Critics around the world have acclaimed Angelin Preljocaj’s ballet, calling it enchanting and seductive. The dialogue between East and West occupies a key position in it.
In creating Les Nuits – The Nights, Preljocaj wished to embark on an exploration based on the Arabian Nights. “There’s a lot that is sensual and erotic in those tales, and I wanted to use that in my work. Above everything is the narrator, Sheherazade. I regard her as one of the earliest feminists of the East,” says Preljocaj.
Preljocaj’s aim is to use dance to illustrate the sensual aspects of Arab culture. He has drawn on idealised and mysticised conceptions of the Middle East in 19th-century Western culture. The visual appearance of the scenes may prompt associations with the paintings of Eugene Delacroix and Jean-Auguster Dominique Ingres.
Preljocaj is the child of Albanian Catholic parents and has lived in France all his life. He previously visited the FNB during the directorship of Jorma Uotinen, in 1999.