From France to Fairfield: Lyon Opera Ballet graces the stage at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts


Image: Lyon Opera BalletLyon Opera Ballet, the French ballet company known for its experimental and adventurous repertory, performs Tuesday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The performance will be followed by a post-show "Art to Heart" question-and-answer session with the company.

The program opens with the American premiere of Meryl Tankard's 1998 "Bolero," an imaginative tribute to the city of Lyon set to the Ravel classic by the same name. Tankard, an Australian dancer, was so struck by the layers of history represented in Lyon's architecture that light, shadow and projected images of various sites in the city play a large role in "Bolero." The dancers' moving bodies are seen in silhouette behind a scrim, their shadows changing in scale according to the musical moment.

Next on the program is another American premiere set to Ravel's music. "Gaspard," by Finnish choreographer Tero Saarinen, is set to Ravel's "Gaspard de la nuit," a quintet that explores the dual nature of music-how its tender surface may mask a darker passion beneath. Finally, the program concludes with Nacho Duato's "Remansos," a haunting work titled after the Frederica Garcia Lorca poem by the same name. "Remansos" means still water in Spanish.

The present Lyon Opera Ballet, with its commitment to contemporary choreographers, was created in 1984. Under the direction of Yorgos Loukos, it has commissioned ballets by a wide range of international choreographers, including Mats Ek, Maguy Marin, William Forsythe, Bill T. Jones and Susan Marshall. As with "Cendrillon," its magical adaptation of the Cinderella story, the company recreates classic tales, producing updated works that are stunning both visually and stylistically. The Los Angeles Times has called Lyon Opera Ballet a "chameleon company" for its ability to perform equally well across the spectrum of 20th century repertory.

The Quick Center is one of the company's earlier stops on its cross-country, 14-city American tour, which runs March 29 through May 11. The performance is also part of the Quick Center's "French Showcase: Evolving Arts," an eight-week festival celebrating the contributions the French have made in the areas of arts and letters. Tickets to the performance are $38, $33 and $28, with discounts available for seniors, students and groups. For tickets or information, call the box office at (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-ARTS-396 or visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 4, 2002

Vol. 34, No. 179