Three years after its controversial performance of “Orpheus and Eurydice,” Compagnie Marie Chouinard is returning to Memorial Hall.
The dance company will present two highly acclaimed pieces Sunday as part of Carolina Performing Arts’ “The Rite of Spring at 100” series.
SEE COMPAGNIE MARIE CHOUINARD
Time: 7:30 p.m., Sunday
Location: Memorial Hall
The performance will feature choreographer Marie Chouinard’s interpretations of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” and Vaslav Nijinsky’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.”
Compagnie Marie Chouinard epitomizes avant-garde dance today, just as Stravinsky and Nijinsky’s riotous “Rite of Spring” ballet did in 1913.
The company’s provocative choreography and nudity complement CPA’s progressive artist selection.
“It’s probably one of the most well-known and important interpretations of ‘The Rite of Spring,’” said Marnie Karmelita, CPA’s director of artist relations.
While the impact of Stravinsky’s score and the ballet narrative has become subdued since its premiere, “The Rite of Spring” continues to challenge conventional dance.
Nijinsky’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” features a male faun’s pursuit of a female nymph.
A female dancer portrays the male faun, which adds controversy to the piece, said Gerard Reyes, a member of the company.
“The idea of playing with gender is still a very relevant, pertinent topic in our society nowadays,” he said.
Chouinard’s Montreal-based company was formed in 1990 and focuses on the fluidity and entirety of the human body.
Reyes said Chouinard’s choreography was inspired by Stravinsky’s music — she handpicked this particular orchestration after a very specific selection process.
“During the creative process, the dancers, as well as Marie, spent a few hours in the park to be with nature to enrich their senses and imbue their exploration in the studio with their connection to Mother Earth,” Reyes said.
Reyes said Chouinard emphasizes the musicality and connection she wants her dancers to embody.
“In rehearsal last week, she told us that Stravinsky’s music is so powerful that you have no choice but to rise to that power,” he said.
“If you don’t at least rise to that level of intensity, you aren’t fulfilling the work.”
Reyes said it’s a gift to dance to Stravinsky’s score.
“It’s very jubilant and exhilarating, so the experience of the piece is very fulfilling,” he said.
Joe Florence, CPA’s marketing and communications manager, said he hopes attendees will gain something irreplaceable from the performance.
“We want to build trust with people that come to shows at CPA,” Florence said.
“We want them to be inspired, challenged and transformed.”
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