Daniele Delvecchio ©Alice Blangero
©Alice Blangero
Anjara Ballesteros & Daniele Delvecchio ©Alice Blangero
Daniele Delvecchio ©Alice Blangero
©Alice Blangero
Anjara Ballesteros & Daniele Delvecchio ©Alice Blangero

L'Enfant et les Sortilèges


Through this ballet, Jeroen Verbruggen treats us to a personal interpretation of Colette’s libretto. The action takes place inside a house that the child turns upside-down and in a garden he destroys. The underlying concept at the heart of this young choreographer’s ballet is that the home is the child himself. The items he destroys, the creatures he harms and the evil he commits are all acts inflicted on himself by his own hand. «I realise that often my work centres on adolescence, teenage turbulence, the possibilities of that age - and that’s what my version of the ballet is really about.» Jeroen Verbruggen’s ballet takes a dark turn, mirroring the sepia tones of the set design that cast an uneasy, autumnal hue over the scenes. The choreographer invited Alice Blangero to take photos that would forge the on-stage link between the child/home, the costumes and the lighting.

Although L’Enfant et les Sortilèges creates an atmosphere of uneasiness, Jeroen Verbruggen also infuses his ballet with flashes of humour in a reminder of the witty artist he is. The child’s mother is the most elegant illustration of this technique. Rather than being played by a dancer, this character is symbolised by two huge legs that rise up from the ground in a style reminiscent of Tom and Jerry cartoons. The effect is simultaneously terrifying and funny, two characteristics that have always been associated with this Flemish artist and former Ballets de Monte-Carlo dancer.

And while characters are sometimes disembodied, the reverse also holds true. When it comes to the set design, the choreographer decided not to use any furniture in order to avoid paraphrasing the text. The dancers are therefore required to both create and bring to life these components. Working with the fashion house ‘On aura tout vu’ proved to be yet another excellent choice, thanks to the fantastical world they manage to create in a perfect antidote to the ballet’s assertive sense of unease.

Choreography: Jeroen Verbruggen
Music: Maurice Ravel, Ludovico Monk (after Purcell)
Poèmes de Colette
Scenography, costumes: On aura tout vu, Yassen Samouilov and Livia Stoianova
Assistanted by: Emilie Roy
Photos: Alice Blangero
Lighting: Samuel Thery
Duration: 45 mn

Premiere held on July 21st 2016, Salle Garnier Opéra de Monte-Carlo.