Interview with Ramon Oller
MOVEMENT AS POETRY
Ramon Oller, choreographer, was born in Esparraguera (Barcelona) in 1962. He studied dramatic arts at the Theatre Institute of Barcelona and continued his professional improvement in classical and modern dance in Paris, London and New York City, as well as pedagogy in Madrid. He made his debut with the Gelabert-Azzopardi Company. His first choreography - Dos Dies i Mig (Two And A Half Day) won the second prize at the ‘Tórtola Valencia’ Choreography Competition in 1984. He founded the Metros Company in 1985 where he premièred most of his work and the repertoire of the company includes over 40 productions. He has choreographed Naranjas y Limones together with Jean-Christophe Maillot for the National Choreography Centre in Tours. As a choreographer he has cooperated with many other companies such as: The Spanish National Dance Company and the National Ballet of Spain, as well as the Ballet Hispánico in the USA, where he is the resident choreographer and a professor at the company’s school. New York Times has awarded his play Good Night Paradise as the best one. His company Metros operates equally in New York and in Barcelona.
Ramon Oller came to Belgrade on the recommendation of Aleksa Jelic, who had performed in his company. Few Serbian ballet dancers were lucky enough to attend the works of contemporary ballet by this very inspiring choreographer, who was for two months holding a master class based on José Limón technique. The choreographic evening Triptych is the presentation of these workshops, where we could see how the classical ballet movement was transformed into natural, sincere, thoughtful and deeply lived movement. "Dancing has so much to say today. That is why I think that the future of theater is in theaters, where the text and not a person is decisive", said the choreographer Oller.
In 2004, you staged a choreographic evening Triptych at the Madlenianum. Do you remember working with Serbian ballet dancers and can you point out someone in particular?
It was wonderful working in Serbia! I had the opportunity to work with a group of very talented professional dancers. Recalling those days I have in mind the creativity and harmony in working with ballet dancers, going through different phases at rehearsals. I remember the great talent of Milan, Dejan, Olga, Sanja, Aleksa, Ana..... They were all brilliant!
You already staged the third part of Violetta in New York (1985) and Barcelona (1998), so can you tell us to what extent this Serbian version differs from the previous two?
I have found inspiration for this part in the life story of my friend Violetta, who survived the Holocaust, but also in the exile of Jews and Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula during the Inquisition. The music of traditional Jewish songs helped me a lot. For the Serbian version, I had two months of work with completely unknown ballet dancers, but for me, it is the best version I have ever staged. I "spilled" all my thoughts and memories into that version.
Is there any chance for us to see again some of your piece of art in Serbia?
I would like to work again in Serbia as well as in your theater, it was a great pleasure for me to work both in Belgrade and at Madlenianum.
With my company Metros, I spend part of my time in Barcelona and part of my time in New York. My greatest wish is to be able to continue travelling and cooperating with different countries, in which I could make creative and genuine works in accordance with their different cultures.