beginning of the 1988-89 season, Gradimir Pankov, former Director of the National Ballet of Finland and of the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm, took his turn at the helm. He was the Company's first director who was not also a choreographer. As a result, the Company, no longer attached to any particular style, opened a new chapter in its history. Audiences were exposed to a new repertoire and several of the leading choreographers of the day, such as Jiri Kylian, Christopher Bruce, Rudi Van Dantzig, Mats Ek and Ohad Naharincame to Geneva for the first time. From 1996, Renée Auphan became Director General of the Grand Théâtre de Genève and entrusted the direction of the Ballet to François Passard and Giorgio Mancini. The Company continued to pursue its policy of inviting guest choreographers to Geneva. In 2003, Jean-Marie Blanchard, Director General of the Grand Théâtre de Genève since 2001, appointed Philippe Cohen to head the ballet. Since his appointment, Philippe Cohen has continued to bring new choreographers, such as Andonis Foniadakis, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Gilles Jobin and Benjamin Millepied to Geneva. He has also continued to enrich the repertoire with works by renowned choreographers such as Carolyn Carlson, Lucinda Childs, Jerome Robbins, Nacho Duato and Saburo Teshigawara. The Ballet du Grand Théâtre continues to enrich and broaden its repertoire with programs that invite the public to discover "newcomers" such as Ken Ossola, Isira Makuloluwe or Dominique Bagouet, Joëlle Bouvier, Michael Kelemenis and Emanuel Gat. In 2009, Tobias Richter was nominated the Grand Théâtre de Genève's general director.