Kiki la rose is a variation on the famous port de bras of the great Russian dancer from the early twentieth century: Vaslav Nijinsky. The body movement is influenced by evocations of a poem by Theophile Gautier taken from Summer Nights and put to music by Hector Berlioz. The choreography abandons technical prowess so that a man emerges from the performer with the single goal of exposing a subtle and light happiness healed of all its wounds: palpitating life. Two exteriors follow in succession. The first depicts the future where naive freshness leaves no hint of drama. The second concerns the past: in the fine melancholy of the Spectre de la Rose, the faded flower remembers the last night pressed against the breast of a graceful creature, a possible metaphor for a life entirely devoted to dance. Premiered by Michel Kelemenis in February 1998 / Hivernales d’Avignon, broadcast March 1998 / Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, broadcast March 2004 Eric Vu An, principle dancer / Opéra National de Paris.
Kiki the rose is, in February 1998, the third solo that Kelemenis dedicated to the Russian dancer, Nijinsky. Premiered at the Hivernales d’Avignon, the work is inspired by a poem by Théophile Gautier, and reproduces here and there the famous Russian dancer’s port de bras in the historic Spectre de la Rose. This brief work didn’t enter the company’s repertoire.
The following month, on tour in South Africa with the Ballet of the Grand Théâtre de Genève that was performing his work for 17 dancers, Tout un monde lointain, the choreographer danced his new solo for the performers of the Ballet. The enthusiasm was such that it immediately entered the repertoire of the Swiss company and has remained ever since.
The principal dancer, Eric Vu An, performed Kiki la rose in March 2004 on stage at the Palais Garnier as a gift and in homage to Claude Bessy. He continues to perform it regularly.