In 1974, Roland Petit, probably the greatest and certainly one of the most prolific of 20th century French choreographers he was the first person to create a work based on Proust's novel, A la recherche du temps perdu, completed in 1922, the year of his death.The book, better known to Anglo-Saxon readers as In Search of Lost Time, in which the author's homosexuality is latent, was written over the last 14 years of his life. Marcel Proust mingles childhood souvenirs with adolescent memories and is full of nostalgia for places once visited and exhibitions he'd seen. He dwells lengthily on love, passion, and jealousy and inevitably questions one's reason for living.
Proust ou les intermittences du coeur has now happily entered into the repertoire of the Paris Opéra Ballet.It consists of 13 vignettes inspired by the seven lengthy tomes which complete the unabridged work, Petit has chosen to convey the spirit of the novel via a succession of impressionistic tableaux which reflect the changing moods of the writer as he oscillated between periods of intense happiness and deep depression. And although the choreographer paints a merciless portrait of the aristocracy and bourgeoisie during the Belle Epoque, the highlights of the work lie in the series of poetical pas de deux, which at times might have seemed a little disconnected, but at which the French choreographer is past master.
Choreography & stage direction Roland Petit; Designer Luisa Spinatelli; Sets Bernard Michel; Lighting Jean-Michel Désire Palais Garnier, March 2007
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