Gauthier Dance

Stuttgart, Germany

 

The Gift

 

choreography, direction, sets, costume, lighting design: Itzik Galili
preformer: Eric Gauthier
music: Claude Debussy, Jonny Greenwood, Gavin Bryars, Aaron J. Kernis, Peter Sculthorpe, Jaques Brel, Stephan M. Boehme, Eric Gauthier
sound design, video: Stephan M. Boehme
dramaturgy: Esther Dreesen-Schaback
camera: Rainhardt Albrecht-Herz/Jens Hürkamp
assistant to choreographer: Elisabeth Gibiat
artistic coach: Egon Madsen
duration: 65’
premiere: Theaterhaus Stuttgart, 2018
production: Theaterhaus Stuttgart

 

 

As long as he can remember, Eric Gauthier has loved both dancing and the stage. A passion that seemed to last forever, as natural as the air we breathe. But also a certainty which has changed over the years just like Gauthier’s life has changed. These days, Artistic Director of the Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart is not only in charge of 16 dancers. Having a wife and three children, it is his family that matters most to him now. In his early forties, Eric Gauthier has decided to actively address his altered situation – and look for new artistic horizons. His swansong as an active dancer will be a piece tailor-made for him by a good friend, the acclaimed choreographer Itzik Galili. The title they have chosen is deliberately ambiguous. In English, the word gift means present or talent. In German, it means poison. The new production is to move between these two extremes. For if life in the limelight teaches us anything, it is that is both a blessing and a curse. All the more as talents tend to get in each other’s way… When Eric was in his mid-twenties, his new band vied with his work as a dancer with the Stuttgart Ballet. At 30, when he suddenly got the chance to become head of a company, he lacked the time to dance. And ever since he became a father in his mid-thirties, he has had to perform the balancing act between his family and a very demanding job. A balancing act that is not made easier by the rapidly growing international fame of Gauthier Dance.With the new production, Eric pauses to think about who he really is. Dancer, choreographer, singer, songwriter, artistic director, dance presenter? He will be joined on his quest by Itzik Galili – an artist who combines all the skills of a choreographer with the psychological sensitivity of a stage director. Together, they set off on an inner journey that will be anything but a walk in the park…“The Gift” is his way of saying thanks – to art, to life and to love. And once the performer Eric Gauthier takes his final bow, it will certainly be a very emotional moment. Nevertheless, the public can rest assured that he won’t turn his back on the stage. There are plenty of roles left for Eric Gauthier!

 

 

Eric Gauthier was born in Montréal. He received his initial ballet training at the school of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in his hometown and subsequently studied at the National Ballet School in Toronto, where he also received music and voice lessons. In 1995 he became an apprentice with the National Ballet of Canada under the artistic direction of Reid Anderson. When Anderson was appointed director of the Stuttgart Ballet in 1996, he invited Gauthier to come to Stuttgart with him as a member of the corps de ballet. In 2000, Gauthier was named demi-soloist, and in 2002 he was promoted to soloist. In Stuttgart, he danced many classical and neo-classical roles including works of Ashton, Balanchine and MacMillan. It was his abilities as a contemporary dancer, however, which were instantly noted by every choreographer who worked with the Stuttgart Ballet between 1996 and 2006. For ten years, Gauthier danced in almost every world or company premiere, and in so doing he danced the works of, or worked directly with, an impressive roster of internationally acclaimed choreographers including Hans van Manen, John Neumeier, Jiří Kylián, Nacho Duato, Paul Lightfoot, Uwe Scholz and James Kudelka. He especially made a name for himself as an outstanding interpreter of the works of William Forsythe, dancing five of his ballets and working often with the American choreographer both in Stuttgart and in Frankfurt. During his time with the Stuttgart Ballet, Gauthier also inspired an impressive list of choreographers to create roles for him, most especially Christian Spuck, former resident choreographer of the Stuttgart Ballet and current artistic director of Zurich Ballet. Other choreographers who have created roles for Gauthier include Mauro Bigonzetti, Itzik Galili, Marguerite Donlon, Daniela Kurz, Nicolo Fonte, Douglas Lee, Marc Spradling, Pascal Touzeau, Trey McIntyre, and many others. In 2005 Gauthier made his debut as a choreographer in the prestigious „Young Choreographers“ programme in Stuttgart. In 2006 he was invited back and created „Ballet 101“, which won the Critics as well as Audience Prizes at the 21. International Choreographic Competition in Hanover. In 2007, shortly after leaving the Stuttgart Ballet, Eric Gauthier starred alongside the legendary dancer Egon Madsen in Christian Spuck’s „Don Q.“, created for the Theaterhaus Stuttgart. The world premiere was a “sensational success” in the words of the critic of Ballet-Tanz magazine. „Don Q.“ has toured to Austria, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Korea and Germany, while also presented at the Belgrade Dance Festival. In 2015, Gauthier presented his idea of a biannual dance festival over three weeks called COLOURS – International Dance Festival which delighted the audience and turned the Theaterhaus into a house of dance.

 

 

Gauthier Dance/Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart is a young, dynamic company of 16 highly individual, versatile dancers, directed by the dancer, choreographer and musician Eric Gauthier. The Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart presents contemporary dance by Gauthier and internationally renowned choreographers such as Mauro Bigonzetti, William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Itzik Galili, Paul Lightfoot/Sol León and Hans van Manen. Set up in 2007, Gauthier Dance established itself in the German dance scene with record speed and has become an international brand. During the first years, the company’s acclaim was based on their original, humorous bills that also attracted a big young audience. Today, the programme is every bit as accessible but offers a wider choice of styles and moods. Besides over 100 shows per year, Gauthier Dance undertakes an extensive educational and community outreach programme, the first of its kind in Germany: Gauthier Dance Mobile. With a specially tailored repertory of works which can be presented in small performing spaces, Gauthier Dance Mobile brings contemporary dance to youth centres, hospitals or to old people’s homes. The Theaterhaus Stuttgart, which opened its doors in 1985, is a unique cultural center which presents theatre, music, dance, cabaret, comedy, literature, political discussions and more on a total of four stages. The Theaterhaus has a long tradition of producing and presenting dance theatre; best known are the collaborations between Marcia Haydée and Ismail Ivo. The Theaterhaus has also traditionally been and continues to be, a venue for the free-lance dance scene in Stuttgart. Gauthier Dance is the First Resident Contemporary Dance Company in Stuttgart.