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Giorgio Mancini-Tristan Und Isolde

« To drown, to founder - unconscious - utmost rapture ! » RICHARD WAGNER

2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the first performance of Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde which was staged in Munich on 10 June 1865. To celebrate the occasion, Giorgio Mancini has decided to create a piece that is inspired by this masterful opera. Isolde’s last words at the end of the opera: “To drown, to founder - unconscious - utmost rapture!” are the source of inspiration for the choreographer who has called upon Dorothée Gilbert and Mathieu Ganio, both étoile dancers at the Opéra National de Paris, to form a duo in the hour long performance of Tristan und Isolde. The two exceptional dancers are a perfect fit for the characters of Tristan and Isolde, in whom Giorgio Mancini wishes to breathe life into their souls during an evening of passion and emotion.

Giorgio Mancini

Why did you decide to choreograph Tristan und Isolde ?
The first time I listened to Tristan und Isolde I was so fascinated by the emotional strength of the music which touched me deeply and brought out feelings I had never experienced before. I waited until 2011 before taking on this chef d’oeuvre as a choreographer and performed a duo in the inner court at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, based on Isolde’s death. This first taste of Wagner’s music gave me the desire to build on the performance and turn it into a whole evening for two exceptional dancers. As far as I know, it’s a subject that hasn’t been put into dance much, even although the subject and music are ideally suited to choreographic performance.

How do you envisage the work ?
It will be a synthesis of the story of impossible love between Tristan and Isolde in the form of what I call an “emotional narrative”, the leitmotiv of all my works. Isolde’s last words, “To drown, to founder - unconscious - utmost rapture!”, hint at a night scene, combining dreams, love, sensuality, sexuality, and even destructive passion, which ultimately lead the protagonists to their death. The choreography will go straight to the point and will be performed as a duo, alternating dance with musical interludes in an attempt to sustain the emotional strength of the work.

Why Dorothée Gilbert and Mathieu Ganiot ?
I discovered Dorothée and Mathieu while serving on the Opéra de Paris’ jury for the dancer promotion competition in 2004. I’ve never forgotten them. When I first thought of producing the Tristan und Isolde work, these two dancers immediately came to mind, given their many qualities as dancers and performers. They marvellously personify the characters of Tristan and Isolde, into whom I intend to breathe life into their souls through this new work.

After a brilliant career as a dancer at the Ballet du XXe siècle and at the Béjart Ballet in Lausanne, Giorgio Mancini took on the position of director at the Ballet du Grand Théâtre in Geneva at the age of 31, after having danced several seasons there. Nine years later he headed up the MaggioDanza dance company in Florence until 2007, dedicating himself thereafter to choreography as an international freelancer for the next four years. In August 2011 Giorgio Mancini founded his own dance company called GM Ballet ( with the aim of creating events, taking dance to unexpected venues and presenting it to the widest audience possible. From June 2013 to April 2014 Mancini again took on the position of artistic director of MaggioDanza.

Mancini’s repertoire includes a re-reading of classical ballets (Nutcracker Suite, Giselle, Coppélia, Juliette and Romeo) and performance of abstract ballets (Words no longer heard, H pour P - La Campanella, F L O R A, A nima, L U N A, Mozart per Gioco).

« Freud turned dreams into stories. Giorgio Mancini turns stories into dreams. » TERRANCE A. BROWN

Dorothée Gilbert took up dancing at the Conservatoire de Toulouse at the age of seven. She joined the Opéra de Paris dance school in 1995. In 2000, at the age of 17, Dorothée Gilbert was included in the corps de ballet, where she rapidly progressed: in 2002 she was promoted to coryphée, then to sujet in 2004. In 2005, she became a première danseuse, the last step before earning the supreme rank of étoile ballerina on 19 November 2007. This honour came after a somewhat unusual performance of the Nutcracker Suite against a unique backdrop, without costumes (owing to a strike) when she danced together with Manuel Legris. Dorothée Gilbert was appointed étoile ballerina at the age of 24. Acclaimed for her outstanding technique and the quality of her work, so typical of the French school, she is regularly invited to international galas and generously loaned out as a guest dancer by the Opéra de Paris. Dorothée Gilbert became the muse for Repetto’s first perfume that was marketed on 1 July 2013.
Prix de public de l’AROP - Association pour le Rayonnement de l’Opéra de Paris
Prix du Cercle Carpeaux warded to a young dancer in the corps de ballet of the Opéra de Paris
Prix Positano Léonide Massine
Nominated for the Prix Benois dance prize for her role as Lise in La Fille mal gardée
Prize created in Moscow in 1992 under the patronage of UNESCO
Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres Honorary award granted by the French Ministry for Culture.

Mathieu Ganio took up dancing at the age of seven at the Studio Ballet under the direction of Colette Armand, the mother of dancer Patrick Armand. From 1992 to 1999 he underwent training at the École Nationale Supérieure de Danse in Marseille, before joining the dance school of the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris. He joined the corps de ballet of the Opéra in 2001 and soon made his way up the ranks: coryphée in 2002, sujet in 2003 and quite extraordinarily, was nominated étoile dancer on 20 May 2004 after a performance of Don Quichotte, without having held the rank of danseur. He was only 20. Highly appreciated for his dance characteristics resembling a “danseur noble”, his élégant dance style and abilities as a partner, he is regularly invited to dance abroad.
He received the Prix Benois for his rôle as James in La Sylphide together with Aurélie Dupont.

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  • 2016 january to 2018 january

  • Musicians
    Dorothée Gilbert • Danseuse Opéra de Paris
    Mathieu Ganio • Danseur Opéra de Paris

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