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It's 1715. Court composer Marin Marais presents his new work for viola da gamba and continuo to the Sun King. Then something odd happens: at first, the king listens quietly but then, to the surprise of those present, starts to move slowly. The royal household, for the sake of politeness, closely imitates the monarch. King and court create their own choreography: somewhere between yoga positions, Baroque court dance and an aristocratic aerobics class. They go completely wild and the astonished musicians have no choice but to follow their tempo. The birth of improvisational music, thanks to the interplay between musicians and audience.  

Le Grand Ballet is based on this lovely anecdote. Two musicians and a dancing monarch take you with them in a wordless performance in which the audience is invited to dance along. It sometimes moves along with the tones of the music, but sometimes the choreography seems to take on a life of its own and the musicians must follow. Shake those hoop skirts!


MARIN MARAIS & FRÉDÉRIC VERRIÈRES music TOM PAUWELS concept & electric guitar EVA REITER electric gamba RÉGIS BADEL dance PIETER NYS technical coordination

Zonzo Compagnie in co-production with Ictus Ensemble and Concertgebouw Brugge. With the support of the cultural city festival Antwerpen Barok 2018. Rubens inspires.