Le Cid

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  • on 26 November 1999 at l’Esplanade de Saint-Etienne


  • Jules Massenet


  • Thierry Malandain

Décor et costumes

  • Jorge Gallardo

Conception lumières

  • Jean-Claude Asquié


  • Festival Massenet, Esplanade de Saint-Etienne, Malandain Ballet Biarritz


  • for 12 dancers


  • 40 minutes

note of intent

First performed at the Opéra Comique on 30 November 1885, Le Cid is an opera quickly composed by Jules Massenet between November 1884 and April 1885 based on a libretto by Adolphe d'Ennery, Louis Gallet and Edouard Blau, which in turn was based on a play by Pierre Corneille. As with other French operas, a ballet was added to this work which Massenet composed at a hotel in Marseille’s Vieux-Port in May 1885. In this very entertaining piece, he makes reference to Spain, its rhythms and atmosphere. I’ve freely adapted Castilian, Andalusian, Aragonese, Catalan, and Navarrese traditional dances without trying to renew their authenticity. With just a wall at the back of the stage, the dance unfolds with no other purpose than that of searching for its own meaning. Le CID - Choreography that’s Indirectly Defined.
Thierry Malandain


From Castilian to Navarrese, an oriental serenade to a bolero, Malandain embodies pure dance with duets, quartets and ensembles, expressing sensuality, humour, freshness…
Progrès, Claudie Léger • 27 November 1999
“C.I.D." with its six Spanish dances is a lively and exhilarating gem. The dancers give it all they’ve got accompanied by Massenet’s music. Refusing to make it a Spanish-influenced performance, Malandain has succeeded in creating enchanting entertainment, demonstrating the Biarritz ballet’s talent.
Danser, Antoine Livio • January 2000
According to Thierry Malandain who he himself questioned the outcome of such music; the only boundary was a wall created by Set Designer Jorge Gallardo. Used as a prop, obstacle, and a balcony overlooking the horizon, this powerful symbolic element frames abstract and graphic choreography playing with lights and shadows. Dance emerges from this contrasting scenario between matching anthracite-coloured flesh and costumes - flight, landing, clashes, and races. The choreographer’s solid style is brilliant.
Les Saisons de la danse, Emerentienne Dubourg • January 2000
This is 100% pure Malandain, full of mischief and subtlety, difficult to dance.
Danse conservatoire, Michel Odin • January 2000

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