Paris Opera Ballet’s Cri de cœur — a three-hour collage of nervous breakdowns

A “cry from the heart” — to borrow the title of Alan Lucien Øyen’s Cri de cœur — filled the Palais Garnier this week, and it didn’t come from the stage. As the curtain fell on the first half of Øyen’s never-ending world premiere, someone yelled, loud enough for the entire audience to hear: “Let’s all thank Aurélie Dupont for this crappy production.”

Dupont resigned as artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet at the end of last season and Cri de cœur is a late entry to the list of baffling commissions that defined her six-year tenure. In the absence of a replacement for Dupont (the recruitment process is under way), there was presumably no one to tell Øyen that his three-hour collage of nervous breakdowns required a drastic edit.

Norway’s Øyen has long styled himself after Pina Bausch; in 2018, he was one of the first outside choreographers to make an evening-length work for her Tanztheater…

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