Une Dernière chanson (One Last song) Malandain / Romances d'autrefois

In order to mark a decade of partnership with the Opera of Reims and thank the public from Reims for their loyalty, Thierry Malandain has created with his company a new ballet for 10 dancers entitled Une Dernière chanson, in April 2012.

In 2001, the record came out Aux marches du Palais, a collection of « ballads and laments of the France of yesteryear », chiselled by Vincent Dumestre and Le Poème Harmonique. At that time, Thierry MAlandain would have liked to use thaht album of traditional songs, but as he had already used Benjamin Britten’s Folksongs and those by Luciano Berio for other creations, not to mention a Tristan et Yseult supported by medieval music or yet, traditional Breton tunes used for Blé noir, he felt he had to wait for t right moment.

Now, for this anniversary, he felles free to offer whatever he likes, hesitating between one of Beethoven’s last sonatas and Aux marches du palais dy Vincent Dumestre. He finally chose that album of day-dreaming inducing songs. In his own words : « it is a light-hearted, bubbly ballet intended as a moment of humanity to forget for a short while our tough, worried existence, saddened by all that our heart and reason cannot accept. » A ballet leading to the most tender emotions. And even if it veers towards melancholy, even if the shivers of death run through it, the richness of its poetry will give the charm of all taht ends well. Just the way one enjoys the last drink, the last ray of the sun, the last song.

created on 13th avril 2012 at the Opéra de Reims

music Chants traditionnels arrangés par Vincent Dumestre – Le Poème Harmonique Aux Marches du Palais – Romances et complaintes de la France d’autrefois
choreography, set and costumes Thierry Malandain
production management, lighting design Jean-Claude Asquié
costume production Véronique Murat
set making Annie Onchalo & Nelly Geyres
coproduced by Opéra de Reims, Scène Nationale Bayonne Sud Aquitain, Teatro Victoria Eugenia de San-Sebastián – BALLET T, Malandain Ballet Biarritz

duration for the entire ballet 30’
ballet for 10 dancers

Une Dernière chanson received on 14 june 2012 the Syndicat de la Critique’s main prize 

« Une Dernière chanson, […] is a gem of a ballet awarded the best French dance performance of 2012 by the Syndicat de la Critique Danse. Each son gis choreographed with incredible intelligence and tenderness, producing a living painting of an incomparable lightness. All the dancers of the company seem weightless on stage and give their best to lead these 30 minutes of superlative dance to excellence. »

Alta Musica, Olivier Brunel, 9th September 2012

« Une Dernière chanson is truly an admirable ballet rich in tenderness and elegance ! […] Overwhelmed by the sweetness and refinement of these melodies, Thierry Malandain created a piece overflowing with poetry and lightness, lulling the audience with gentle feelings. One can feel that the choreographer has unleashed his artistic spirit more than usual. […] The ballet is dominated by only one corporeal feeling ; this is probably the merit of Thierry Malandain and his dancers’work. Couples, each with its own story, follow one another on stage as freely as a spring breeze, taking us back to a distant past. »

Note di danza, Antonella Poli, 18th April 2012

The delicacy of dancing by Thierry Malandain « […] the new sensual, sweet and melancholic ballet by Malandain Ballet Biarritz promises many standing ovations. As light as these summer jackets or a breath to blow out the flame of a candle – a gesture repeated many times in the choreography – Une Dernière chanson is a succession of duets and quartets revisiting hit songs from the past, rejuvenated and glorified by a neo-classical dance approaching elegant contemporary dance with gentleness. With this ballet, Thierry Malandain is at his best.»

Umoove, Cédric Chaory, 18th April 2012