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18 février 2006

Momix show may be as quirky as its founder

Dancer-choreographer Moses Pendleton, who helped found the ground-breaking Pilobolus dance company before creating his own troupe, grew up on a cow farm in New England.

The world of modern dance may as well have been in Borneo as far as the young student Pendleton was concerned. He figured he'd go to college, follow his dad's wishes and major in large-animal veterinary medicine. That, or become a professional snow bum.

"I was a downhill racer," said a very upbeat and playful Pendleton, 56, from his home in Vermont.
"That's all I wanted to do. Then I broke my leg (at age 18), and I took a dance class at Dartmouth as part of my therapy to recuperate. And that was how it all started. It was never planned. I owe it all to a broken leg. Life is just series of accidents."

Make that beautiful, eye-dazzling accidents in Pendleton's case.

On Monday night, Pendleton's Momix company will perform a dance concert called "Momix: Passion" as part of the Seven Days of Opening Nights arts festival. The "Passion" dances are set to the exotic, Middle East-inspired music Peter Gabriel wrote in 1989 as the soundtrack for the Martin Scorsese film
"The Last Temptation of Christ."

"I just loved that score when I first heard it, and I could close my eyes and see the dance," Pendleton said.
"(Gabriel) came to the premiere when we performed it in London. . . . He said the dance helped him re-hear the score. He heard it in a new way."

Then Pendleton steered the conversation back to one of his favorite topics - cows.

"You know Peter grew up on a dairy farm in England," Pendleton said.
"We had a long talk about Herefords and Holsteins over lunch at his house in Bath. We had mutual dairy interests."

The name Momix, by the way, was taken from a feed supplement given to, what else, cows. He even jokingly refers to himself as a "cow-oeographer" because early films of his work show him running through a field of cows wearing a sheet.

These days, Momix shows are high-tech, multi-media affairs that are part Cirque de Soleil and part Twyla Tharp and part trippy light show. Dancers are suspended from ropes. Slide shows keep the images coming.

"Sit in the back of the auditorium when you go to the show," Pendleton said.
"You can see more that way. The farther you get from Momix, the more you like it."

Momix is a global business. Pendleton keeps several shows out on the road in such locales as Las Vegas and Italy. He's always looking for new dancers.

"If you have any good dancers down there (in Florida) send them up to New York for our auditions in May," Pendleton said. "The only thing is that we don't say break a leg before shows."

Article published Feb 17, 2006 By Mark Hinson

Elbow "Leaders of the Free World" (V2)

Anyone who sings as much about rain, black skies and alienation as this quintet does is either painfully unlucky in love or English.

This group is both, conjuring a palpable sense of place, specifically London, in spots in its haunting third album. It's a record (in stores Tuesday) that channels — who else? — Coldplay as well as Snow Patrol and even Peter Gabriel in its romantic yearnings and feelings of existential isolation.

The raw production makes it sound like Coldplay's Chris Martin banging out demo tapes from his garage, but the rough sonics directly parallel the frayed emotions lyricist and singer Guy Garvey puts on display, mostly emanating from the all-consuming obsession that can accompany failed relationships.

He has a poet's knack for evoking a world of feeling in the space of a few well-chosen words. He sings, "You were there / Puncture repair" as healing begins in "Puncture Repair"; "Shop shutters rattle down" telegraphs the way emotional self-defense kicks in with hurt in
"Forget Myself."

Garvey's voice, its lovely high register contrasting with a dusky lower range, conveys the multiplicity of responses to love's elusiveness — loneliness, self-pity, sadness, anger, confusion, hope — all of which blossom in "The Stops" into a shimmeringly gorgeous, Brian Wilson-esque pop chorus.

15 février 2006

Peter Gabriel to receive the Frankfurt Music Prize 2006

Presentation on the occasion of the international Musikmesse

Almost everyone is familiar with his legendary hits, such as 'Sledgehammer', 'Biko' and 'Big Time', and his videos are considered to be milestones in the history of pop culture: Peter Gabriel, rock musician, songwriter and video artist, will be awarded the 2006 Frankfurt Music Prize during the international Musikmesse.

He was singled out for the prize because, with his creative work, his appearances and his support for young talents, he laid a vital founda-tion stone for the future of rock and pop music. With this choice, the jury is honouring him as a leading musician on the European rock-music scene, for his musical achievements and his artistic and social activities. The prize will be presented by the Mayor of Frankfurt am Main, Petra Roth, at a ceremony in Frankfurt on the eve of the Musikmesse (28 March).

Peter Brian Gabriel was born in Great Britain in 1950, the son of an electrical engineer. In 1966, together with Tony Banks, Michael Rutherford and Anthony Phillips, he founded a band called 'The Garden Wall', which was soon renamed 'Genesis'. Later, they were joined by drummer Phil Collins. The band achieved a break through with its fourth album, and were known for their song-based progressive rock music and the theatrically staged live shows, which were primarily the work of Peter Gabriel and his fascination for visual interpretation.

In 1975, Gabriel announced that he was leaving the band and published his first solo album two years later. Gabriel was able to consolidate his career as a solo artist thanks to the successful single, 'Solsbury Hill'. Commercial success came with his third solo LP, which includes 'Biko', a political protest song that Gabriel dedicated to the South African anti-apartheid activist,
Steve Biko.

With his 1986 album, he demonstrated that social commitment and social involvement by no means contradict his existence as an avant-garde, modern music artist. His singles, 'Big Time' and 'Sledgehammer', were hits. And he produced videos such as the world had never seen before.

After touring the world for Amnesty in 1988, Peter became a human rights activist and set up an organisation called 'Witness', giving cameras to Human Rights groups around the world. He was awarded a Grammy for the soundtrack of the controversial Martin Scorsese film, 'Last Temptation of Christ'. Subsequently, Gabriel focused his attention on setting up his Real World Studios in the English county of Wiltshire, with the aim of offering unfettered creative opportunities for musicians of all different types of music from all over world.

It was not until 1992 that Gabriel reappeared on the musical radar screen, when he published his 'Us' album, which once again set new standards in the video world. Another album followed in September 2002 after a gap of almost ten years: 'Up'.

Culture et glamour italiens à l'honneur pour l'ouverture des Jeux

photo : Odd Anderson/AFP/Getty Images

Une danseuse italienne lors de la cérémonie d’ouverture des Jeux olympiques d’hiver de Turin, en Italie.

Keyvan Naraghi/Agence France-Presse


Finale grandiose

Autre temps fort de la cérémonie, et mystère savamment entretenu par les organisateurs, le chanteur britannique Peter Gabriel a interprété le titre universel de John Lennon, Imagine, après la formation d'une colombe par des acrobates sur la partie nord du stade dans un tableau dédié à la paix.