Alea Sands

Alea Sands
2015

Company
Paris Opera Ballet

Duration
20 minutes

Choreography
Wayne McGregor

Music
Pierre Boulez 'Anthèmes 2, for violin and electronic music'
Computerised music by Andrew Gerzso and Gilbert Nouno of IRCAM

Scenography
Haroon Mirza

Lighting Design
Lucy Carter

Costume Design
Gareth Pugh

Originally danced by
Léonore Baulac, Jérémie Bélingard, Audric Bezard, Vincent Chaillet, Mathieu Ganio, Marie-Agnès Gillot and Laura Hecquet

Premiere date and venue
1 December 2015, Palais Garnier, Paris, France

✮✮✮✮
'McGREGOR'S BURSTS OF POSTMODERN HYPER-ARTICULATION HAVE A CLEAR AFFINITY WITH BOULEZ'S'

- Laura Capelle, 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 French composer 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'

– Gabriella Daris, Blouin Artfino

Opening to Haroon Mirza's installation of experiential lighting and sound, dancers appear on stage wearing variations of patterned geometric shapes, designed by British fashion designer 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 (Pour Francis Bacon) in 2011. Alea Sands formed part of a triple bill alongside works by Christopher Wheeldon and Pina Bausch in a special tribute to Pierre Boulez.


Images: Vutheara Kham, Art Direction by Antoine Neufmars.

Trailer for the Wheeldon/McGregor/Bausch mixed programme featuring the world premiere of Alea Sands, Paris Opera Ballet, 2015.