Dance me to the end of love at the Paris opera
Love has many faces. The Opera Garnier of Paris, not far from your Hotel Regencia, chose to explore them all by uniting no less than ten étoiles - stars, the name reserved for the principal dancers in French companies – and two choreographers that have nothing in common, except that they speak of love. And unlove.
The first part of the night is dedicated to Jerome Robbins’s 1969 Dances at a gathering – a one-hour classical ballet beautifully interpreted by the Paris Opera Dance Company. Chopin’s delicate piano chords lead sophisticated circle dances, full of airy leg work and gravity-defying portés. Nothing much is happening, aside from intense, limpid, feathery movement, and that tells it all: love at its beginnings, timid and careless, fleeting and eternal, and already, luring, is the nostalgia of its end.
After the intermission, the spectator is invited back in, still dreamy from Robbin’s transported swirls, and the shock is violent. Here, amidst an armchair, an oven, a TV set and a vacuum cleaner, love is being undone and trampled in its domestic tragedy. Created in 2000 by Swedish choreographer Mats Ek, Appartement (Apartment) is an eruptive, tense, nauseous analysis of the couple, responding to the anguished jazz-rock beat of the Swedish band Fleshquartet.
It is hard to believe that the two shows belong to the same night. A night falling under the theme of love, albeit through its darkest, most pessimistic interpretation, from fantasy beginnings to everyday, harshly realistic endings – and a night celebrating dance as the art of saying it all without saying anything.