Prize for Ballet 2018


12 / 06


Opera Ballet Vlaanderen



Continuum will be my first original full evening work. The work will be set to music by Johann Sebastian Bach, but not only. However it is the study of Bach’s work which motivates my project. Bach’s music, while being highly mathematical - governed by complex rules of counterpoint, fugues and canons pushed by the artist to the extreme - is also highly emotional. Bach’s music is timeless, it transcends all eras. It is also filled with excellent rhythms, often built on baroque dances. Bach’s composition techniques and rules is what I wish to explore by creating equally complex dance structure and composition, develop a physical translation of real music composition techniques. I will also use other choreography composition techniques available to me to create an appropriately varied work, at times only using the melody as a single dancing voice. Movements will be inspired by my emotional response to the music.

I have so far picked the Partita number 2 in D Minor and the Passacaglia for Organ as book ends of the work. One section will be a structure of dancing counterpoint that can be extended to a large number of dancers — this part will be created without music, it will begin as a pure visualization of a variation on a theme to become a series of contrapuntal derivations such as melodic inversion, retrograde, augmentation, diminution. The basics vocabulary will be created as an alphabet, words and meanings will be hidden just as in most of Bach’s compositions. I potentially might also use a 12 tone counterpoint score from a Vienna school composer as a shorter central section in order to push and twist further my experiment into new territories.

My creative team will be composed of Alessandro Sartori for costumes. Certain sections of the work will feature an original set by California Artist Robert Irwin, and lighting by cinematographer Darius Khondji.

I will invite a violinist and an organist to perform live for the showing of the excerpt of the ballet. For the world premiere at Royal Ballet Flanders we are looking to use the full orchestra for all or some of the music, in addition to solo violin and organ.

Artistic Team

Benjamin Millepied

Benjamin Millepied



Robert Irwin

Set Designer


Darius Khondji

Lighting Designer

Co-producing Partners

LA Dance Project Logo

Los Angeles Dance Project

United States


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