Digital art goes up on the third stage of the Paris Opera

New creation on the poster for the 3rd Scene: “Clinamen” by Hugo Arcier. An amazing dance film, made in computer generated images. The confinement imposed by the Covid-19 is an opportunity to rediscover this virtual performance hall accessible worldwide.

Hugo Arcier, digital artist, has worked with Roman Polanski, Alain Resnais and even Jean-Pierre Jeunet. He is a specialist in visual effects and computer graphics. It dissects what constitutes the virtual worlds and what they are specific. For example, it highlights the fact that virtual universes are made up of hollow surfaces, like bark. Hugo Arcier works on the theme of the disappearance and replacement of our world by a virtual world. He transcribes this mutation in an artistic and plastic form. His latest creation is an 8-minute film presented since March 25 on the Paris Opera website, 3e Scène.

We could speak of a pointillist or even atomic choreography. Inspired by the “mocap (motion capture, motion capture in english), the film only hints at the quintessence of the movement of three dancers: Anna Chirescu, Simon Feltz and Pierre Guilbault. In different spaces of the Palais Garnier, the stage, the foyer, the grand staircase, they appear in the form of light points. Their bodies, although invisible, form a ballet of micro-spheres.

In a game of moving perspectives, thehe Palais Garnier himself enters this essentialized dance. Its walls are made transparent. The spectator finds himself floating above the famous ceiling of Chagall then in the sky of Paris. Under his feet, the material of the monument, pulverized in millions of atoms, comes alive and starts to scream. It is both magical and vaguely disturbing.

Visual extract from the film
Visual extract from the film “Clinamen” by Hugo Arcier for the 3rd scene (Opéra National de Paris)

This futuristic film is a praise of dance in its purest form. It finds its place on the 3rd Stage, the digital space of the Paris Opera. Launched on September 15, 2015, this free platform now contains nearly 60 creations visible around the world. Initial budget: 2 million euros, 50% of which is sponsorship. In this virtual performance hall, artists from all walks of life are invited to create a work related to the world of dance, music and opera. They can be expressed in various forms: documentary, fiction, animation, performance … there is no limit.

Since the site opened, 58 creations have been posted online and more than 5 million views have been recorded. The audience is foreign to 44%. Half of the spectators watch on a tablet or on a smartphone. The works remain available free of charge on the site and the Youtube channel. A new creation is added each month.

Essentially short formats. The site is not intended to present performances from the two other stages, the Palais Garnier and the Bastille Opera. On the contrary, it wants to be a virgin space, a meeting place where different artistic practices can intersect.

Among the many artists who have already lent themselves to the game, we find filmmakers Mathieu Amalric and Bertrand Bonello, actresses Fanny Ardant and Clémence Poésy, visual artists Xavier Veilhan and Julien Prévieux, writers Jonathan Littell and Eric Reinhardt, singer Abd Al Malik, the choreographer William Forsythe … Without forgetting Benjamin Millepied, fleeting dance director of the Paris Opera, who was at the origin of this digital scene.

The 3rd Stage offers these days a special program to discover some of its flagship works: The gallant Indies by Clément Cogitore, The Lost Lake by Claude Lévêque, The Great Outing by Alex Prager or Grand hotel Barbès by Ramzi Ben Sliman. At the time of confinement, you will find many nuggets there.


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