Le Parc (Ballet) - Paris, France - 1999
When Le Parc, a highly sensual, intelligently thought out ballet inspired by the Countess de La Fayette's La Princesse de Clèves (1678), and Choderlos de Laclos' Les Liasons dangereuses (1782), was created at the Palais Garnier in 1994, it was one of the most interesting programmes that season despite its unequal choreography. Precise and elegant, it was neither too intellectual nor over obscure, and was set to some of the most beautiful adagios from Mozart's piano concertos*, mixed with electronic sounds. Choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, born in France, of Albanian parents, described it as a search for what remains of the 'art of loving'.
In the recent reprogamming at the Opéra Bastille, guest artist Isabelle Guérin, delicate and exquisitely feminine, partnered by the sinuous, muscular and eloquent Laurent Hilaire, not only breathed new life into what they made into a contemporary classic, but in the final pas de deux, raised it to the level of sublime. Tension was at its maximum when they were on stage.