Daphnis et Chloé is a ballet in one act by Maurice Ravel. This production, choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, was first performed at the Opéra national de Paris in 2014.
For the set, French artist Daniel Buren has created five geometric shapes—two rectangles, a circle, a square and a rhombus—made of translucent material, each of a different colour. The shapes are bordered with Buren’s signature motif, his famous stripes, here in black and white.
The elements upstage slowly float up and down creating an ever-changing configuration. “In theatre, each spectator has a unique point of view – this goes against my work, where the art piece must be visible from all points of view, all of which are equal,” Buren said in a previous interview with Exponaute. “That’s why I designed a scenography made of objects that constantly move in front of the audience. There is a ballet of objects at the same time as there is a ballet of bodies.”
Daphnis et Chloé was Daniel Buren’s first work for a big stage. He was particularly interested in the abstraction in Ravel’s music more than its lyricism. His work plays on rhythm and movement, it is never an illustration of music, which he sees without form.
Buren also wanted to ensure that the colours and shapes would not conflict with the music. The colours, in particular, have no specific meaning. “For me all colours are equal, they do not dictate a particular emotion,” he said. “In the case of this ballet, it is music, by its strength, which dominates.”
In Daphnis et Chloé the costumes are designed by Holly Hynes, the lighting is by Madjid Hakimi.
There will be 15 performances at the Opéra Bastille of Paris from 24 February to 24 March 2018 with a pre-opening on 23 February 2018 reserved for people under 28.