Ravel’s Bolero in “bodytap”, the performance of 200 college students shot in Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Six hours of filming, around forty shots, 200 singers, two drones, two cameras, a Maurice Ravel four meters high and the Bolero on a loop… The kiosk on the Place Louis XIV in St Jean de Luz (south west of France) served as the setting for a incredible moment of music : this is the place chosen by the Choeur des Colibris of the Saint Michel Garicoïtz college in Cambo-les-Bains to shoot its second performance of body percussion, a technique that uses the body as an instrument.

After the success of the interpretation of Beethoven’s 5th symphony last year, the video of which has been viewed 850,000 times, Nelly Guilhemsans, the professor behind the project, wanted this time to pay tribute to Maurice Ravel, born in Ciboure, taking up his masterpiece which, soon to be a hundred years old, is one of the most played pieces in the world.

For more than six hours, the more than 200 college students stampeded their feet and hands, snapped their fingers, hit their thighs, their chest and the back of their neighbour, giving a show halfway between music and choreography. The result will be a video of about four minutes, for more than seven months of work for Nelly Guilhemsans. “Imagining the choreography is a bit complicated, I took the two summer months,” says the teacher. “We started rehearsals in September, two hours a week. It’s difficult, you need motor skills, you have to have a sense of rhythm. And then, little by little, second by second, we do the four minutes. They have incredible energy.”