Pastoral Malandain / Beethoven

The Pastoral: This is of course Ludwig van Beethoven’s 6th Symphony with the well-known epigraph of the manuscript “Pastoral Symphony, or Recollection of Country Life, which is more an expression of emotion than a descriptive painting”. Reflecting the composer’s ardent love for nature: “I am so happy once I can wander through the woods, thickets, trees and rocks! No man can love the countryside as much as I do” (1), apart from the birdsong and the storm, The Pastoral Symphony actually expresses feelings more than it imitates things. Filled with serenity and fundamentally idealistic, one can see a watermark of flower-covered paths from ancient pastoral landscapes, and the innocence and tranquillity of yesteryear. Or, hovering like a halo, the sacred dust of Athens, a city revered throughout the ages by the imagination of poets and artists for having created Beauty. Composed at the same time as the 5th Symphony, which showed man’s struggle with destiny, by abandoning his emotional states to nature, Beethoven resurrected the Arcadia of the golden era in our minds: “a land of shepherds where we lived happily in love”. But can we deviate from reality? Paired with some motifs from The Ruins of Athens and Cantata Op. 112, entitled Meeresstille und Glückliche Fahrt (Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage), in the footsteps of a wandering Companion, a kind of romantic hero, The Pastoral invokes Hellenic Antiquity, as a place of nostalgia and artistic perfection, from the pain of an endless desire to the bliss of the original light.

Thierry Malandain

(1)Letter to Thérèse Malfatti, 1807

music Ludwig van Beethoven (6ème symphonie "Pastorale", Cantate op. 112, extraits des Ruines d'Athènes)
choreography Thierry Malandain 
set and costume design Jorge Gallardo
lighting François Menou 
costume maker Véronique Murat, assistée de Charlotte Margnoux
set design Loïc Durand
set and accesory production Frédéric Vadé

13 - 19 december 2019 at Chaillot,Théâtre national de la danse - Paris

22 and 23 december 2019 at Theater Bonn – Germany

Chaillot Théâtre national de la Danse • Beethoven Jubiläums Gesellschaft (Allemagne) • Norddeutsche Konzertdirektion Melsine Grevesmühl GmbH • Theater Bonn (Allemagne) • Le Parvis scène nationale Tarbes Pyrénées • Opéra de Reims • Ballet T • Donostia Kultura - Victoria Eugenia Antzokia de Donostia / San Sebastián (Espagne) • CCN Malandain Ballet Biarritz

Théâtre de Gascogne - Scènes de Mont de Marsan • Espace Jéliote Oloron-Sainte-Marie • L’Odyssée - Scène Conventionnée de Perigueux • Scène du Golfe / Théâtre Anne de Bretagne - Vannes • Opéra de Saint-Étienne • Théâtre Olympia d'Arcachon • Escenario Clece / Teatros del Canal - Madrid (Espagne)


Ballet for 22 dancers
Length 72 minutes