MARCO POLO, THE LAST MISSION. José Carlos Martínez
- Choreography: José Carlos Martínez
- Choreographer assistant: Arantxa Sagardoy
- Music: Daniel Walker
- Costumes: Pierre Cardin
- Set design: Pierre Cardin
- Lighting design: Marc Anrochte
- Lighting design assistant: Hervé Laprie
- Staging: José Carlos Martínez
- Book: Fang Fang and Sylvie Zhang adapted from The Travels of Marco Polo
- World premiere on February 10th, 2010 at the Great Theater of Shanghai (China).
Three act ballet
"What motivated me about the Marco Polo ballet creation for the Shanghai National Ballet is the scope of the adventure in which I was being invited to participate: To discover a new culture, a little bit like Marco Polo himself when he journeyed to the Orient a few centuries ago to become acquainted with the habits and customs of its people.
It was my turn to be a world traveler, to go and seek out this civilization, to bring our different sensitivities face to face, and to create a personal and unusual ballet.
In my previous choreographies, I have always integrated the traditions of classical dance, to which I like to add a more contemporary flow. My desire to use classical vocabulary to write choreographic movement of today has grown through my experience and meetings with choreographers… Mats Ek, Forsythe, Kylian, Pina Bausch and many other choreographers have influenced me as a dancer and then in my approach to choreography.
Creating a ballet about a legendary figure like Marco Polo is naturally a challenge! But I like to tell stories–through the characters and theatre, through direction and dance—taking the viewer into my imaginary universe.
Of course, I did not make this journey alone. In the end, the ballet has become the talent of all those who worked to bring it to its destination.
In particular, I would like to thank Pierre Cardin, who was confident that I could lead this project, and Brigitte Lefèvre, the director of the Paris Opera ballet, for allowing me to embark on this voyage to the Orient".
-José Carlos Martínez-