In collaboration with the Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, Frédéric Flamand created “Metapolis” in 2000, the first part of a reflection on the contemporary city. Since then, Frédéric Flamand has become Director General of the Ballet National de Marseille and Zaha Hadid’s work has won the highest accolade in architecture: the Pritzker Prize. In 2005, Frédéric Flamand learnt that Zaha Hadid had been selected to design a high-rise tower for the Marseille company CMA-CGM: too many coincidences to ignore the temptation to give new life to the show that had brought them together.
Frédéric Flamand could have contented himself with simply reprising the project from 2000 and teaching it to dancers at the Ballet, as is the case with repertoire pieces. But he preferred recreation in the strict sense of the word. His approach to dance actually favours the dancer’s personality in terms of how a particular gesture is executed. The way he practises the performing art is by placing the performer at the very heart of his creation. If he recreates a show with new dancers, it’s the show and the choreography that adapt to the dancers, not vice versa.
For his recreation of “Metapolis”, Frédéric Flamand will be working with more dancers than in the original version. The city will have grown in the meantime, revealing more intense processes of circulation. Flamand will be taking into account the solid classical technique many dancers at the Ballet National de Marseille have and hybridising it with the contemporary style that defined the piece in the first place. Admittedly the set will be identical to the work created in 2000, but his approach through new dancers will allow new interactions with it to be developed. Seeing the new version of “Metapolis” is like visiting a city you’re already familiar with (assuming you’ve already seen the show) but where its entire population has changed: city dwellers as the main vectors in the transformation of cities.
The recreation, “Metapolis II”, will be the third part in a trilogy which started with the first version of Metapolis, followed by “Silent Collisions” in collaboration with the architect Thom Mayne and “la Cité Radieuse”, co-created with Dominique Perrault.
«Metapolis II» is both brilliant and perfectly staged, modern and timeless.
Jacques Corot, La Provence, 6/07/06
"... (...) A visual richness and intellectual curiosity that are so often too rare in dance.(...)"
Roslyn Sulcas, The New-York Times, 8/07/06
Création les 4 et 5 juillet 2006dans le cadre du festival de Marseille
Production Metapolis II (2006) : Ballet National de Marseille
Production à la création en 2000 : Charleroi / Danses – Centre Chorégraphique de la Communauté Française de Belgique
Coproduction à la création en 2000 : Bruxelles-Brussel 2000
Capitale européenne de la Culture (B), La maison des Arts de Créteil F), l’Arsenal de Metz (F), Het Muziektheater amsterdam (NL), Festival Oriente Occidente di Rovereto (I).