Les Ballets C. de la B.
Can it be done? Should anyone attempt it? Is it even possible? Can you use Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, one of the great masterpieces of music history, as the basis for a dance performance? Choreographer Alain Platel and componist / musician Fabrizio Cassol gave it a shot. Instead of just adapting the work for dance, they focused on an important aspect of the Passion – namely the mother’s pain in the face of her child’s sacrifice. Mary knows that she needs to accept the sacrificial death of her son, but – like any other caring mother – she would rather give her life in his place. This conflict forms the dramatic basis of “pitié!“.
The famous aria “Erbarme Dich, mein Gott“ (“Have mercy, my God”) provides the musical and spiritual point of departure for “pitié!”.
Alain Platel explores the question of how to translate such intense emotion into expressive body language with his dancers and musicians.
Alain Platel first studied therapeutic pedagogy at the University of Gent. In 1984, the Belgian theater-maker and choreographer founded the dance collective Les Ballets C. de la B., one of Europe’s most important companies. Platel made his international breakthrough with “Iets op Bach” when he participated in Pina Bausch’s “Fest in Wuppertal” in 2001.
Composer and arranger Fabrizio Cassol plays saxophone. He is also the founder and leader of the band Aka Moon, named after a tribe of pygmies which the band visited once.
Co-production: Théâtre de la Ville / Paris, Le Grand Théâtre de la Ville / Luxemburg, TorinoDanza, RuhrTriennale 2008, KVS / Brussels
With friendly support from: Kunstencentrum Vooruit / Gent, Holland Festival / Amsterdam