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New Projects
The Great Mass

Thoughts from the choreographer:
I have long been interested in choreographing to Mozart's masterpiece, Mass in C Minor, because of the inspiring beauty of the music and the touching spirituality of its singing. So light and so deep at the same time, the choral element of the piece reflects the spirit of life itself. To me, Mozart's music contains the highest degree of the "divine" that we have all been touched with, and represents the ability of humanity to transcend the difficulties of life.

The Great Mass will be the largest and most complex work I have ever undertaken, and will represent a milestone both in my work and in the history of my company. The choreographic challenge for me will be to make the music be reborn from the movement, to show the emotion inherent in the music through my own neo-classical movement form.

I would like to add that choral works and the human voice have been a great source of inspiration throughout my life. My mother, Marguerite Rioult, singer, music teacher, and choir director, has inspired in me the belief that the human voice is the most divine instrument and the most able to translate the subtlety of human emotion. This new work will be dedicated to her.

L'Enfant et Les Sortilèges
The ballet L'enfant et les Sortilèges is a family show based on a story by Colette who gave it to Maurice Ravel. Mr. Rioult's ballet focuses Colette's original inspiration - the pains of a boy growing up. The boy's mischievous behavior, terrorizing in a fit of rage both the objects and the animals of his house, is transformed when the creatures and furniture magically come to life. Taking on human traits, the boy's household harasses him in return, to teach him a life lesson. Through this fantastical and theatrical journey, the boy discovers his own humanity and learns to be compassionate to the world around him.

Pascal began working on this project in 2003. In June 2006, Mr. Rioult began initial development of the choreography at a residency at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, NY. This past July (2007), Mr. Rioult continued working on the project in residence at Vassar College where the first act was enhanced in collaboration with dramaturge Drew Harris and the company began work on Act II. Mr. Rioult has been working closely with his long-time collaborator, set designer Harry Feiner, to create the intricate set design. Development will continue in May 2008 at Kaatsbaan.

Funding for this project is being provided by a major commissioner, NEA, NYSCA, the Geoffrey C. Hughes Foundation and the company's Kenneth French Fund for New Works.