Le Sacre du printemps
At the Opéra Garnier, ASHTON, EYAL, NIJINSKI, December 11, 2021
After Frédéric Ashton's bouncy, twirling and royal Rhapsody, set to the music of Rachmaninov, we discovered the golden enchantment of Sharon Eyal's Faunes, set to the music of Debussy, and it’s astonishing light pointing as if through the bangs of a dark cloud, on silhouettes that want to be similar, undulating commas of nymphs, asexual garland assembled in a group at first indistinct to the torsion of the faun that soon detaches itself, moving too, even more, in this hypnotic undulation that animates it like a flame. One now distinguishes them from each other, he seduces them whereas he is almost similar to them, he seduces us whereas he is at this moment similar to us, stuck that we are to this light like butterflies of summer. What a beautiful text!
Then we reach “Le Sacre du printemps” that Dominique Brun has adapted from Vaslav Nijinsky, a choreography that caused a scandal at the beginning of the last century when it was first presented. And it is right, because the scandal is still there, which embraces us from the start, as the hammering of the ground by the feverish feet of the peasants throws us brutally into the apprehension of the drama to come, the knowledge that there is going to be the death of a man, or rather the death of a woman, the one who is ironically called the Chosen One, as if her election was intended to do something other than designate the place where the arm of all will strike in the trance. Immediately we are seized by the crash of feet in rhythm on the ground, like a funeral drum which in the savannah or in the jungle prefigures the cannibal meal. It doesn't let us go, even when the assemblies get excited, when the bent old men get up, when the men and the women mingle in circles like panic-stricken wasps, it holds us, we wait for it, the scandal indeed of the election to death of a young woman. We wait for it until she emerges little by little from the common gangue, long braids and white dress, sleepwalking in the bosom of a bad dream that shakes itself, at first slowly, without us knowing if she already knows towards what she is being brought.
And while we are scrutinizing her dance, hallucinated to follow her in agony, her gestures slowly become as if disheveled, she vibrates then throws her arms little by little as if disarticulated. There, we are sure, she knows. Now we do not leave her any more, we accompany her in her funeral dance, in her rising epilepsy, in the shakes which prepare us, which prepare her for that which we do not support. Yes, a scandal. This sacrificial dance throws us out of ourselves in front of the apotheosis of her body until finally it is thrown, stretched like a bow, raised, and brandished by the arms of the thirsty assembly, raised towards the sky like an icon that is shot down!
What a living Nijinski ! Dominique Brun, what a moving work!