Story Water

  • Dance
  • Music
  • Show
The 2018 archive

Emanuel Gat and Ensemble Modern

Istres - Francfort - Avignon / Created in 2018

An unprecedented dialogue between dazzling dancers and one of the greatest modern music ensembles.

Story water © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


“A story is like water
You heat up for your bath
It carries messages between the fire
And your skin”
Just like water in the Sufi poem—which gives its name to the show—carries messages from the fire, the body is the vehicle between Emanuel Gat and dance. Story Water brings together on the stage of the Cour d'honneur of the Palais des papes dancers and musicians caught in the same intense white light, which sublimes, through movement, a story told in real time, never exactly the same from one night to the next. All are carried away into the same present by the music, be it mathematical and meditative like Pierre Boulez' or wild and physical like Rebecca Saunders's. A music composed by the choreographer and the musicians according to the logic of a dance in which the ensemble becomes attuned in time with every individual performer. Together, they build before our eyes a choral piece, incredibly free, in which dance, music, and painting enter a dialogue via the bodies. A reminder that Emanuel Gat has spent the past 25 years exploring the infinite potential of human relationships.

Emanuel Gat
A dancer and choreographer, Emanuel Gat founded his company in 2004. His first shows, Winter Voyage and The Rite of Spring, won a Bessie Award. In addition to the music, he also handles the lighting and scenography of all his shows. After working with the Maison de la Danse in Istres, he was an associate artist of the Festival Montpellier Danse, then of the Chaillot-Théâtre national de la danse and the scène Nationale in Albi. He is regularly invited to create shows for prestigious companies such as the Ballet of the Opéra de Paris or the Candoco Dance Company. Story Water is his first collaboration with the Frankfurt Ensemble Modern, a collective of musicians often called on to perform 20th- and 21st-century music.

The Ensemble Modern
Founded in 1980, the Ensemble Modern is a unique formation, directly managed by the musicians themselves according to the principles of direct democracy. Every year, they perform about a hundred concerts in the most prestigious concert halls and festivals in the world. The ensemble is known for the quality and diversity of its projects, which include concerts and concert films, but also video and dance shows. They have built lasting relationships with renowned artists such as Peter Eötvös, Steve Reich, George Benjamin, Helmut Lachenmann, or Hans Zender.


With Thomas Bradley,  Péter Juhász, Zoé Lecorgne, Michael Löhr, Emma Mouton, Eddie Oroyan, Karolina Szymura, Milena Twiehaus, Sara Wilhelmsson, TingAn Ying
Et Saar Berger (cor français), Jaan Bossier (clarinette), Paul Cannon (contrebasse, soliste Fury II), Eva Debonne (harpe), David Haller (percussion), Christian Hommel (hautbois), Stefan Hussong (accordéon), Megumi Kasakawa (alto), Michael M. Kasper (violoncelle), Giorgos Panagiotidis (violon), Rainer Römer (percussions), Johannes Schwarz (basson), Ueli Wiget (piano)

Choregraphy, stage design and lights Emanuel Gat
Music Pierre Boulez, Emanuel Gat & Ensemble Modern, Rebecca Saunders
Conductor Franck Ollu
Lights collaboration Guillaume Fevrier
Costumes Thomas Bradley
Sound Norbert Ommer
Electronic effects liveFelix Dreher


Production Emanuel Gat Dance, l'Ensemble Modern et le Frankfurt LAB e.V.
Financée par le Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, la ville de Francfort et l'Ensemble Modern Patronatsgesellschaft e.V., avec la participation du Fonds Transfabrik – Fonds franco-allemand pour le spectacle vivant.
Coproduction Emanuel Gat Dance : Chaillot – Théâtre National pour la Danse, Festival d'Avignon, deSingel campus international des arts, Pôle Arts de la Scène – Friche la Belle de Mai. Avec le soutien de la Fondation BNP Paribas.
Residence à la FabricA du Festival d'Avignon.
In partnership with Kryolan - Professional make-up
Coproduction Ensemble Modern : Beethovenfest Bonn, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm.

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