two people dancing in time with each other

Lucinda Childs and Philip Glass first created Dance in 1979. Photograph by Jaime Roque de la Cruz

Bringing together a union of three iconic British houses of the arts, Sadler’s Wells, The Royal Opera House and Tate Modern, Van Cleef and Arpels have created a festival, Dance Reflections, presenting different dance performances for two weeks. Candice Tucker was invited to view Dance by Lucinda Childs and Philip Glass. Here she tells us about the experience.

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The story behind Van Cleef and Arpels and dance dates back to the early 20th century when Louis Arpels, who was a great fan of the ballet would take his nephew, Claude, to the Paris Opera. 1967 was the pinnacle for the Maison’s relationship with dance when renowned choreographer, George Balanchine, created the ballet Jewels, in collaboration with Van Cleef & Arpels. Today, the house continues this tradition, supporting Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project since 2012, and starting the FEDORA-Van Cleef & Arpels Prize for Ballet in 2015.

a ballerina in a white top

The minimalism of Dance adds to the immersive experience of the performance. Photogrpah by Mehdi Benkler

American composer, Philip Glass and choreographer, Lucinda Childs are both known for their minimalistic approaches. A dark stage and plain white costumes were therefore no surprise. The performance commenced with dancers jumping on to the stage one by one, and then two by two, and so on, in a repetitive motion, in perfect harmony with the music. The routine quickly began to resemble doves flying around a large cage.

a ballerina clip in gold with diamonds

Van Cleef and Arpels Ballerina clip, 1993

The performance progressed with a projected film of dancers from the Lyon Opera Ballet, by Sol LeWitt, appearing to mimic the onstage dancers repetitive movements. Suddenly there were ballerinas dancing in the air and in all parts of the stage echoing each others movements. With the repetitive music of Philip Glass, it was a fabulous, unique and almost hypnotic experience.

two dancers perfoming

A film by Sol LeWitt, of the dancers of the Lyon Opera Ballet projected on to the stage, whilst the dancers from the same school performed. Photograph by Jaime Roque de la Cruz

Dance, which was first performed in 1979, was the perfect demonstration of the link between dance and Van Cleef & Arpels; they are both timeless.

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The evening ended with a spectacular meal at Galvin La Chapelle, arranged by Van Cleef & Arpels to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Find out more: dancereflections-vancleefarpels.com