Loving Bolero : Choreographer Didier Théron

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The West Australian Academy of Performing Arts Link Dance Company is getting ready to perform ‘Shanghai Bolero’ a modern dance work by acclaimed French Choreographer Didier Théron, who is here is Perth to guide the dancer through the staging of one his most famous works.

Théron spoke to OUTinPerth sharing that he always wanted to make a work that utilised Ravel’s most famous composition.

“It’s about the music, which is very famous.” Théron said when he dropped by the OIP office, ‘I started with a group of women, and we made a square of ten metres by ten metres, so I decided to use ten women. This music is all about walking, so that’s where we started.”

The well-known piece of music has a usual time signature, performed in 6/9 and its repetitive structure continually adds more and more elements of the orchestra until it reaches a crescendo.

“People hate this music, and people love it” Théron proclaims, noting that it’s been that way since the tune made its debut in 1928.

“Ravel put jazz and all these different types of music together.” Theron describing it as a special piece of music.

‘Shanghai Bolero’ was created for the World Expo in China in 2010 and after it’s been performed here in Perth it’ll also be seen in Sydney and Melbourne later in the year.

Théron said there are many things he likes to explore though his choreography sharing that he is equally interested in movement as he is in stillness. When he was creating ‘Shanghai Bolero’ the work of photographer Helmut Newton was something he was reminded of.

“This idea you see in the work of Helmut Newton that a woman is very strong, in high heels, not in this case nude, but a little, but moving in a very strong way.“

Théron said his work does play with gender ideas, but it was never his intent to be making a specific statement about gender.

‘I started off just with the idea of walking, and then later we got into jumping and standing still.” Théron said. The choreographer said that stillness is the flip side that many people don’t consider when thinking about dance.

“Stillness for dance is like silence is for music, if there is no silence there is no sound.” Théron said, “I think this is very important. I think its interesting with the body.”