Venue Details

The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
528 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403
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Quotes & Highlights

“Dancers pulled one another across the floor, whirled one another about and, without apparent transition, soared from the floor into the air, only to plummet downward again … Moments when dancers tried to dominate their partners alternated with attempts at breaking loose, thereby making the ballet a study of the tensions between freedom and constraint that can develop in human relationships." – _The New York Times _ (on La Cathedrale Engloutie_)
“The choreography is demanding, yet never (except in the deliberately aggressive scenes) brutal.”—_Dance
(on Ancient Air)
“After a frenetic opening movement, Houlton catches her breath and rolls out an acrobatic duet and a series of playful solos that flow like water …” -Star-Tribune (on Point of Departure_)
Check out rehearsal video previews of La Cathedrale Engloutie,Ancient Air Point of Departure
uxALnCIMI on YouTube.


La Cathédrale Engloutie (The Sunken Cathedral) is a quartet for two men and two women that is a showcase for the dancers’ flexibility, concentration and strength. With fragments of the music by French composer Claude Debussy (1862-1918) for solo piano throughout, the piece is also set to sounds of waves breaking violently on the seashore.

Although Debussy’s music is based on an ancient Breton myth in which a cathedral, submerged underwater off the coast of the Island of Ys, rises up from the sea on clear mornings when the water is transparent with sounds of priests chanting, bells chiming, and the organ playing, from across the sea, Kylian’s piece is not a retelling of the story. Instead, it evokes the tension between law and free will. 

Ancient Air: The Spring production also includes the restaging of founder, visionary Loyce Houlton’s_ Ancient Air_ set to “Ancient Voices of Children” by renowned composer George Crumb. This musical work is a cycle of songs based on texts by Federico Garcia Lorca. This ritual dance addresses birth, love aggression, death and rebirth – with dancers hanging from ropes and swinging on trapezes. (The company originally learned these circus techniques from Dudley Riggs himself.) 

“I have lost myself in the sea many times, With my ear full of freshly cut flowers, With my tongue full of love and agony. I have lost myself in the sea many times as I lose myself in the heart of certain children.”—Federico Garcia Lorca

Point of Departure: The third repertory piece is the popular and playful Point of Departure choreographed by Lise Houlton set to Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 45. This demanding piece is a showcase for MDT’s talented company. 

More to Explore

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