Asked by the Royal Danish Ballet to create a new work on music of Stravinsky, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui proposes to work on the music of Pulcinella. Rather than translate this story in a literal way, Cherkaoui chooses to work on certain themes (ecology, community vs. individual, fairytales, the element wood, good and evil,…) and sees how the story unfolds during rehearsals. He works on it in close collaboration with dancer James O'Hara and the cast, amongst whom Royal Danish principal dancer Gudrun Bojesen. The stage, designed by Rikke Juellund, has two huge climbable twin trees that hold the space together. Leaves are scattered around, suggesting autumn. The dancers move around in this imaginary forest. Like strange creatures they go from one crowded tree to the next. They interact with each other until suddenly a man, lying off the stage, wakes up. He decides to cut down one tree. From there on the story unwinds. When the dancers try to bring back up the broken tree in a moment of shared hope and guilt, the other tree breaks down too. Inspired by nature, origami and shadow play, L'Homme de Bois is a strange fantasy tale. The esthetics of the performance are amplified by the beautiful costumes of Hedi Slimane (Dior).
L’Homme de Bois is performed together with Le Sacre du Printemps, a ballet by Jorma Uotinen.