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In 1928, the French composer Maurice Ravel wrote Bolero in Paris. In 1984, the British ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean danced to the music of Bolero at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. Eight years later the stadium where they won gold was bombed. Working with the music as a bridge between these two stories, Michael Pinchbeck takes a journey from Paris to Sarajevo, from 1928 to 1984, from the Winter Olympics to the Bosnian War. Bolero explores the making of the music and the making of history to that music. It reflects on the way Olympic sporting glory was soon covered in blood. It is a ravelling and unravelling of a compelling cultural and political history. The project makes a conceptual journey from creativity to decay, composition to conflict, to respond to the structure of Ravel’s music and the choreography of the ice dance routine.

Context

In January 2012, Michael visited Ravel’s home in Montfort-l’Amaury where he wrote Bolero, and his burial place in Levallois-Perret, as well as L’Opera Garnier in Paris where Bolero was premiered as a ballet in 1928. In February 2012, he visited the Zetra Stadium in Sarajevo and the 1984 Winter Olympics Museum. The Winter Olympics museum curator, Edin Numankadic, has offered his support to the project. Nihad Kresevljakovic from Sarajevo War Theatre has offered his venue’s support and the opportunity to work with SARTR artists on the project as performers and devisers. Nottingham Playhouse has expressed interest in showing work-in-progress in 2013 and the finished work at NEAT Festival 2014. Bolero is supported by Making Tracks and the British Council in Bosnia.

Biography

Michael Pinchbeck is a writer, live artist and performance maker based in Nottingham. He co-founded Metro-Boulot-Dodo in 1997 at Lancaster University and left the company in 2004 to embark on a five-year live art project, The Long and Winding Road. Nottingham Playhouse commissioned Michael to write The White Album (2006) and The Ashes (2011). He is working on a trilogy of devised performances inspired by Shakespearean stage directions: The Beginning, The Middle and The End. His work has been selected three times for the British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase. He lectures in theatre at the University of Lincoln and is researching a PhD at Loughborough University exploring the role of the dramaturg in contemporary performance. http://www.michaelpinchbeck.co.uk

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