Belgian choreographer, Micha van Hoecke, has collaborated extensively with conductor Riccardo Muti over the years, providing choreography for operas when the Maestro was head of La Scala, and then later in Rome when Muti took over at the Rome Opera for a short time. The association also brought him to the Ravenna Festival, founded and run by Muti's wife, Cristina Mazzavillani, where van Hoecke was involved from the outset, thirty years ago.
Pink Floyd? Music that has soul!
SHINE Pink Floyd Moon was created on the British band's songs with a live ‘tribute' band on stage behind the dancers. It debuted at the Ravenna Festival in June of this year and is currently on tour.
Pink Floyd was formed in 1965 when van Hoecke was twenty-one – the music of his youth.
It's music that in the popular imagination is connected to the youngster in all of us.
Van Hoecke's point of departure was the song Shine on You Crazy Diamond in which the band pays tribute to its former member, and founder, Syd Barrett, who was ousted from the group in 1968 due to his drug use and related mental health issues. The work was largely born out of guilt. Barrett's excessive use of psychedelic drugs, for which he was hospitalised, led him to leave the music industry in 1972, and he lived as a recluse until his death in 2006.
In 1974 Pink Floyd performed Shine on You Crazy Diamond for the first time, but before this, on their legendary album The Dark Side of the Moon, they had already touched on the theme of mental health because the title refers to a journey into insanity, not outer space. Their other massive hit, 1979's The Wall, features a depressed, disturbed character called Pink, inspired by Barrett, who builds a metaphorical wall around himself.
In SHINE, Syd is played by Denys Ganio, the former principal dancer of Roland Petit's Ballet National de Marseille. Ganio performed Petit's own Pink Floyd Ballet many times; it was with this work that Petit opened his new dance company in 1972. In 1973 Ganio was dancing when, for four performances, Pink Floyd accompanied the ballet live (Maya Plisetskaya was also on the programme, dancing Petit's La rose malade).
My autobiography also tells the story of every man. The story of our lives that cyclically advance with a circular movement like that of music, of the dance of the stars, of the rotation of the moon – a movement punctuated with the continual process of birth-death-rebirth. Life is the stuff that “dreams are made on”, as Shakespeare wrote; the warp and the weft, continually unpicked to be rewoven.
SHINE is a work steeped in hope, where fantasy becomes the weapon to fight the materialism that permeates our world, perverting power and purpose.
The new work has been created for the Daniele Cipriani Company which will take it to several open-air summer festivals before an Italian tour until March 2020.
2 August 2019
Armonie d'Arte Festival in the National Archeological Park in Scolacium, Calabria
5 September 2019
7 September 2019
The Sferisterio Arena, Macerata
SHINE Pink Floyd Moon
Choreography: Micha van Hoecke
Costumes: Anna Biagiotti
Lights: Caso Alessandro
Sound: Maurizio Capitini
Laser show: Riccardo Berti
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.