19th Belgrade Dance Festival

Gauthier Dance - Stuttgart, Germany

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Gauthier Dance
Stuttgart, Germany

Artistic Director: Eric Gauthier

Swan Lakes

World premieres by Marie Chouinard, Marco Goecke, Hofesh Shechter & Cayetano Soto.     

Swan Lake! As soon as you mention the title of this ultimate classical ballet, the images and associations will come by themselves: a lake in the moonlight, the Dance of the Little Swans, Prince Siegfried torn between Odette and Odile, the evil sorcerer Rothbart. There have been countless traditional renditions, modern interpretations and spoofs, on stage as well as on the big screen. So is there nothing more to tell about Swan Lake? Certainly not, at least if you come up with a new format for the story... Eric Gauthier has asked 4 star choreographers to create their version of Swan Lake for the Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart. These works aren't meant to add up to a full-length piece but to Swan Lakes in the plural: a bill including 4 individual “Swan Lake” adaptations of about 20 minutes each, that are stylistically as varied as the choreographers themselves.


Swansong: The Lake

creation, choreography, light, set, costume: Marie Chouinard
composition: Louis Dufort
rehearsal director: Lucie Vigneault

With “Swansong: The Lake”, the choreographer, dancer and extremely versatile, internationally renowned artist Marie Chouinard will present a completely new creation. The exceptional creator, who is regarded as the figurehead of contemporary dance, will once again make her voice heard with this unique group piece designed especially for Gauthier Dance. Inspired by Tchaikovsky's universe and his mythical ballet, entirely reworked by the composer Louis Dufort, the choreography will immerse the audience into a sensual experience where dance, electronic music and video projections merge. The center from which the dancers will fill this amazing contemporary creation with life is a simple, refined architectural element. 

No other female choreographer is so firmly rooted in the avant-garde as Marie Chouinard. Following twelve trailblazing years as a solo performer and choreographer, she founded Compagnie Marie Chouinard in 1990. In more than 50 works to date, she has celebrated dance as a sacred, spiritual art, always searching for what she calls “the mystery” - the invisible, primordial energy of live in our bodies. Masterpieces such as “Les 24 Préludes de Chopin”, the controversial “Après-midi d’un Faune” with its all-women cast or “bODY_rEMIX / les_vARIATIONS_gOLDBERG, Act 1” feature in the repertoire of the world's most important dance companies. Marie Chouinard was awarded special prize “Jovan Ćirilov” of the Belgrade Dance Festival for her magnificent piece “Hieronymus Bosch: The Garden of Earthly Delights“.


Swan Cake

choreography, sets, composition: Hofesh Shechter
lighting design: Hofesh Shechter, Mario Daszenies
costume design: Hofesh Shechter, Gudrun Schretzmeier
assistant: Kim Kohlmann, Bruno Guillore

duration: 25’

A dark undercurrent bubbles beneath the fairy tale of “Swan Lake”, a story that is based on the assumption of the beautiful, pure and clean. In Shechter’s version, nothing is clean, nor pure. Delivered by those who have no home, no place, no choice–their desires, fantasies and dreams are to our eyes a dark, pathetic, at times humorous version of things – but the cracks of our own perception of beauty then bubbles to the surface and a communal collusion and acceptance of the values we were fed is revealed.

In the space of a few years, the former Batsheva dancer, trained percussionist and composer has made a staggering career. His dark, visceral, vibrant universe is positively bursting with innovation and political relevance. “Grand Finale”, the latest full-length work in his canon, was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production, and was chosen as Production of the Year by Tanz magazine. In 2018, Hofesh Shechter was awarded an honorary OBE for Services to Dance. The company's first dance film, Hofesh Shechter’s Clowns, was broadcast by the BBC in 2019, to great acclaim.




choreography, lighting, set, costume: Cayetano Soto
music: Peter Gregson
dramaturgy: Esther Dreesen-Schaback
assistant: Mikiko Arai

duration: 25’

The new work by Cayetano Soto for the bill “Swan Lakes” will show the moment of transformation from man to animal, from woman to swan by making visible the effect and the magic of the spell. The connecting element between living creatures is the phenomenon of the instinct. It is universal, supra cultural, inherent to all creatures–and cannot be adulterated. Soto’s trademarks are the unusual ideas and the eccentric, but highly sensitive view of the world. For the Spanish choreographer feels drawn towards the seekers–people and artists who do not fit into our concepts. His “Swan Lake”, too, promises to be exciting. The original music commissioned from the young composer Peter Gregson, creates a pretty safe guess that these swans will do anything but stay in line...

Born in Spain in 1975, Cayetano Soto started his dance education at the Theater Institute in Barcelona and continued his studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. After receiving his degree in classical dance, Soto signed his first professional contract with IT.Dansa in Barcelona, before joining Ballet Munich in 1998. For Ballet Munich he has created several successful choreographic works. In 2005, he became a freelance choreographer. Since then, he was creating and working with numerous important ballet and dance companies all around the world. In 2011, he was nominated for the Golden Mask Award in Russia for his piece “Uneven”. From 2015. Soto is working as choreographer in residence of the Ballet BC Vancouver.



choreography: Marco Goecke
music: P.I. Tschaikowsky
lighting design: Udo Haberland
set, costume design: Michaela Springer

duration: 25’

This is not the first time that Marco Goecke deals with the subject of “Swan Lake”: He has already choreographed the Black Swan pas de deux and a Valse from “Swan Lake” to the original music. As a child he had a record of the fairy tale, and he is very familiar with the music, of course–like many ballet students and dancers. This is also why Goecke has decided to use Tchaikovsky's music for the coming Gauthier Dance premiere. Together with a group of male dancers, he will explore what the ballet dream of Swan Lake might look like today. His all-male cast contrasts with the romantic tradition that had female connotations for the swan. Goecke thus draws on older myths in which the swan, as many European languages suggest (cygne, cigno, cisne, lebed...), represents a male being.

In 1988, German Marco Goecke has completed his ballet education at the Munich Ballet Academy, and in 1995 he graduated at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. Goecke worked together with the Berlin State Opera and the Theater Hagen. Since 2005, Goecke is resident choreographer at the Stuttgart Ballet, between 2006 and 2011 with Scapino Ballet and since 2013 he is associate choreographer with NDT. In 2015, with his piece “Thin Skin” made for NDT1, he was nominated for a Swan Award. His greatest success to date: “Nijinsky” premiered in 2016, was tribute to the legendary dancer Waslaw Nijinski, created for State Ballet of Hannover. In 2018, he received a Benois de la Danse nomination for “Wir Sagen uns Dunkles”, created for NDT2.


ballet mistress: Louisa Rachedi

ballet master: Luis Eduardo Sayago

company coach: Egon Madsen

production management: Alexandra Brenk

artistic management: Maria Strack

press: Nicola Steller

touring management: ecotopia dance productions


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