Lost in Ballets russes, 2018

As the great niece of Léon Bakst - famous painter, decorator and costume designer of the Ballets Russes -, Lara Barsacq spent her childhood immersed in a revolutionary and prolific work. She is deeply marked by the reproductions of the artist including those representing Ida Rubinstein, the muse, fascinating and exotic dancer. In Lost in Ballets Russes, Lara draws from her memory both the paintings of the great-uncle and some artifacts of the 1970s, to create an autobiographical piece as a tribute to her father, envisioning her dance as a ritual that transcends time.

Lost in Ballets russes premiered on April 19th, 2018 at La Raffinerie (Brussels), in the frame of Festival LEGS - Charleroi danse.

In 2019, Lara created the trio IDA don’t cry me love, around the figure of Ida Rubinstein. She is currently preparing her third piece, Fruit Tree, which will premiere in October 2021.

Lost in Ballets russes - a project by Lara Barsacq (55’, 2018)

Project, texts, choregraphy, dramaturgy & performance: Lara Barsacq

Support for the dramaturgy: Clara Le Picard

Outside eye: Gaël Santisteva

Light design: Kurt Lefevre

Costumes: Sofie Durnez

Music: Bauhaus, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel

Participation: Lydia Stock Brody, Nomi Stock Meskin

Technical direction: Emma Laroche

Administration & production: Myriam Chekhemani

Communication & distribution: Quentin Legrand - Rue Branly

Production: Gilbert & Stock

Coproduction: Charleroi danse - Centre Chorégraphique de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (BE)

Residency partners: Charleroi danse - Centre Chorégraphique de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, La Bellone, La Balsamine (BE), La Ménagerie de Verre, Paris (FR)

With the support of Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles — Service de la danse, Wallonie-Bruxelles International, Grand Studio and Le Réseau Grand Luxe

Lara Barsacq is artist in residence at Théâtre de Liège (2024-2028) and at Cité musicale-Metz (2024-2026)

Photos © Diego Andrés Moscoso, Yves Pezet

Léon Bakst was my great-great-uncle. [ ] My desire to dance appeared when I was a child, thanks to a poster that was hanging at home and to some of his paintings. [ ] I immersed myself in the archives to search for anecdotes, stories, other paintings and to learn more about the Russian Ballets. It was a revelation, I found a great source of inspiration! [ ] For this period in particular, there are very few films or visual traces apart from photos or paintings, which invites us to imagine everything. Some people may try to be as faithful as possible to the work; for my part, it was the solution of emancipation that appeared to me the most inspiring.
Lara Barsacq in conversation with Marian Del Valle, NDD 77, 21.01.2020

The net of the official history of dance has huge holes. Many are passing through. In particular, women. Fortunately, in recent years, a new generation of artists is passionate about the past and is paying attention, as rigorously and amorously, to personalities more or less fallen in the oblivion. [ ] This personal and artistic historical thread also carries the show Lost in Ballets Russes, designed by Lara Barsacq, in connection with her great-great-uncle, the painter Léon Bakst. With his paintings in the background, she slips into the gestures of Vaslav Nijinski and Ida Rubinstein for which Maurice Ravel created Boléro in 1928. The one who, as a child, dreamed of a poster of Ida, made her her heroine : "She is a huge inspiration. She was a feminist who took risks, stripped herself in 1909! I'm shifting what she did, I dare to touch it to give it a place in history.” Lara Barsacq is currently completing a trio called IDA Don't Cry Me Love.
Rosita Boisseau, Le Monde, 20.06.2019

Sometimes it all starts with a poster hanging on the kitchen wall. For Lara Barsacq, it was with a reproduction of a poster of the Ballets Russes, depicting the dancer Ida Rubinstein in full flight, loose hair, loose dress and bare legs, free. From this image of childhood, the choreographer undertakes to share with us a story that reveals the ways in which dance is entangled in her family history. By playing with the codes of performance, speaking in the first person and gradually revealing a scenographic richness, the dancer registers her own body in the flow of a story woven from small and big events. [ ] Lit in strong blue, red or green, the skillfully constructed paintings that make up Lost in Ballets Russes build a piece as memory would do: by arranging, organically and in movement, colors, textures, words, ghostly and real presences. And with the candles she burns or the glitter that she puts on, Lara Barsacq lights up little rituals throughout the room that burn like colored fires.
Marie Pons, Mouvements, 15.05.2018

I find it exciting to immerse myself in a specific time in the history of dance and also in its historical context while seeking friction and re-ownership in the present moment. I like the friction of times and the improbability when it comes to make them coexist, to give them a whole new interpretation.
Lara Barsacq in conversation with Wilson Le Personnic, maculture.fr, 05.04.2018


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