Big Bang Boléro

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As a means of establishing ties with China, the choice of Ravel’s Bolero also ranks first. Didier Théron, who works with his dance company in Montpellier, was commissioned to create a dance piece for the French Pavilion at this year’s World Expo in Shanghai. Almost instinctively, he threw himself into the Bolero. “It’s actually the first time I am choreographing a dance piece to preexisting music. Up to now, I had always researched the music to my pieces subsequently, once the piece was created.” The Bolero is the perfect musical composition to begin this practice with. “It has so many rules, which is precisely what opens up so many possibilities. The Bolero is simultaneously ethereal and martial, masculine and feminine. It creates immediate empathy and brings people together. That’s exactly what we need today.”  Théron believes nothing would be better for Shanghai.  The World Expo motto is ‘The sensual city’. And the Bolero enables sensuality.” Anything else would be a step backwards. Théron was inspired by Hans Bellmer’s dolls and Helmut Newton’s photography.  “Newton shows us free and powerful women. In my work, the female dancers become their own puppeteers.  I exaggerate the sexual attributes.” His creation for Shanghai is just a beginning. A male and a mixed version will follow.

Thomas Hahn