Founded for a dare in 1984, les ballets C de la B has become one of Europe’s most influential dance theatre companies. The troupe is known for its eclectic mix of surrealism, slapstick and semiotics and members live by the motto ‘this dance is for the world and the world is for everyone’.
For En avant, marche! Platel and Van Laecke have reconnected with Steven Prengels, the composer with whom they worked on the 2012 Olivier Award-nominated Gardenia.
Taking the tradition of musical groups as a starting point, they deconstruct the familiar steps and sounds of a marching brass band and turn them into a metaphor for life itself.
The narrative follows a dying, but larger-than-life, trombonist as he comes to terms with having only months to live – and his disappointing demotion to the role of cymbal player.
En avant, marche! frames the brass band - a collective of very different people from all walks of life who must learn to keep marching in the same direction and play together – as a miniature society. The directors use the protagonist’s failing health to demonstrate how, while individuals may come and go, the band itself plays on.
The cast of four performers and seven musicians will be joined onstage by the London-based concert band, The Heroes Band, playing music by Gustav Holst, Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Strauss.
Over the years, les ballets C de la B has developed into a platform for a variety of choreographers and artists from all manner of backgrounds to unite.
Merging contemporary dance, text, theatre and music, les ballets C de la B may not be easy to classify but it has played a crucial role in the development of young artists (notably Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui) and its heart-warming, life-affirming, witty productions certainly go down well with audiences the world over.
The London performances of En avant, marche! ought to be no exception. Drawing on classical music, opera, clowning – even ballet! – the onstage variety will make your eyes pop, while the narrative’s emphasis on community will make your heart sing.
Forward, march and step to the beat on your way to the box office!
|What||En avant, marche! Alain PLatel, Frank Van Laecke & Steven Prengels at Sadler's Wells|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
16 Jun 16 – 17 Jun 16, 19:30
|Website||Click here to book via the Sadler's Wells website|