Rebecca Varidel
21st Aug 2016

“Through song and through dance, the human being manifests his belonging to a superior community: he has unlearnt to walk and to speak and, by dancing, he is on the point of taking a flight in space. His gestures portray his state of enchantment.” The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche

Carriageworks presents the Australian Premiere of Tragédie, by acclaimed French choreographer Olivier Dubois, a meticulously constructed minimalist dance work that brings together women and men in a chorus of hypnotically repetitive movements backed by a pounding bass.

Choreographer Olivier Dubois describes Tragédie as an exploration of the gulf between merely being human and embracing our full humanity, featuring ideas from the history of Greek tragedy and the philosophy of Nietzsche. Inspired by Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy, in which he praises the transcendent liberation of dancing, Tragédie is the conclusion of a trilogy of pieces that centre on the themes of resistance and insurrection.

“It was my intention for the audience to experience a blinding, dazzling…deafening humanity. No more distinguishing of bodies so that archaic impulses crop up from these masses in movement,” explained Ballet Du Nord Choreographer Olivier Dubois.

This will be Olivier Dubois’ first visit to Carriageworks and the first performance of his work in Australia. Once an enfant terrible of the French dance scene, since the premiere at the Festival D’Avignon in 2012 of his hypnotic marching choreography Tragédie, he has generated a furore far beyond Avignon and is still successfully travelling around the world.

Dubois is today considered to be one of the great French figures in the dance world – along with Rachid Ouramdane – and he leads one of France’s renowned centres for contemporary dance: the Ballet du Nord. Both Olivier Dubois and Rachid Ouramdane are choreographers currently receiving much recognition and praise for their powerful and expressive works created for large ensembles and stages with conceptual rigour.

“Carriageworks is excited to present the Australian premiere of this risk-taking choreographic work from acclaimed French choreographer Olivier Dubois” Carriageworks Director Lisa Havilah exclaimed. 

In Tragédie Olivier Dubois projects us into a feeling of the world that is more than choreography. Over exposed in their nudity, women and men rid themselves through dance of their psychological, historical and sociological problems through constant back and forth movement and a pounding energy that will reverberate amongst audiences.

The production which has been performed at the acclaimed Sadlers Wells in London and Montpellier Danse in France premieres in Australia at Carriageworks, presented over two nights on Friday September 2nd and Saturday September 3rd.