This unique dance and live music performance has evolved from an idea that occurred to cellist Mindaugas Bačkus, a spiritus movens behind the International Klaipėda Cello Festival and Competition, to make a cello version of Boléro, one of the most famous orchestral works by French composer Maurice Ravel, and thanks to his long-standing cooperation with the Šeiko Dance Company. Renowned Danish choreographer Palle Granhøj was invited to create choreography for the performance. A number of his choreographic compositions have previously involved classical music and contemporary dance, including “The Rite of Spring” (based on Stravinsky), “2men2mahler” and “Men & Mahler” (based on Mahler), etc.
In “Boléro – extended” Granhøj employs his obstruction technique, which reduces movement and creates a specific repetitive motion for the dancers, based on the rhythm of Ravel’s Boléro. The music, performed by one to eight cellos throughout the piece, gets deconstructed and therefore sounds quite unexpected and modern. The stage setting here is no less surprising: an ordinary situation with musicians in the orchestra pit and dancers on stage appears to be turned upside down…
The Klaipėda Cello Octet has grown from the Klaipėda Cello Quartet, which was formed during the Klaipėda International Cello Festival in 2017 to perform dance and music performance “The Seasons” together with the Šeiko Dance Company. This followed by yet another successful collaboration – cello and dance project “My Peter Pan.” Mindaugas Bačkus, a distinguished cellist and artistic director of the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra, must be held responsible for forming these cello ensembles.
Šeiko Dance Company is a collective of dance professionals, working in the field of contemporary dance, creating dance and music performances, immersive theatre, site-specific performances, promenade performances, dance education projects and theatre laboratories. The winners of the highest professional theatre awards in Lithuania they have been working as a company in Klaipėda for six years and performing in many countries abroad, including the U.S., Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Norway, Denmark, Russia, China, Iceland, Ukraine, Israel, Bulgaria, etc. As dancers they speak the universal language of dance, unrestricted by any censorship or political, cultural, ethnic, religious and social boundaries. Artistic director of the company, choreographer Agnija Šeiko, is recognized for her interdisciplinary approach, distinctive aesthetics, sensitive social topics and the variety of forms.