CULTURE

Pink Floyd meets Roland Petit

The music of Pink Floyd is about to cross paths with the choreography of Roland Petit at the Athens Concert Hall. Rock classics like «Hey You,» «Is There Anybody out There?» and «Money» will translate into solos, duets and group choreographies in an intriguing and promising performance that the dancers of the Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company will stage April 12 to 15 in the Alexandra Trianti Hall. «I think we are all familiar with the music of Pink Floyd, older generations as well as mine were brought up with it. The show we will bring [to Athens] is very good work, thanks to the talent of Roland Petit,» said Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company director Makhar Vaziev at a recent press conference. Vaziev, who took up his current post in January 2009 after a 13-year stint as director of the Mariinsky Theater Ballet (known as the Kirov Ballet during the Soviet regime) from 1995 to 2008, traveled to the Greek capital especially for the presentation of the upcoming performances, which are taking place under the aegis of the Italian Embassy in Athens. «I have been to Athens many times with the Mariinsky Theater Ballet. This is the first time I come with the Teatro alla Scala and it feels like my first visit,» he added. Landmark French choreographer Roland Petit created «The Pink Floyd Ballet» after his daughter pleaded with him to do so, because of her great love for the group’s music. The production premiered in Marseille’s Palais des Sports in November 1972, with the band performing live. The Teatro alla Scala ballet, a distinguished company with a rich past, staged the production last summer in Milan and also took it to Slovenia for the opening of the 2009 Ljubljana Festival. It is a 90-minute show that features 13 Pink Floyd hits and has as its only set design the special lighting of Jean-Michel Desire. «When I watch a show, I always wonder if I would like to see it a second time,» said Vaziev. «I have to admit, I have seen many performances at the Teatro alla Scala, but I caught myself thinking that I could watch [‘The Pink Floyd Ballet’] many more times. It is a ballet that enables dancers to not only demonstrate their technical skills but also to bring out their emotional condition,» he added. On his part, Italian Ambassador in Athens Gianpaolo Scarante pointed out the importance of the timing of the ballet company’s visit. «The Teatro alla Scala ballet company comes to Greece after a long wait, at an important moment of generalized concern for the future because of the [economic] crisis. This visit is a message of faith and optimism which I hope all spectators will receive. Art has a very important role in conveying messages of faith to the people.» At the Athens Concert Hall (1 Kokkali & Vas. Sofias, tel 210.728.2333) from April 12-15.