Pablo Picasso, The Lovers, Paris, 1919
© Succession Picasso 2019
I Could Never Be A Dancer
A Doors initiative
Throughout his artistic career, Picasso experimented with diverse forms of expression. As a young artist, he discovered the world of the performing arts, and was particularly fascinated by circus and dance. He began collaborating with Serge Diaghilev in the 1910s, and designed the sets and costumes for several productions by the Ballets Russes, including Le Tricorne (1919), which is richly documented in the exhibition.
The dynamics of movement are featured in much of Picasso’s work as a painter, draftsman, and engraver, ranging from acrobats and the figure of Harlequin to cabaret dancers, from bacchanal scenes to traditional Spanish dance.
This performance has been created exclusively for the exhibition Picasso – Birth of A Genius, running at UCCA from June 15 to September 1, 2019. Artistic duo I Could Never Be A Dancer pays tribute to Picasso’s Mediterranean roots and the choreographic forms that inspired the artist. As they come into contact with different styles of performance (circus, urban dance, flamenco), audience members will have the opportunity to experience a Cubist deformation of bodily perception.
Find more information on the Picasso - Birth of a Genius exhibition here.
I Could Never Be A Dancer is an international duo that applies their pop, conceptual, and modern vision to multiple projects. Working as choreographers, film directors, and artistic directors, Carine Charaire and Olivier Casamayou break the boundaries of dance within the fashion, contemporary art, and music worlds. Collaborating with institutions like the Pompidou Centre and the Comédie-Française, high-end brand-names like Chanel, Cartier, Hermès, Lacoste, Chloé, and Kenzo, and pop artists like Chaka Khan, Kylie Minogue, Metronomy, Willy Moon, Mika, and the Pet Shop Boys, they love participating in the creation of pop culture, as well as questioning cultural codes in order to say something relevant about our time.
José Manuel Álvarez (bailaor) & Lucas Balbo (percussionist)
José Manuel Álvarez is a flamenco dancer born in Sevilla in 1985. He has worked with directors such as Rafael Estévez, Rubén Olmo, Marco Flores, Juan Carlos Lérida, Emilio Fernández, Javier Latorre and Pepa Gamboa and with artists such as Antonio Canales, Las Migas, tap dancer Roxane Butterfly, the company Increpación Danza and the master of tar Hamid Khabbazi. At an international level, José Manuel has worked with Craig Rivel, with whom he joined forces in the musical “Flamen’ka Nueva” in Paris and London. José Manuel Álvarez has been part of the Marco Flores’ company in the productions “Laberíntica” (2014) and “Enter the Game” (2016).
Born in Buenos Aires in 1988, Lucas Balbo was trained in flamenco and Afro-Latin percussion with cajón flamenco masters like Israle Suarez (Piraña), Lucky Lozada, and leading figures such as Huber Reyes (Peru), Julio Morales (Argentina) and Cheik Gueye (Guinea). He already had the honour of working with leading flamenco figures such as La Farruca, Eva Yerbabuena, Marco Flores, Karime Amaya, among others. He has collaborated with Jose Manuel Álvarez in “Bailes Colaterales”, “Hostal Pascual” and in the choreographic piece “D-Structures” presented in Théatre de la Ville (Paris), Ciutat Flamenco 2017 and Circuito Bucles 2018.
Shi Meiyu & Shi Meiru (acrobats)
Shi Meiyu and Shi Meiru are twin sisters and acrobats. They are part of the China National Acrobatic Troupe and have performed in their productions internationally: Russia, USA, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, etc.
Mamadou Bathily & Taylor Chateau (bone-breakers)
Mamadou Bathily (Bats) and Taylor Chateau (Taylor) are choreographers, dancers, models and actors. They are part of the dance group Electro Street. They have collaborated with Blanca Li and appeared in commercials for Diesel, Replay, Louboutin, Longchamp, Givenchy, Zegna and Balmain. They both started in dance in 2007 and developed their art while winning titles and awards in the most important international competitions. They form an original duet with their own distinctive style, a mix of urban dances and contortionism.