Angelin Preljocaj is a contemporary dance choreographer of Albanian origin born and raised in France.
His work is steeped in the history of classical ballet, but is, however, resolutely contemporary. His choreographies deal with strong themes, through a simple sign language that is both energetic, dynamic and of great physicality.
As one of his last works "La Fresque", which will be presented as a British premiere at Sadler's Wells in London this month. It is based on a traditional Chinese story about a traveler who discovers a painting on the wall of a temple, enters the image world and marries one of the five women he represents before returning to reality.
When he looks back at the image on the wall, he discovers that the woman's hair, which once flowed freely, is now fixed in a chignon that symbolizes that she is really married.
Preljocaj defines choreography as the creation of a house in which he invites dancers to live. "Without them", He says, "it is an empty house with no mood or thoughts". Construction of the house for La Fresque began when the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris asked him to make a piece for a young audience.
Prelojcaj usually prefers the abstract on a narration. But a constant is his concern about the kind of rituals like in La Fresque. "The dance itself is essentially a ritual", he claims. "Whenever you have people dancing, whatever the performance, it's kind of a ritual. There is something sacred about this. The dance is showing the soul with your body. "- says the choreographer in an interview for the Guardian
As a child, judo was the first to capture the interest of Preljocaj.
"Dance was not in the culture of my family”- continues Preljocaj in the interview with The Guardian.
When a girl at school showed him a photograph of Rudolf Nureyev, he was enchanted.
"It may seem strange to fall in love with dance through a still image. It is paradoxical. But it was so wonderful, light and stimulating. I was maybe eight or nine. I thought: what is this art that can make someone so enlightening? "
Angelin Preljocaj then began his career as a choreographer in association with Michel Kelemenis, with the creation 'Aventures coloniales represented at the Montpellier Danse Festival of 1984 and the inauguration of the Théâtre contemporain de la danse. At the end of that year, Preljočaj creates Black market, awarded at the Concours chorégraphique international de Bagnolet, for which he received the award from the Ministry of Culture.
Today it boasts more than 50 choreographies, in addition to those entered in the repertoire of the Paris body dance company, and numerous prizes including that of "Knight of the Legion of Honor" in the 1998.
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