The Paris Opera unveils its 3rd Stage
Dimitri Chamblas, artistic director of the 3rd Stage at the Paris Opera tells us about this exciting new project.
Announced after the arrival of Benjamin Millepied as Dance Director at the Paris Opera, the 3rd stage, or digital stage, is being launched today with a performance by Wendy Morgan, Etoiles, I see you. Numéro met the artistic director of the 3rd Stage, Dimitri Chamblas, who describes in detail this ambitious project.
Numéro: Far from being a simple platform that diffuses reports from behind the scenes of the shows, the Paris Opera’s 3rd Stage is an innovative medium of creation. How would you define this project?
Dimitri Chamblas: The model is innovative, as much in its production as in its diffusion. It’s all about weaving links between the Opera and the world beyond through the intervention of artists whom we invite to make the films. The work starts off by being created for the digital stage but is then diffused in museums and art centres. So we’ve invited the artist Xavier Veilhan to make a film, which he will be showing in the context of his future exhibitions. Julien Prévieux, winner of the 2014 Marcel Duchamp prize, has also made a film for us featuring the dancers from the Opera, and of which only the trailer will be shown online. The complete film will be unveiled later within his exhibition at the Pompidou Centre [September 25th to February 1st 2016]. So they really aren’t commissioned pieces: on the contrary we invite artists to make a work that naturally finds its place within the core of their own oeuvre.
Tell us about your production model?
The Paris Opera doesn’t have the means to finance 18 films by 18 artists. So we’ve set up a system of co-production. For example, Xavier Veilhan’s studio contributed to the financial backing of his film. The Paris Opera owns one copy of the film and the other copies belong to him. So we’re currently building up a collection: the Paris Opera collection.
Which artists have been invited for this first season?
They represent a wide variety of disciplines, from contemporary art and cinema to photography, drawing and pop music. The film maker Bertrand Bonello has written an incredible project, a tragedy that showcases the Opera choirs. The fashion photographer Jacob Sutton has made a very visual film on a creation by Benjamin Millepied. Xavier Veilhan has reinvented the Opera by fusing Garnier and Bastille. The visual artist Alex Prager has also made a film. It will be shown from October 20th in her exhibition at the Galerie des Galeries. The keyboard player in the group Phoenix has composed a piece of music which he will be playing on all the pianos at the Opera.
So it’s not about creating a work with the dancers, but more like a personal vision of the Opera?
Exactly, we invite the artists to give their vision of the Paris Opera in its entirety: the music, the dance, the craftsmanship, the public spaces and those that are less so. The link can really be stretched: the members of an English collective have created a work from the preparatory exchanges on this creation, and on the journey of a dancer we sent to London to meet with them. We’ll also be exploring the Opera venue itself: our first project is an ABC of every nook and cranny.
And what about Wendy Morgan’s film, Etoiles, I see you, which focuses on Lil Buck, the hip-hop dancer?
Wendy Morgan makes music videos. She decided to showcase a dialogue between Lil Buck and the historical figures represented in the frescoes and the sculptures at the Palais Garnier. Lil Buck dances in the Grand Foyer, an emblematic studio at the Palais Garnier. Through the editing, the faces, the body fragments and the attitudes all answer each other.
Interview by Delphine Roche