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Promising Choreographers in Europe


By Patricia Boccadoro

PARIS, 30 July 2002 - The season at the Théâtre de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines ended with Emergences 4, a most enjoyable programme of four short pieces created by virtually unknown choreographers. Since 1999, the far-seeing theatre director, Pierre Moutarde has followed a highly successful policy of presenting works of quality by young people who possess neither the renown nor the troupe to interpret their ballets.

"It was when I began my programme of Dance in Europe, presenting such famous names as Nacho Duato and Uwe Sholz to show what was happening elsewhere on the continent, that I wanted simultaneously to give opportunities to choreographers at the beginning of their career", Mr. Moutarde told me.

"Four years ago," he continued," I began by introducing people whose work I had had seen and admired, including Lionel Hoche, who is French, Paolo Mohovich, an Italian choreographer no one else had heard of, and Tero Saarinen, who was beginning to make a name for himself, from Finland. I "discovered" Saarinen when I went to Helsinki. He had been the star dancer of the Ballet of Finland and was guesting with them at the time, but when he spoke to me of his choreography I just had to see what he was doing".

Choreography: Mirko Mahr
Photo: Andreas Birgit

What began almost as an experiment was so successful, that now, each June, promising choreographers from all over Europe are presented at the theatre. The director receives countless video cassettes by mail, established choreographers contact him with suggestions of people whose work they feel they can recommend, but more usually, Moutarde sees for himself what is happening wherever he happens to be.

"The last time I was in Leipzig", he commented, "there was a workshop where six or seven members of the company were presenting their personal creations and I was so impressed by the originality and strength of what Mirko Mahr was doing that I invited him to take part in Emergences this season. "

Certainly, the two works presented by Mahr, pure product of the Conservatory of Liepzig and member of the company since 1985 would have drawn anyone's attention. Sog,( Aspiration), set to music by Philip Glass , an expressive and dramatic solo was powerfully interpreted by Michael Goldhahn, who also appeared in a beautiful second piece, Das ICH, (Me), music Bruno Kram, with Gabor Zsitva

Synergy 2
Synergie 2
Choreography: Massimo Giradi
Photo: Jurgen Schroeder

The Italian choreographer, Massimo Giradi, who has worked in his home country as well as in Germany, and with Philippe Découflé in France presented Synergie 2, an interesting short ballet for two couples, inspired by Bix Toxic, La Fura dels Bau. Noces d'Amor, a duo for two dancers actors by Pierre Meunier, interpreted with charm and delicacy by Yann Tierson and Ana Belen completed a well-balanced evening.

Next year the theatre will host choreographers from France, Spain, Italy , and Israel, although Israeli-born Yuval Pick, winner of the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris at the International Competition has resided in France for some time now. "I've met him several times", Moutarde continued," and his personality has always intrigued me, so that when he contacted me with his idea to create a personal work inspired by Debussy's Prélude à l'aprés-midi d'un faune, I didn't hesitate one minute".

Noces d'Amor
Yann Tierson and Ana Belen in Noces d'Amor
Photo: Muriel Valmont

However, after programming works he had already seen, Pierre Moutarde is now launching out into the world of creation. He told me that he was not taking a great risk with Luca Veggetti whose work he first saw in Turin last year. Veggetti's ballets were sensual and musical, and he added that he felt confident in asking the Italian for a creation.

Rendez-vous June 2003 at the Théâtre de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines!

Patricia Boccadoro writes on dance in Europe. She contributes to The Guardian, The Observer and Dancing Times and was dance consultant to the BBC Omnibus documentary on Rudolf Nureyev. Ms. Boccadoro is the dance editor for

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