When dance meets architecture
As a part of our partnership with Maison de la Danse, we are presenting the third part of the video collection OUTDOOR DANCES, available via the platform Numeridanse.tv, to which we will have access for one year. You will see the works of some of the pioneers in the world of contemporary dance such as:
Inferno – Romeo Castellucci
“Inferno” is a memorial to pain. The artist has to pay. In the dark forest into which he is plunged from the outset, he doubts, he fears, he suffers. But what sin is the artist guilty of? If he is lost in this way, it is because he doesn’t know the answer to this question. Alone on the large theatre stage or, on the contrary, walled in the crowd and confronted with the rumour of the world, the man depicted by Romeo Castellucci bears the full brunt of this experience of the loss of self, bewildered. Everything assaults him here, the violence of the images, the fall of his own body into matter, the animals and the ghosts.
The visual dynamics of this show has the consistency of this stupor and, at times, of this terror, that takes hold of man when he is reduced to his insignificance, powerless in the face of the elements that overwhelm him. Yet, this fragility is a resource as it is the condition of a paradoxical gentleness. Romeo Castellucci shows each spectator that at the bottom of their own fears there is a secret space, tinged with melancholy, where they cling to life, to the “incredible nostalgia for their own life”.
A key theatre-maker, Romeo Castellucci has developed an original stage art, a meeting of all artistic expressions, by freeing himself from the primacy of text in favour of the energy of bodies, movement and material. Regularly invited to Avignon, he was an associate artist in 2008, proposing three shows inspired by Dante’s Divina Commedia.
With “Inferno”, the first part of the triptych, he was faced for the first time with the stage of the courtyard of honour of the Papal Palace. His challenge here was to occupy the space and organise his visual inventions with the architecture of this monumental place. Thanks to a spectacular stage device – some sixty adult and child extras, dogs, a horse – he stages the solitude and stupor of humans facing the world, aware of how insignificant and fragile they are.
Watch the video here:
Là commence le ciel – Julie Desprairies
For around fifteen years, Julie Desprairies has been developing her “choreographic environment” work by occupying architectural sites. Her performances require several months of assimilation to understand the physical context, the conceptual intentions and to, ultimately, propose a choreographic happening, an artistic ritual, a sort of celebration of the site.
This extract from Là commence le ciel (The Sky Begins There) mirrors Roof and fire piece by Trisha Brown. These gestures are taken from a dance discovered in the municipal archives and created by a teacher for their pupils for the Fêtes de la jeunesse villeurbanaises (Villeurbane Youth Celebrations) in 1966.
Through dance, Julie Desprairies centre stages the architecture of this district of Villeurbanne, built in 1934 and referred to as “Les Gratte-ciel” (Skyscrapers). The majesty of these towers and of the avenue is highlighted by the sole presence of the dancers’ bodies.
Watch the video here:
The last part of the OUTDOOR DANCES collection is coming soon.