Season 2016/2017

The Pleasures of the Unknown

Commissions and research are two of the fundamental missions of a National Choreographic Center (CCN). Indeed, the CCN – Ballet de Lorraine has a practice of creating unique, original experiences. And with this new season, we are choosing, and asking, can we go even farther down this path?

  • What is the market value of the artistic signature?
  • Beauty can be found where we least expect it, but who, and under what circumstances do we determine something as beautiful?  
  • What does it mean to “make something new”?

To answer these questions – and many others -- we have called on some of the most well-known artists on the international scene. We will be offering no less than seven premieres as well as presenting a guest company to celebrate this very essential human trait: the inescapable need to create. What you may expect – is the unexpected!

For Unknown pleasures, our first program, we have invited five, diverse international talents to collaborate in a one-of-a-kind adventure: where all have agreed to create a work but that they will never sign. An anonymous programme of mystery – no names, no fame and no glory – a carte blanche has been offered for the creators as well as the public, that encourages the experiencing of an evening of dance unencumbered by preconceptions.

The second programme presents Gala, by Jérôme Bel. Known for his inventive, imaginative ideas incorporating both dance and theatre this piece is no exception, as it is constantly changing and being renewed through its realization by professional and amateur dancers from each region in which it is performed.

We round out our season with Les Plaisirs de la découverte (The pleasures of discovery) with this intriguing, appealing title – a piece imagined by Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley, and also the company’s first invitation to Rachid Ouramdane whose work has been much lauded of late and who has just been named the new director of the CCN in Grenoble. The two choreographic works are using, as an initial platform, the inspiration of their eventual ultimate goal… a creation – this moment in time before the object has taken form and the “doing” of the subject has yet to be described. The creative process is there to discover and often to re-discover what pleasures await us from the unknown. Dear dance, what do you need today?

Interlacing and connecting with these three major events presented on the stage of the Opéra national de Lorraine, our CCN host’s a myriad of other events, through our series LAB BLA BAL: open rehearsals, On danse workshops, Avant tournée – and of course our LAB/ SALON …

While acknowledging the current political context, with all the uncertainty and anxiety rippling through it, our season – while fun, playful, and present – approaches with seriousness, the complexities of the subjects it evokes, and affirms even more the importance of artistic freedom that is at the core of our program.

We hope we have the pleasure of seeing you at one or more of these upcoming events. Who can resist the pleasures of the unknown? Surely not you!

The artistic staff of the CCN – Ballet de Lorraine

Download the leaflet of the season (PDF)


World premiere at the Sadler’s Wells theatre in London.

November 5, 8 and 9, 2016 at 8:00 PM
November 6, 2016 at 3:00 PM
At the Opéra national de Lorraine

Ticket category A

Unknown Pleasures [Creation 2016]
5 mystery choreographers

Plaisirs inconnus is an evening to be discovered virtually blindfolded: it is entirely anonymous, there are no credits for the choreographers’ names, reputations, awards.

The artists are given carte blanche, as are the spectators, facilitating the disconnecting of the creation from its creators’ signatures, freeing the dance from the typical trending and marketing campaigns. How does the name of the choreographer influence the audience’s relationship to his or her work?

Five choreographers from different generations – four women and one man – have agreed to play this game: will you be able to recognize their work without knowing who they are?

Will you be able to resist the temptation to sneak a peek behind the curtain?

Production: CCN – Ballet de Lorraine
Coproduction: Dance Umbrella and Sadler’s Wells Theatre (London) - CODA Oslo International Dance Festival - Dansens Hus Norvège (Oslo)
In partnership with Scènes Vosges (Thaon-les-Vosges)

Unknown pleasures

5 mystery choreographers


April 5, 2017 at 8:00 PM
At the Opéra national de Lorraine

Running time: 1hr30 mn without intermission
Ticket category A

GALA [Creation 2015]
Jérôme Bel (Guest Company)

In his work Jérôme Bel has always examined the changing relationships between artists and their audiences, and continues to surprise us with this new project. In a “gala” evening (a shining event he restores, returning it to its former glory), the creator has brought together an eclectic group of dancers: professional dancers and amateurs of all backgrounds and ages, from the region, asking them to work with a series of great choreographic forms as well as inventing their own. It is at once an ode to spontaneity and to our differences. Gala celebrates an unabashed, imperfect and entirely jubilant form of dance. It is a radical tour de force, fiercely entertaining.

Production: R.B. Jérôme Bel (Paris)
Coproduction: Dance Umbrella (London), TheaterWorks Singapore/72-13, KunstenFestivaldesArts (Brussels), Tanzquartier Vienna, Nanterre-Amandiers National Dramatic Center, the Autumn Festival in Paris, Theater Chur (Chur) and TAK Theater Liechtenstein (Schaan) - TanzPlan Ost, the Venice Biennial Foundation, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen), La Commune Centre dramatique national of Aubervilliers, Tanzhaus nrw (Düsseldorf), House on Fire, with support from the Cultural Program of the European Union
With support from the CND (Pantin) and from the Ménagerie de Verre (Paris) under the auspices of Studiolab, for the generous loan of their rehearsal space
Thanks to the partners and  participants in the Dance and Voice Workshops, as well as NL Architects and Les rendez-vous d’ailleurs

Credits : R. B. 

Gala [Creation 2015]


June 29, 30, and July 1, 2017 at 8:00 PM
July 2, 2017 at 3:00 PM
At the Opéra national de Lorraine

Ticket category A

Les Plaisirs de la découverte (The Pleasures of discovery) [Creations 2017]
Rachid Ouramdane
Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley

Les Plaisirs de la découverte offers audiences the chance to experience the infinite possibilities of the creative act, joining the creators in an exhilarating journey into the unknown. An evening shared by Rachid Ouramdane, a choreographer riding the wave of his recent successes, and the duo formed by Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley.

The first creator is constantly blurring the lines between creation and transmission, collaborating with all sorts of different groups and individuals in order to better reflect our time and our situation, whereas the duo never stops questioning the many dimensions of the performative act. In this new work, they have decided to look at everything the “landscape of the stage” can offer, and in an architectural approach, exploring how the habitual movements of the body may be altered. As for Rachid Ouramdane, he has chosen a choreographic exploration of visual flight, soaring, using large groups. It will be set on the entire company, to original music by Jean-Baptiste Julien.

Don’t bother waiting for these creators around the corner, they won’t be where you might expect them!

Production: CCN – Ballet de Lorraine

Record of ancient things

Choreography: Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley
Music: Peter Rehberg


Choreography: Rachid Ouramdane 
Music: Jean-Baptiste Julien