In choosing the myth of Noé as inspiration, Thierry Malandain again looks at the themes which are dear to him: Humanity and its future, destiny, the environment. Water, by turns a destructive or life-giving element, is envisaged here as that which regenerates humanity, which has embarked on a forty-day journey on the Ark and will emerge therefrom transformed.
In the Flood myth common to various different cultural traditions, the jubilant gure of Noé embodies a kind of breakthrough in humanity's history. In summing up the past and preparing us for the future, Noé symbolises the coming of a new and better world. This second Creation erases the rst, which has been wrought by the machinations of evil and humanity's degeneration. This is a new Adam, drawn from water rather than the earth, who, in Genesis, acts rst as a mortal and then a symbol of life because, upon leaving the womb and cradle that is the Ark, Noé and his offspring will repopulate the world. This epic tale is one in a long line of similar stories and can be interpreted on several levels. aint Augustin sought to show that the Ark's proportions were the same as the human body's, “which is also the body of Christ, which is also the Church”, while Paul Claudel saw the salvational Ark as a cathedral, its nave the prow of a ship navigating the heavens. We might also imagine Noé as humanity collectively seeking refuge within itself to cast off a past existence and start afresh, mining the abyss of its own being for new sources of energy. That is why, with the exception of the dove – a sign of hope in a new life -, we will not board all the animals. Instead, the movement of humanity will be represented by the symbolic, dancing gure of Noé beneath the light of a new sun.
In 2017, at the end of the Paris performances of Noé in the Chaillot-Théâtre national de la Danse, the Malandain Ballet Biarritz received the prize of the «Best Company», adwarded by the Professional association of Theatre, Music and Dance criticism.