Record of ancient things

Record of ancient things

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Creation on June 29, 2017 at the Opéra national de Lorraine (Nancy)

Photos Arno Paul

20 DANCERS / 40 MINUTES

Choreography
Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley
Original music
Peter Rehberg
Lighting
Eric Wurtz
Costumes
Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley with the Atelier costumes department of the CCN – Ballet de Lorraine
Choreography
Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley
Original music
Peter Rehberg
Lighting
Eric Wurtz
Costumes
Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley with the Atelier costumes department of the CCN – Ballet de Lorraine

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«Through three choreographic scenarios - the stage, the club and the arena, we reflect upon our capacity and desire to be seen, and in action.

Record of ancient things looks at the performative act. Not just in the word’s meaning of representation but also in its functional and competitive incarnations. The three scenarios are played out in a transparent, glimmering space that allows us to see in it the classical stage, the shimmering club and the flashing cameras of a stadium; all platforms emblematic to the human performance.

The stage presents the opportunity for the spectacular desire to defy gravity. Through a series of reinterpreted jump solos “all at once”, performers who barely manage to sustain their individual trajectory and highly egocentric agenda repeatedly inundate the stage.

The stage presents the opportunity for the spectacular desire to defy gravity. Through a series of reinterpreted jump solos “all at once”, performers who barely manage to sustain their individual trajectory and highly egocentric agenda repeatedly inundate the stage.

In a groove of accumulation, the club scene evolves and transforms its disciplined community into an overindulgent baroque frenzy. Pushing and pulling, they again change their game and reconfigure the stage for competition.

The direction is clear, the agenda even more single minded. The continual performance of a single task reduces us to the level of a machine. Through a morphing series of sport vocabulary, the dance in the arena redefines again the group’s repeated efficiency of performance.

Lost in their continued search for self-fulfillment they leave in search of yet another “world stage”.»

Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley

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Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley

The choreographers and dancers Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley, started collaborating in the nineteen nineties, choreographing works for Martha@Mother, the Joyce Soho in New York and the opera Staden for the Royal Opera House in Stockholm, a commission for the 1998 Cultural capital of Europe. For the Royal Swedish Opera, Ballet and Orchestra they created two immense Happenings, In nooks and crannies 2000 and 2001. The two different performances, occupied non-traditional performance spaces throughout the entire theatre.In 2005 they started their own company creating works entitled Nightlife, Untitled partner, Flux, No mans land - no lands man and The nearest nearness. In 2002 they received a “Goldmask” for the musical Chess with Björn Ulveus and Benny Andersson (ABBA). 

As of 2011, Petter is choreographer and the Artistic Director and Thomas choreographer and the Coordinator of Research for the Centre Chorégraphique National - Ballet de Lorraine, Nancy. For the company they have created Untitled Partner #3, Performing Performing, Relâche, Armide, Discofoot, L’Envers, Record of ancient things, Happening Birthday and For Four Walls

Their programming for the CCN is organized around questions or themes and each year they invite a wide variety of artists both French and international to play and question within them.Their first programming season 2012, was entitled La saison de La. There they asked why is it Le Ballet but La dance? In response to this question of gender they presented solely female choreographers of diverse backgrounds. The season Tête à tête à têtes was a dialog focused on our modernity and its influences and connections with contemporary artists and spectators. Live! was a celebration of the ephemerality of the performing arts. Together with the continuing seasons, Folk + Danse = (R)évolution, Unknown Pleasures, 50 ans!, Fifty Plus, all have continued to challenge, celebrate and question our current 19/20 season’s subject, the need for all this Useless Beauty. To insure a continued lively and non fixed use of the artform they have also worked with the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris and Centre Pompidou- Metz and Paris, and an original initiative LAB-BLA-BAL, a series of discussions and open house art experiments. 

Born in Stockholm, Petter Jacobsson started his studies in dance at the age of three and was further educated at the Royal Swedish Ballet School, the School of American Ballet under Stanley Williams and he later graduated from the Vaganova Academy in St.Petersburg in 1982. As a principal dancer with the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet in London between 1984 to 1993, he toured internationally dancing all of the renowned classical roles as well as appearing as guest artist with numerous international companies. He later moved to New York to begin a freelance career, dancing with Twyla Tharp Dance Company, Merce Cunningham Repertory group, Irene Hultman Dance and later with Deborah Hay. In 1999, Petter was appointed artistic director of the Royal Swedish Ballet in Stockholm. 

Thomas Caley started his dance training at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, he continued his education earning a BFA from Purchase College in upstate New York in 1992. After graduating from university, a year was spent experimenting, performing in a multitude of independent projects in New York City. From 1993 until 2000 he was a principle dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company touring throughout the world and participating in the creation of twelve new works. In 2000 he moved to Stockholm to continue his collaboration with Petter Jacobsson and to continue working as a freelance dancer in Europe, in France Thomas has worked with Boris Charmatz on the 50 ans de danse flip book projects.