Rameau's Les Fêtes de l'Hymen et de l'Amour, ou Les Dieux d'Égypte
In this court opera, performed on the occasion of the marriage of the Dauphin to Marie-Joseph of Saxe in 1747, three different peoples embark on a mythical journey from conflict to unity. Louis Cahusac, the opera’s librettist, was also a dance theorist who helped move dance beyond the decorative, integrating it into the opera’s plot. Opera Lafayette’s production will feature three critically acclaimed dance companies in the production’s seven ballets. In Act One, a troupe of Egyptians, represented by the New York Baroque Dance Company, encounters a tribe of Amazons, comprised of dancers from Kalanidhi Dance. In Act Two, an angry god and his retinue – represented by the Seán Curran Company – flood the Nile and persuade the Egyptian people to abandon their ritual of human sacrifice. The rare collaboration of baroque, classical, Indian, and modern dance traditions highlights the work’s central metaphor of uniting peoples through the discovery of enduring love and beauty.