Created in Mexico City, with the 20 dancers of the national dance company Ceprodac, Omphalos explores forgotten old European and indigenous myths about the origins of Mexico, working these up into a reflection on being human and the situatedness of human life in the cosmos… With music by Marihiko Hara and Ryuichi Sakamoto.
It is said that one day Zeus sent two eagles, to either end of the world. The place where they met would define its center, The Omphalos; “The Navel of the World.” Materialized by a rock, which is commonly represented as being protected by a snake. The eagle and the serpent are also the symbols of Mexico City, whose etymology means “In the Navel of the Moon.” Starting from this mythological axis between Mexico and Europe, “Omphalos” digs through abandoned stories, created by observing the cosmos, reacting to an indigenous imagery on the ruins of a contemporary symbol of science and communication.
Using mythological and scientific cosmology, conscious and unconscious knowledge, the work results in a physical reflection on the perception of time, which is elastic, multiplicitous. The dancers, the lords of time, become weavers: undulating between cycles and patterns that blur the lines between their own experiences, and the forces that move them. They embody its various textures, manifested through accelerations, decelerations and unpredictable dizzying spirals. With their visceral movements, they will open a door between human time and parallel existences. Expressing a personal cosmogony through the gravitational laws of physics, geometry and relativity.
Attracted by the four cardinal points: a pendulum that breathes, capturing contemporary echoes through distorted frequencies, radio transmissions, transmitters, and the receivers that physically translate that which cannot be seen. Omphalos moves between an almost forgotten past and an increasingly uncertain future. The dancers are tethered to the vertigo of time, dancing before the portal closes again.
Omphalos premiered in October 2018 at Centro National de las Artes.
Damien Jalet succeeds with “Omphalos” not only an extraordinary view of becoming and passing away, but he takes with his cyclic and spiral dances, also influence on the perception of time. “Omphalos” becomes an incomparable bridge between past and future.SWR2, Ort
Omphalos is a fascinating choreographic journey euphorically celebrated by premiere’s audience. In places, it unfolds a magic comparable to Stanley Kubrick’s film classic “2001 – A Space Odyssey”, mainly because the choreography poses crucial questions and opens up a multitude of spaces of association. Damien Jalet works with strong collaborators, great precision, and a movement repertoire of his own promising further major solo works.Hamburg Abenblatt
The Belgian is the shooting star of a new generation that transforms dance into intoxicating images. Kampnagel presented the European premiere of the work, which was created with dancers of the Mexican ensemble “Ceprodac”. Accompanied by cosmic sounds, dance invades spheres that no one has ever seen before.Hamburger Morgenpost
With “Omphalos” Damien Jalet has succeeded in creating a magnificent, archaic allegory of the eternal cycle of human condition , of becoming, of being and of passing away. Electronic music, together with the dance, develops a magical pull that almost puts you in a trance as you watch it. The audience rightly celebrated everyone involved with an ovation.Tanznetz.de
As in his work with the artist Jim Hodges, the clever, powerful, mythically charged physicality is mysteriously beautiful and frighteningly real on a set emphasizing the instability and strange metaphysical leaning of human existence.Wiebke Huster -Frankfurter Allgemein Zeitung
Choreography and artistique direction: DAMIEN JALET
Coordinator: ELENO GUZMÁN GUTIÉRREZ
Choreographic assistant: AIMILIOS ARAPOGLOU and GABRIELA CECEÑA
Dramaturgy : Catalina Navarrete
Sound: MARIHIKO HARA and RYŪICHI SAKAMOTO
Costumes: JEAN-PAUL LESPAGNARD
Set: JORGE BALLINA
Light: VÍCTOR ZAPATERO
Pictures by Daniel Lugo, Rodrigo Espinoza, Fausto Dijon Quelal
Dancers: Ana Paula Ricalde Castillo, Bryant Pineda Torices, Claudia Nayeli Olvera Rodríguez, Ernesto Peart Falcón, Guillermo IV Obele Bustos, Guillermo Magallón Armenta, Héctor Manuel Ortíz Valdovinos, Ilse Orozco Corona, Jairo Cruz González, Jorge Emmanuelle Sanders Bustos, Juan Ángel Garnica Vázquez, Luis Alberto Ortega Valdez, María Alejandra Corona Pérez, Marlene Coronel Ortiz, Paulina del Carmen Fernández Sánchez, Paulino Josafat Medina Domínguez, Samantha Nevarez del Castillo, Sergio Anselmo Orozco, Yansi Méndez Bautista, Zurisadai de Jesús González Fuente
Production : Centro de Producción de Danza Contemporánea del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura (MX)
Coproduction : Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Centro Nacional de las Artes, Conjunto de Artes Escénicas (MX) ; Universidad de Guadalajara, IFAL (MX) ; French Embassy in Mexico ; Kampnagel Hambourg (DE).
- Full review in Frankfurter Allgemein (german)
- Interview with Wilson Le Personnic for” Ma Culture” (in French)
- Interview with Damien Jalet in French