Ballet Preljocaj Presents LA FRESQUE At The Soraya
French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj is one of the world's busiest dance-makers, known for his collaborations across many fields - fashion, design, and literature. He is also known for evocative renderings of fairy tales and LA audiences have seen his works, Snow White and Julie Taymor's Grendel at The Music Center.
For their debut at The Soraya, Ballet Preljocaj will perform La Fresque (or The Painting on the Wall), based on The Mural, a Chinese traditional folk story first published in 1740. With music by Nicolas Godin and Costumes by noted French fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa, the performance of La Fresque will be Thursday, April 18 at 8pm at The Soraya.
"This season, we have seen some of the world's most-lauded choreographers grace our stage from Martha Graham and Pam Tanowitz to Alexander Ekman and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet - Angelin Preljocaj and his company are no exception," said Thor Steingraber, The Soraya's Executive Director. "I've had the honor to work with Angelin several times and he continues to astonish audiences with his stunning stage pictures. He is able to take a little-known Chinese folktale and invoke a world of high emotional stakes and dramatic visuals. La Fresque is a stunning tour-de-force for ten dancers and a beautiful whirlwind journey for an audience."
About Angelin Preljocaj's La Fresque
After L'Anoure in 1995, Snow White in 2008 and Siddharta in 2010, Angelin Preljocaj is continuing his exploration of fairy tales by choosing, as he likes to do, a direction so far unexplored in his work, that of the traditional tales of Asia which are, as we know, rich sources of great poetic power. Thus The Painting on the Wall, plunges the reader into the fantastical world of Chinese tales and reveals the 'supernatural' power of the art of painting. If different readings are possible, the ideas of illusion and transcendence are omnipresent in the work.
Angelin Preljocaj has chosen to immerse himself in the heart of this unusual world. Without literally telling its story, he retains the Chinese tale as the source of a more contemporary adaptation. Angelin Preljocaj harnesses the power of his imagination to transpose the story's plot into a space at the crossing of cultures. He will, of course, preserve the essence of the fairy tale and the symbolism that it evokes.
In this piece, Preljocaj asks, "Might there be a secret passage that allows us to access the essence of a picture that fascinates us? Did Francis I, one day in Amboise, search for the path that would lead him to Mona Lisa? Did the Prince of Liechtenstein, when he acquired a canvas dating from the 16th century, believe that, if he looked at it assiduously, his imagination would acquire the power to teleport his body to Cranach's Venus?"
The Painting on the Wall, inspired by the famous eponymous Chinese story, tells us about this journey into another dimension where the picture becomes a place of transcendence and physical being enters into a relationship with the picture. This question of the picture is at the heart of our investigation. It also evokes Plato's cave and its shadows, which question our existence. The ballet seeks to explore the mysterious relations between representation and reality, sites at which the dance creates the bonds that link the fixed image and movement, instantaneity and duration, the live and the inert. This metaphor running through the Chinese tale raises the question of representation in our civilisation. It speaks to us of the place of art in today's society.
Single tickets start at $39. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit The Soraya or call 818-677-3000. Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts is located at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330. Ticket prices subject to change.