From the vault
Platée, "ballet bouffon"
Platée, a comic ballet in three acts with a prologue by Jean-Philippe Rameau and a libretto by Adrien-Joseph de Valois d’Orville and Jacques Autreau, was created at the Grand Manège de Versailles on March 31, 1745, as the present document shows.
Seldom performed in the 18th century and only in the form of excerpts in the following century, Platée had to wait until 1977 and Pierre Lacotte’s production for the Paris Opera to be staged again. Its reinvention in 1989 by choreographer François Raffinot, in a version conducted by Jean-Claude Malgoire with his Atelier lyrique de Tourcoing ensemble, is only the second production of the piece in the 20th century (alsorevived in 2013).
It tells the story of the proud Platée, “a swamp nymph and a disgraceful frog, who is deceived by King Cithero and Mercury, who make her believe that Jupiter is in love with her” (Dictionnaire de la danse, Larousse, 2008).
A hybrid and “modern” piece in its own way from the start, which combined comedy and lyrical tragedy in an innovative manner, Rameau’s Platée is a pastiche of all the stereotypes of French opera of the time. As a nod to the work’s “modernity,” François Raffinot commissioned costumes by the stylist Sylvie Skinazi (one of her drawings, showing costumes for a nymph and statues, is presented here). Drawing on the Enlightenment’s defense of the freedom of thought, Raffinot also set the pastiche in our contemporary society as a way of exposing the ways in which power continues to deceive.
Exhibition Déplier baroque
curator Marina Nordera
at CN D
17.11 > 17.12.2022