Opera Ballet Vlaanderen releases its fifth video short as part of #imaginationisalive. In the exceptional setting of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Antwerp, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui choreographs an intimate duet to ‘Pie Jesu’ from Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem. The video is online on our social networks.
Second video short film by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui under the hashtag #imaginationisalive, Pie Jesu succeeds the dance solo Murmuration. The artistic director has already choreographed the entire Requiem in 2017. This production brought together for the first time all the artistic teams of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen.
It’s no different in Pie Jesu. The celestial voice of soprano Annelies Van Gramberen resounds under the arcades while the rehearsalist Conal Bembridge-Sayers plays the famous melody on the organ. Principal soloist Philipe Lens and half-soloist Nicha Rodboon dance an intimate duet. One is a symbol of life, the other of death. The monumental and spiritual context of the cathedral breathes new life into the choreography. The turbulent force of Pieter Paul Rubens’ altarpiece, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (1625-1626), looms in the background. A work which, in itself, can also be experienced as a freeze frame performance. The powerful upward thrust of the stage, a vortex of light and movement, enters into dialogue with Cherkaoui’s darker and earthier dance duo.
Contemplation, death, life, eternal rest, resurrection… These have been the symbolic buttresses of the cathedral for generations. This short performance honors this life cycle, especially in these uncertain Corona times.
The video is now available on their website and social media.