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Carolyn Carlson - Signes
Carolyn Carlson - Signes
Actors: Marie-Agnes Gillot, Kader Belarbi, Rene Aubrey, Paris Opera Ballet
Director: Olivier Debre
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2007     1hr 53min


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Movie Details

Actors: Marie-Agnes Gillot, Kader Belarbi, Rene Aubrey, Paris Opera Ballet
Director: Olivier Debre
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, DTS, Classical, Ballet & Dance
Studio: Bel Air Classiques
Format: DVD - Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 05/08/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 53min
Screens: Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: French
Subtitles: English, French

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Movie Reviews

Original and brilliant production by the eerily perfect Pari
Richard Bookstaber | New York City, NY | 07/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Signes is an artistic endeavor based on a year-long collaboration between choreographer Carolyn Carlson, composer Rene Aubrey and the great abstract artist Olivier Debre. The result is breathtaking and original in every respect, from the dancing to the music to the huge paintings that make the background. Or what normally would be called background -- in fact Debre's work is integral and on occasion takes center stage with the dancers. I was not familiar with Rene Aubrey's music before, but within the context of this contemporary ballet it is memorable.

The dancing is mesmerizingly perfect. As always, the POB corp dances impeccably. The long-limbed Marie-Agnes Gillot deservedly was awarded the status of etoile for her performance as the female lead. But most remarkable was Kader Belarbi. His role is principally comprised of many small movements, a turning of the hand or arm, a shift in posture. He manages to do even the smallest motion with gravitas and power. In this production Belarbi is near the end of his great career, and it is hard to imagine anyone with less maturity dancing in his place.

As with a number of other recent POB DVDs, the production quality of the DVD is top notch, although it is sometimes frustrating when the camera is shifted to a close up of one of the dancers, and I am left wondering what is going on elsewhere on the stage.

But one warning for the ballet purists: although there is the occasional arabesque and plie, this is contemporary dance. But the classical training shines through to create a production worth watching over and over again.

What You See is What It Is
I. Martinez-Ybor | Miami, FL USA | 06/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Signes" treats the stage as a living organism, with decor, dancers, lighting, music interacting to create a total work of art. It is all taken in through your eyes and ears. What you see is what it is. And it is wonderful! California-born choreographer Carolyn Carlson (at one time with the Alwin Nikolais company, her career has centered in Europe) took her cues from paintings elaborated as scenery by artist Olivier Debré, indeed one could say that the colors and the moving panels inspired the choreography as opposed to the normal procedure in which the choreography is developed first and sets and costumes are developed upon it. Carlson has worked with composer René Aubry before, so that the original score also developed organically as the choreography moved along (Stravinsky's Agon, I believe, also was developed this way, between the composer and Balanchine). Patrice Besombes' lighting must be noted as part of this collaboration. The result is a merry fusion of color, sound and movement making space vibrate as a fully integrated whole.

No single element of "Signes" can stand on its own; it has to be taken as presented. The music is a sort of gallic minimalism with hints of Michel Legrand pop and Brian Eno's ambient experiments. It's never challenging and always charms. The dancing (modern, not ballet) is fun. Movements tend to be small scaled, but sweep there is when called for. It is thoroughly integrated with the music and the shifting decor. Costumes, of course, are also by M. Debré and are integral to the visual whole. Marie-Agnes Gillot, a tall, long-limbed supple woman, turns in a virtuoso performance combining elegance, strength, fluidity and femininity. Kader Belarbi's part seems to be all about control and he executes it flawlessly. There are significant parts for demi-soloists who, alas, are not identified. As usual in all their DVD's, the Paris Opera Ballet excels.

There is an interesting documentary on the collaboration between M. Debré and Ms. Carlson. The better your home system, the greater the fun you will derive from this DVD. It is truly a pleasure to watch. Warmly recommended."
Pure enjoyment
Gil Kolan | Israel | 03/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This work by Carolyn Carlson is very inovative in a good sense. Although I did not grasp the relation between the dances and their titles, I was enchanted by what was going on. This creation merits a good audio system as well as the best and largest screen to fully absorb it's impact."