An Unusual Triclinium Premiere!

On December 3 this year TRICLINIUM, the new performance of the ballet Cadagiani will have its premiere.

Actually, I have been interested in dance and especially in contemporary dance for a long time. For several years I have been supporting the activities of Ballet Cadagiani with my modest contribution. Therefore, it is my pleasure to present you this choreographic and musical performance for five dancers and four musicians.

TRICLINIUM is freely inspired by a beautiful Roman mosaic. This was discovered in 1883 in a « triclinium » (reception room of an ancient domus) in the ancient Nemausus. Since its construction in 1907, this mosaic has been exhibited in the aula of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nîmes. Exceptionally, at the premiere of the show, the dancers will dance barefoot on the original ancient mosaic.

Dancing on an antique mosaic? This is certainly extraordinary, but couldn’t you damage it in the process?  The answer is no. The restoration procedures used at the time of the mosaic’s discovery protect it from any damage. Therefore, we were granted permission to premiere the show on the mosaic itself. The rehearsals have been going on since June this year.

Admetos Wedding

The central motif of this mosaic of 9 m x 6 m recalls a mythological episode that took place in Thessaly. In this case, it is the dramatic arrival of Admetus, king of Pherea, at the court of Pelias, king of Iolkos. The latter had sworn to marry his daughter Alcestis only to a man who would be able to come to him on a chariot drawn by a lion and a boar. Thanks to the help of Apollo, Admetos succeeded in this miracle and could marry Alcestis.

The choreography is like a welcoming ritual for this mosaic. The work celebrates its return to the light, to the ground of living humanity.

Five dancers and four musicians offer you a choreographic and musical exploration of the three successive lives of this mosaic. First, the trivial life of the floor of a dining room (the ancient triclinium). Then a very long, secret life buried underground for several thousand seven hundred years. And now a sacred life as a museum object, work of art and valuable relic.


Of course, the mosaic cannot be taken on tour by the Ballet Cadagiani. A true-to-scale photographic reproduction of the original mosaic, printed on a dance floor of the same size, will be the decor of this performance. 

Ballet Cadagiani is supported by the City of Nîmes, the Conseil départemental du Gard, the Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée Region and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nîmes.