Karyn Benquet & Bernice Coppieters ©Marie-Laure Briane
Gaëtan Morlotti ©Marie-Laure Briane
©Marie-Laure Briane
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Karyn Benquet & Bernice Coppieters ©Marie-Laure Briane
Gaëtan Morlotti ©Marie-Laure Briane
©Marie-Laure Briane

Altro Canto II

J-Ch. Maillot

"Altro canto Part 1 (2006) evoked the narrow relationship between music and the sonic vibrations of the body in movement. Now, Altro Canto Part 2 pursues this idea in a more intimate mode as its directive line is the agonizing conflict of the human being caught in his own fantasies, doubts, and his relation to the unknown. Without going so far as to denominate the “unconscious”, nor falling into a heavy handed reflection about psychological identity, Maillot casts light on the obscure aspects of the mind. Thus, Gaëtan Morlotti incarnates the true combat, indeed agony--to use Balanchine’s term, of a man thrown into the world, alone, stripped of all pretexts, all artifice that might mitigate his liberty. But let there be no misunderstanding: the intention of the piece is not to depress us with dark thoughts.

On the contrary, thanks to a scintillating set design and a spirited rhythm, the isolated character nonetheless provokes lighthearted sentiment. One perceives the mind’s unwonted thoughts brought to the fore. They may be generated by the ego, but are expressed in a burlesque, aerial mode: sidelong glances at all that escapes us. It has to do with Freudian slips; here they take the form of “lost ideas.” We are led to think about all the fantasies that inhabit us, and about all their sometimes comical manifestations; and none of this evokes any interior suffering. The tone of this dance is resolutely playful.

Bertrand Maillot’s music upholds the dance with its subtle resonance of the chance workings of the soul. The choreography is abstract, if we can use such a word, in the sense that no anecdote gets in the way of the spectator’s voyage towards alterity in the heart of his own consciousness. The story, in Balanchine’s sense, is that of bodies between themselves, between attraction and repulsion, and of the music internal to the flesh of the dancer. The gestures are extended, lively, alert. Unexpected positions carry us into a poetic dimension of the framing of the self within the self. Bernice Coppieters is a lunar light, oscillating delicately between earth and sky, her body anchored on the ground and her aerial legs balancing upwards.

The feminine gestures are sensual, certainly, but such an ethereal sensuality that it is almost a hybrid…Such a journey towards the mystery of desire is also that voyage to the mysteries of art. A volatile crossing that leaves us with a trace like a graceful question mark".

Bérengère Alfort


Choreography: Jean-Christophe Maillot
Music: Bertrand Maillot
Scenography: Arnaud Rolland and Jean-Christophe Maillot
Lighting: Dominique Drillot and Jean-Christophe Maillot
Costumes: Jean-Michel Lainé and Jean-Christophe Maillot

Premiere held on July 30th 2008, terraces of the Monte-Carlo Casino