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Le Mandarin merveilleux

Grotesque pantomime in one act, libretto by Menyhért Lengyel
Created at the Köln Opera, November 27, 1926

Creation by the Ballet of the Grand Théâtre, Geneva, June 20, 2007


Music   Béla Bartok
Choreography   Kader Belarbi
Dramaturgy   Anne Deniau
Scenography   Rémi Nicolas and Jacqueline Bosson
Light   Rémi Nicolas
Costumes   Adeline André

I walk in front of my image
And my image comes my way;
She huggs and fondles me
As if I was coming back from prison.


From Wings of Desire, film by Wim Wenders


“ The scene is a black box. A room of illusions that offers itself as a sensitive surface where are revealed the representations of a world that seems to emerge from barbarism. The "people" are the clash between destructive forces and life rush in a cycle between life and death.

The Miraculous Mandarin crosses the world. He sees a glimmer of hope with the "Young Woman" and offers the desire for love of a simple man. Together, they sink into a final embrace, but the "Young Woman" steals his attributes. He is murdered for having satisfied brutal and primitive passions. The Miraculous Mandarin becomes a victim and proves to be a temporary representative of a miraculous illusion.

The idol perhaps is only a soft lie.”

Kader Belarbi

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