Paris Opera Ballet
Pierre Boulez, Anthèmes 2, for violin and electronic music
Computerised music by IRCAM
Premiere date and venue
3 December 2015, Palais Garnier, Paris
'McGREGOR'S BURSTS OF POSTMODERN HYPER-ARTICULATION HAVE A CLEAR AFFINITY WITH BOULEZ'S'
The Financial Times
Set to the score of Anthèmes II, composed by Pierre Boulez in 1997, Wayne McGregor conceived Alea Sands in conjunction with visual artist and winner of the 2011 Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale, Haroon Mirza.
Alea Sands pays homage to Pierre Boulez's experimentation with "controlled chance" in the 1950s, where he developed a conceptional framework of aleatoric music. For this work, Boulez's Anthèmes II solo violin is augmented in space by real-time computerised electronic music designed by Ircam (Andrew Gerzso and Gilbert Nouno), acting both as frequency shifter and harmoniser.
'COMMANDING THE ENTIRE SPACE AND ENVELOPING THE VIEWER, McGREGOR DIRECTS A TOTAL ART EXPERIENCE, WHICH DEFTLY MELDS THE THREE CONSTELLATIONS OF DANCE, MUSIC AND VISUAL ARTS'
Opening to Haroon Mirza's installation of experiential lighting and sound, dancers appear on stage wearing variations of patterned geometric shapes, designed by Gareth Pugh.
This work is McGregor's third creation with Paris Opera Ballet following on from Genus in 2007 and L’Anatomie de la sensation in 2011. Alea Sands forms part of a triple bill alongside works by Christopher Wheeldon and Pina Bausch in a special tribute to French composer Pierre Boulez.
To listen to a podcast (in French) about the triple bill click here. A full review of Alea Sands can be read in The Financial Times and in Blouin Artinfo.
Photography by Vutheara Kham, Art Direction by Antoine Neufmars.