Saturday, January 31, 2009

Interview with Pascal Rioult

Rioult Dance on UTUBE

Rioult Dance Theatre will perform three original works (Wien, Bolero, and Views of the Fleeting World) as part of their LAB 201 residency on Saturday, February 7th at 8pm, at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. Choreographer Pascal Rioult took time out of his busy schedule to talk to the marketing crew about his show and the LPAC Lab residency in preparation for their performance at the Joyce Theater in Manhattan.

1/When and how did you find out about LPAC?

We were putting together ideas for a new series which requires more work then beyond the minimal time you can spend in the studio. Our company has been friends with Steven Hitt (LPAC managing director) and the Lab allows us to experiment with the technical part of our new work before it goes to the Joyce. The LPAC Lab is both an unusual and wonderful program. More of a European type of a model then anything else, where a group has an extended residency with a particular theatre. This is so rare in the U.S.

2/From what I can understand, it appears you successfully bring together works of classical music (Ravel, Starvinsky, etc. ) with American Modern Dance. Is this correct? And how does your European roots and Martha Graham dance education work in unison to inspire your choreography? Do you lean on both equally or does one play a larger role then the other?

Yes I suppose it is special and particular, coming from Europe is my ‘intellectual baggage’. I would describe it a little like cooking, where my instincts and background work as a variety of ingredients to make a good piece. But sometimes the influences do distinguish themselves depending on the piece I will use more French influences than American and the other way around.

3/Your company will perform Wien, Views of the Fleeting World, and Bolero at LaGuardia. Do you have any thoughts on these pieces?

Views of the Fleeting World combines the music of Bach and for some very strange reason the style is Asian; like those Japanese woodprints, artistic, subtle. The dancers wear long skirts like samarai. For Wien (music of Maurice Ravel) When I heard the music of the waltz my purpose is to take the images and music of the Viennese waltz until it explodes. One critic at the time described the piece by Ravel as “Dancing on the Volcano”. And this is sort of what is happening here. It was written between two world wars and hell. A group of people are waltzing into a vortex of violence? What do you do when this happens? Do you just leave your country or do you go with it? Bolero is purely abstract but it is our signature piece.

4/What do you see for the future of your shows after the performance at LaGuardia? Is the lab good preparation for the Joyce.

We are preparing for a gigantic evening at the Joyce and we are constantly touring in Europe and America. So everything needs work.

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