Swinging Rameau – After Les Indes galantes

A documentary analysis by Reiner E. Moritz, featuring Les Arts Florissants

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Featuring exclusive interviews of:

William Christie — Music director

Andrei Serban — Stage director

Blanca Li — Choreographer

Patricia Petibon — Zima

Paul Agnew — Valère

Program notes

An analysis of Rameau's work through the successful production of Rameau's Les Indes galantes in which Les Arts Florissants appeared...

For William Christie, founder of Les Arts Florissants: "Rameau is certainly the most important dance composer before Stravinsky. [...] At the end of this glorious Indes Galantes we have a rather extraordinary piece called La Danse du Grand Calumet, and since we've revived this work – and we've done it 40 or 50 times, maybe – the effect that it has on an audience is absolutely guaranteed. I can look out and watch the audience starting to move."

On Andrei Serban's opinion, Rameau's first opera-ballet, rediscovered in the middle of the 20th century and now known mostly thanks to William Christie and his crew, perfectly matches with the wishes of the audience nowadays. "We go to the opera to escape all this [tension]. To really feel that there is something that in art, in music, in theatre, in dance we are hungry for. [...] Rameau tells us, with his great wisdom, leave all that for life, for your everyday life. Come to the opera and just enter into another reality, into the reality of the imagination, escape the low quality of your life and try to reach higher."

  • Watch Les Indes galantes with Les Arts Florissants, William Christie, Patricia Petibon, Paul Agnew...

A closer look: featured composers

Further listening: featured works

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