music by Erik Satie, scored to a one-act scenario by Jean Cocteau with costumes and set design by Pablo Picasso

The ballet “Parade” was premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 1917 by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, portraying the music of Erik Satie scored to a one-act scenario by Jean Cocteau with costumes and sets designed by Pablo Picasso.

“PARADE & the Velvet Gentleman” revisits this historical ballet with contemporary aesthetics and techniques: One of the characters is presented as a stop-motion animation figure projected on the screen while the ‘horse’ (Troisième Manager) adopts a contemporary headdress mask and costume. The scene of the acrobats features a technique known as ‘projection-dancing’: When the dancers enter the stage they appear to cast a shadow on the screen … but this is not really their shadow – it is actually a video projection that develops into a choreographic ‘dialogue’ between the 2 dancers and their own silhouette. The score for this new production is an arrangement of the four-hands version (originally arranged by Satie himself) for one pianist playing on Piano and Toy Piano, with the orchestral percussion part which includes a typewriter, glass bottles, sirens and pistol shots, besides the regular percussion instruments.

Besides “Parade”, this project includes a programme of important piano works by Satie, accompanied by a selection of his poignant writings – depicting a colourful portrait of this unique composer. “PARADE & the Velvet Gentleman” also presents Satie as a key influence on 20th century avant-garde music, prefiguring ‘experimentalists’ such as John Cage and George Crumb.

Artistic director: Ruben Zahra 
Piano / Toy Piano: Tricia Dawn Williams
Choreography & Dancers: Diane Portelli & Dorian Mallia – Moveo Dance Company 
Projection Dance Sequence: MAKA Visuals; Stop-motion animation: Christ Scicluna 
Masks & Puppets: Charles Bezzina;Costumes: Ritienne Zammit 
Paper Movies: Trevor Zahra; Technical director: Christopher Gatt

a contemporary retelling of the iconic ballet ‘Parade’ – Erik Satie, Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso”

REUTERS – Editors Choice Pictures (27 Jul 2018)

… revisits the ballet on a contemporary platform”

Times of Malta - 30 Jul 2018