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strad da

dossier #6 - february 2010

le magazine de la cration hors les murs


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contents / editorial
6 7 8 10 10 12 14 16 At the crossroads of genres Step by step, dancers come together on both sides of the Alps Chalon dances in the street Bodies in construction Rue de la danse, promenade chorgraphique Coming into contact with the elements, water, earth and mud, interview ith Franoise Lger, Ilotopie The outdoor adventure Grand Master Decou
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Dancing the space

strad da
dossier #6 - february 2010

le magazine de la cration hors les murs

DIRECTOR OF PUBLICATION Jean Digne CHIEF EDITORS Jean Digne Stphane Simonin REDACTION Fabienne Arvers, Rosita Boisseau, Sylvie Clidire, Frdric Khan, Alix de Morant IMAGES Gorka Bravo, Florent Lanquetin, Petr Lovigin, Vincent Muteau, Laurent Paillier / photodanse. com, Jean-Luc Petit, Sigma Project Quartet, Dominique Thieulin TRANSLATION Brian Quinn COORDINATION Isabelle Drubigny, Yohann Floch COPYEDITOR Peggy Tardrew ILLUSTRATIONS Marie Le Moigne


ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Anne Choey PUBLICITY Violette Bernad diusion@horslesmurs.fr

e are pleased to present you with Stradda magazines sixth dossier Dancing the space. The European professionals of the circus and street arts have often expressed a wish to have access to publications and documentary resources that are easily accessible and translated into several languages. These resources are useful on many levels: beyond the necessary exposure given to artistic projects, they also serve to inform policymakers, institutions and sponsors on these innovative aesthetics. Stradda, a quarterly magazine published in French by HorsLesMurs national resource centre for the street and circus arts is the only magazine that is entirely dedicated to creation in the public space and the contemporary circus. The corres-

pondents of the Circostrada Network platform naturally turned to this particularly well-identied publication to, every other month, translate into English and publish online the thematic reports to appear with the magazine. We hope that this new dossier will participate in creating an easier circulation of ideas and artistic projects. We also hope that it will add to the overall debate and bring to light the great vitality of the circus and street arts. Jean Digne. Director of Publication Stphane Simonin. Chief Editor Yohann Floch. Coordinator of Circostrada Network

+33 (0)1 55 28 10 09

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

circostrada network

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circostrada network
Circostrada Network street arts and circus arts European platform for information, research and professional exchanges
Circostrada Network works towards the development and structuring of the circus arts and street arts on the European scale. Although these sectors represent a dynamic contribution to the European arts, they are in need of a common forum to allow for collaboration, discussion and professional representation at the European level. Founded in 2003 by HorsLesMurs and composed of over 30 correspondents, the network contributes to the sharing of information and resources within these artistic milieus by favouring encounters and co-operation between European professionals and by carrying out common actions to further the recognition of these artistic forms.

Circostrada Network
c/o HorsLesMurs 68, rue de la Folie Mricourt 75011 Paris France T. +33 (0)1 55 28 10 10 F. +33 (0)1 55 28 10 11 info@circostrada.org


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dancing the space


Fall in Love, a series of photos by Petr Lovigin for two dancers in love (2005-2008).


utdoor dance is not a genre in itself, but rather an ensemble of very current strategies and preoccupations that forces us into contact with realities on the ground by creating temporary communities incorporated under an artistic message. To be or not to be a show is not the crucial question, and we can see dancers reacting to all kinds of contexts. In natural settings, museums, cities or in the country, dance is present and resonant. Sometimes it may even alter, critique or document the place that it occupies. It is an invitation to move and to shift frameworks, a direct address to the body of the other, to the spectator that we would like to emancipate1. Today we can only welcome the spread of a movement that mixes all sensibilities, compelling dancers to step out into the street.
1. Jacques Rancire, Le Spectateur mancip, La Fabrique, 2008.


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The Sigma Project Quartet at the inauguration of the Evocation of the image of the woman exhibit, at the Joan-Mir Museum, Palma de Mallorca, December 2008.

At the crossroads of genres

Choreographers want fresh air. They drag their troupes out into the street and into gardens and museums. And the now multi-network domain of dance is nding a wider audience.
he cross-border public space interests all sorts of choreographers. Young companies such as Jeanne Simone or Antipodes are doing without indoor performance spaces and putting themselves to the test outdoors. Break-dancers, if they gain access to the stage through institutional recognition, soon feel the need to return to the street. They need to breathe in the asphalt, where their expressions come into direct contact with the territory and they are able to meet, more often than on stage, the problems or aspirations of immigrant diasporas1. The presence of dancers in the street is far from being a simple trend, but rather reects a desire to step out of a format. Their wish to put themselves on the line traces back to the neutrality of an armed, pedestrian body of the 1970s in New York by the Judson Church (Trisha Brown, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, Simone Forti). In France, after the freedom of the 1980s and with the start of the 1990s, the movement to regroup choreographic actors (the Signataires du 20 aut, Espace Commun, regional collectives) placed emphasis on a relationship with politicians and the lack of openness on behalf of national choreographic centres. They thus greatly favoured a return to the in situ.

Alix de Morant. A dancer and graduate of the International School of Jacques Lecoq, since the 1990s her research has focused on artistic nomadism and choreography in the public space. She is a partner of the research workshop on intermediality and the performing arts (Arias, CNRS) and has contributed to the publications Les Ecrans sur la scne (1998, Lge dhomme) and But(s). She also runs the Reading and Writing Contemporary Dance workshop at the University of Lyon II.

Arts du Cirque (CNAC) that use choreographers in their educational programmes have contributed to the hybridisation of training. It is not surprising to nd in the last summer season of the Transforme programme, (led by Myriam Gournk at Royaumont4), a Swiss performer, an Indian dancer, two circus artists (including the trapeze artist Clmence Coconnier) or Anatoli Vlassov, founder, with Julie Salgues, of the IDCore company. The Nigerian Qudus Onikeku, who graduated from CNAC in 2008 and performed for Heddy Maalem, has left the circuit of international tours behind for the disorder of a street-world, the asphalt and dirt of Johannesburg, Yaound or Cairo. His black and white company YK now performs Ewa Bamijo (Come Dance With Me) in Lagos, an event that occurs every other year and brings together performers from all over Africa. Dance or street, the question forces a great gap and compels dancers to oscillate from one network to another. There are continued misunderstandings between companies called street companies, since that is where they began, and others, which have come to the public space in search of a new market to win over as a processual composition. After envisioning overviews of the city, Osmosis Company returns to the black box, whereas since Passants, Ex Nihilo has reinserted feedback from its experience into the theatre or gallery spaces. Transports Exceptionnels, by the Beau Geste Company, or the Miniatures of Nathalie Pernette, could serve as a link between two networks that do not know each other well, that of dance and that of street arts.


Hybridisation. Dance training provides a mix of elements, assimilating the martial arts, techniques of yoga and qi-gong and the kinaesthetic discoveries of Body-Mind Centring as the parameters for contact improvisation. Since Mudra2 and straight up to PARTS3, pedagogy has drawn from African and Asian sources as well as from the American pool of inuences. And schools such as the Centre National des

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From the programmers point of view, artists desire to create out-of-the-norm gatherings must be taken into consideration. Certain national performance spaces, such as the Cratre in Als, inuenced by the dancer Bernard Glandier, encourage extra mural initiatives. For Denis Lafaurie, the director of Cratre, the role of any supporting gure is to nd the location that makes sense: the Als museum for Daniel Dobbels, or the Saint Sophia Basilica in Istanbul for Christine Jouve. Remarkable gardens (Barbirey-sur-Ouche in Cte-dOr, the Potager du Roi in Versailles), parks at art centres (Chamarande in Essonne, Vassivire in the Creuse, the Villa Gilet in Lyon) have brought together choreographers to highlight their locality or region. The transversal and atypical Festival de lOh in Val-de-Marne and the Envies Rhnements in Camarque bring together these pathways of arts that allow the audience to enjoy a natural setting. These courses are most often found in rural areas and mix visual and choreographic installations, sound art or poetry. It is also worth mentioning here LArt des Corps in Lagorce, Ardche or the humble Festival De Presque Rien organised in Thoronet, Centre-Var by La Compagnie de lImparfait. Dance, which is linked to the past of performance, in a relationship that it perceives as favouring the visual arts, has no specic place. Rare are the spaces conceived for it alone5, and the inherited models of theatrical decentralisation are not enough to contain its unfurling. Dance is winning over museums and temporarily occupying churches and castles. Events such as the all night Nuits Blanches6, or festivals in support of cities, such as Les Tombes de la Nuit in Rennes, call for choreographers to attract the audience through shared dances or active markets. The Festival of Marseille, Montpellier Dance, Agitato in Rennes, or Les Antipodes in Brest partner local companies with their in situ sections to allow their territory to shine. Since 2008, and as an echo of the end of Dance in Aix, the opening of street festivals to dance is a notable one. At Viva Cit in 2009, for example, it led to the conjunction of strange attractors, when Les Gens de Couleur by Ilotopie evoked the same silent restraint as the butoh performer Yukiko Nakamura. The sudden appearance of a bare body pierces the space and sharpens our outlook. The audience is open to the shift and expects it. Initiated at the international level by the Barcelonans of Dies de Dansa in 1997, the Ciudades que Danzan network (see Stradda n10) is also oering an alternative. Understanding the mediating value of an artistic gesture at the level of the urban backdrop, this network, which aids in the development of hip-hop, brings together dance and spatiality and unites choreographers and architects, all the while emphasizing the exchange between dierent regions of the world. Well-established in Spain, Latin America and Italy, it also hosts cities of Northern Europe, such as Manchester, or Malmo. In deance of weather concerns, Urban Moves in Manchester occupies the industrial patrimony and tends to emphasize the educational aspect, bringing choreographers into educational settings, stadiums or prisons. On a smaller scale, and supported by the Irene K. company, Danse en Ville, the cross-border festival of Vervier in Belgium, has, since 2007, been developing a collaboration with La Rue vers lart in Grenoble and Corpi Urbani in Gnes, Italy. For the 2009 edition, dancers and visual artists took possession of shop windows in the quiet little German-speaking city of Eupen, and the shows spilled out into the street. For dancers, the outdoor experiment is never far from the sensorial approach, by which one creates and arms an individual form of composition and style. And this space that dance takes over, in return helps it to dene itself, and to nd its place in history. ALIX DE MORANT
1. Ciudades que danzan magazine, ed. Hiphop special edition, no 2, 2009. 2. In 1970, Maurice Bjart founded the Mudra school in Brussels and Mudra Africa in Dakar in 1977 (see Stradda no 8, Africa special edition). 3. PARTS. Studios opened in Brussels in 1995, by the initiative of the Rosas company. www.parts.be 4. Retraite Royaumont, Le Monde, 14 August 2009. 5. See Espaces de Danse, Repres, Cahiers de Danse no 8, Nov. 2006. And Francoise Fromonot, Le pavillon noir otte sur la marmite, Criticat no 2, Spring 2009. 6. In 2003, City of Abstracts by William Forsythe called Parisians to participate in an interactive game.



Step by step, dancers come together on both sides of the Alps

Around Lyon, Marseille, Turin and Genoa, a network is forming that integrates dance into the public space. It is well known that networks need leads. The implementation of the Alps-Mediterranean Euroregion, although politically on shaky ground, has opened up the possibility of French and Italian regions coming together; in this case, PACA, RhnesAlpes, Piedmont, Liguria and the Aosta Valley. In Marseille, Lieux Publics, the National Centre for Street Arts Creation, seized the opportunity to open a larger public space for the dance arts. A friendly network of FrancoItalian operators is thus coming into existence. On the French side, there is Les Hivernales in Avignon, the Centre Chorgraphique National in Rillieux-laPape Maguy Marin and the Ateliers Frappaz in Villeurbanne. On the Italian side, the network includes the Corpi Urbani festival in Gnes and three Turin-based structures: two festivals (Interplay, dedicated to contemporary dance, and Teatro a Corte) and the association Cera lAcca (a member of In Situ, another European network dedicated to art in the public space). Common market. Five short pieces will be created as part of Small is Beautiful, encouraged by Lieux Publics and connected to Marseille Provence 2013. Two French companies (Ex Nihilo and Lzards Bleus Antoine Le Mnestrel) and three Italian companies (Ubidanza, Il Cantiere, Koine) worked together on the theme of the Common Market. They will each take turns dancing with passers-by, fruits, vegetables and market vendors in Martigues and Aubagne in the Bouches-du-Rhne region. Performances will then circulate among the markets of Turin, Gnes, Avignon and Lyon (in 2010). FRDRIC KAHN
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Chalon dances in the street

This year the street arts festival paid homage to the dance arts. Between the delirious parades and pyrotechnics, one found choreography that was intimate, poignant and at times violent, and where spectators were also invited to recreate their own perception of the world.
Senza Tempo, A +, cosas que nunca te cont Chalon dans la rue, 2009.

halon, July 2009. Scattered memories came to me as soon as I got o the train: Trajets de Vie, Trajets de Ville, quai de la Poterne and Place Ronde, the homage to Josephine Baker in the and gentlemen aussi among the market stalls, Les Noces de Trottoir, place Sainte-Marthe, the mystical whirling of Ziya Azazi at the foot of the cathedral... They remind us how multi-faceted outdoor choreography is and how, almost without any theatrical artice, it reveals and opens the imagination up to the material and human environment. This year, the festival honours dance. Its director, Pedro Garcia, arms this choice: We have to get dance out of the indoor performance spaces and allow a taste to those who are having a hard time pushing the door open1. The ve invited companies in the in section are representative of choreography today, which includes hip-hop and acrobatic dance

and voluntarily uses images. The o section will host a wide variety of artists, as should be seen here. The programme will include a discussion section in the form of two brunchstormings 2 on the history of outdoor dance and its relationship with the location where it takes place, both being full of emotion and lines of questioning.

Conjugating the intimate and the great, festive moment

But dance is not everything in Chalon. The festival opened up with Babel, a fantastic pyrotechnic opera by the Belgian company Attrape. It closed with the magical feather invasion of the Place des Anges by the Studios de Cirque of Marseille. All were in a state of wonder as the delighted audience gathered about. Another day, they are carried through the city by the delirious Tour de France of Gnrik Vapeur,

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or carried o by the whistle blowing roaming of KompleXKapharnaM, whose images cover the walls, calling for a refusal of submission. None of this was found in the choreographic oerings. We are not seized or called upon, and we are rarely asked to participate in the burlesque games of the street arts. We are rather compelled to enter individually and without a passport, into autonomous worlds that are often located outside of the city centres. Senza Tempo and t.r.a.n.s.i.t.s.c.a.p.e chose as their scenic backdrop the caravan, a metaphor and tool for a state of wandering. The rst, a compartment for everyday life, becomes a screen on which we see the memories and fantasies of characters in transit. The images frame and prolong a tumultuous dance of ts and starts. A steward angel surveys the wild parade. T.r.a.n.s.i.t.s.c.a.p.es mechanism is more sophisticated. In the privacy of a hotel room, a boxer, a call girl and a cleaning lady engage in sadomasochistic games. We see them through a window or through a narrow slit, sometimes captured in a tight shot. With headphones, we listen to an interview with a real boxer. Beyond the evident voyeurism, we nd in this Chambre(s) dHtel an analysis of our relationship with the real and its representations. The image box of La Lloba, for Windoll, a boutique and its front window, becomes a receptacle for an addiction to clothing. The two dancers look at themselves while getting ready and try to become fashion models. Little by little everything shifts. The clothing piles up to the point of nausea onto the young woman. Her companion covers her body with sticky advertisements and everything reaches a state of frenzy with the naked bodies under a stroboscopic light. Reduction to nudity is also the object of Oignons, one of the Miniatures by Nathalie Pernette, place Saint-Vincent, at the heart of the festival. Four dancers covered with overlapped skin peels strip each other slowly as the gesture becomes a danced form. In front of the cathedral, what could turn into a strip tease becomes a sacricial ceremony. All of the Miniatures of the choreography are signed: timeless black costumes, passive faces, very graphic gestures. Even outside of the show, the dancers are identied as strange passers-by. group was imagined during composition workshops that took place within a detention centre for adolescents. The translation on stage of their living conditions, with the energy of slam and break dance bears witness of their fraternity and oers a symbolic liberation. A narrow riser and a screen are enough for Osmosis Company to evoke the violence of the world. The direct contact with the water, as done by Nathalie Simon, has an intensity that is both dierent and twinned. With the same mechanism, and using Chawki Amaris short story, La Chose aux Yeux Mouills, Ali Salmi incarnates the poignant


As errant wanderers or wild children, they run breathlessly, sharing their bags of grain with the audience and running straight up against an impenetrable wall.
descent into death and the potential rebirth of the kelb (the dog, the bastard), amidst the backdrop of cities haunted by abject poverty and fundamentalism. Animality also informs Pedigree by the Pernette Company. With a text by Jean-Bernard Pouy, Histoire de True, Laurent Falguiras is up against the asphalt in the coat of a homeless man. He does not mime the dog, but is in the skin of a dog through its sense of smell and its dependency. This true beast and customs animal will also be killed. Between gravel, exposed beams and ruins covered in tags, the members of Ad Libitum (Antipodes Company) have found the location to satisfy their dance of extremes in a former sugar renery. As errant wanderers or wild children, they run breathlessly, sharing their bags of grain with the audience and running straight up against an impenetrable wall. Their ardour is proof of their inner need. In this edition I have not seen projects created in situ, broad choreographies that include amateurs or incursions into everyday life. Is this by choice, by chance or by constraint? I could not say, nor does it matter. This is merely a collection of impressions to feed the winter. SYLVIE CLIDIRE
The titles are quotes from Pedro Garcia, the Artistic Director of Chalon dans la rue. 1. Le Journal de Sane-et-Loire, 24 July 2009. 2. Organised by Pascal Le Brun-Cordier, Director of the Masters Degree in Cultural Projects in the Public Space at the University of Paris I Sorbonne, the publications of LEntretemps and HorsLesMurs. With the participation of Odile Azagury, Rachid Kassi, Ali Salmi, Julie Desprairies, Laure Terrier, Anne le Batard, Jean-Antoine Bigot, Denis Lafaurie and Pedro Garcia. dossier from stradda #14 / page 9

Sylvie Clidire. Trained through her travels and studies, she has alternated between cultural activism, theatrical collaboration and teaching, notably with the Ecole Nationale Suprieure des Beaux-Arts in Bourges. She discusses the progression of the street arts through various revues and seminars. Since 2002, she has been associated with Lieux Publics, the Dansem festival and the network Ciudades Que Danzan and is also interested in outdoor dance.

The dancers body is not neutral. It produces meaning. Beyond the nameable and aesthetic forms, and especially outdoors, it is its relationship to itself and to what it touches within the situation that makes up the state of dance. This year in Chalon, it will be put to the test. The street is the terrain of hip-hop in the so-called underprivileged neighbourhoods. loeil libre by the TSN

We are going to oer dance in all of its states

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Bodies under construction

A roundabout, a building signed public space The whole city inspires choreographers. Between the architecture and the bodies that inhabit it, the revelation is reciprocal.

he synergies that pregure Bauhaus and the solid relations that interweave between modern dance and architecture at the beginning of the 20th century imagine the moving body as a special marker of the city-dwelling universe. In the heart of cities, dance interacts with other anthropological and sociological practices. Between architects and choreographers the thematic collaborations increase in universities and schools.

Living Matter. If we think of architecture as a succession of sequences1, and of the city as all the movements that take place within it, then it is less about denying the immobility of the developed site than about paying particular attention to the bodies traceability. For Bodies in Urban Spaces (2004), Willi Dorner uses young, malleable bodies that he then leads into contortion. He develops his city route with a squadron of dancers and town planning and architecture students (Viva Cit in Sottevillels-Rouen, Festival des 7 Collines in Saint-Etienne, 2009). In the course of a performance carried out in charge step, a sculptural amalgamation pops up which clusters together or dissolves in the crevices of urban fabric. The living matter catches the eye of the audience like many unresolved knots in a mass of bodies. The principle of colour, which is strong in Dorners work, recalls Sonia Delaunays bright wheels of colour, capturing the movement of crowds in Paris. In fact, Willi Dorner was inspired by Krperkonguration in der Architekture (19721982), written by Valie Export, a Viennese feminist who used her body as a refractory component in the bourgeois glaze of the Austrian capital. The monument founds social dynamics that everyday life conceals in forgetfulness. In search of a mediatory urban body, Laurent Pichaud (Cie X-Sud)

composes with busy spaces and, since Lande Part, has let their subterranean corporality come to the surface. In Rfrentiel Bondissant, a gymnasium piece, he discovers the awkwardness of the prepubescent body. Over-sized and dedicated to physical exploits, the gymnasium incites a certain level of fear. The choreographer puts a sense of reserve into the mix. Mon Nom, une place pour les monuments aux morts, in rehearsal, set up camp in public squares. In villages, a morning stretches out, opening up to digression. The performers create stimuli, intercepting trajectories, but never consuming the imagery of the monument to the fallen, present even in chronic invisibility. Preferring the discretion of quiet shadows, they sketch their situations on the periphery. In the rst circle, that of the inhabitants, the public thing emerges. And the rst encounter A leur du ntre will take place at the Maison des Anciens Combattants du Gard during the rst days of the patrimony. Each choreographer responds to the uniqueness of the site with his or her own sensibilities. On Le Corbusiers Unit dhabitation in Firminy, Anne-Marie Pascoli confronts the kinesphere of Laban2 and the unity of Modulor2. In Villeurbanne in 2006, Julie Desprairies began with a global vision. Aside from deciphering the architectural gesture, L Commence le Ciel took on a societal motivation. The artist notably drew from the styles of ensemble choreographies of the Communist Partys youth movements. The more empirical Jean-Jacques Sanchez (Association Laza), who is fascinated by the work of the architect Oscar Niemeyer, explores the curves of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Niteroi, Brazil. Wishing to prolong this appropriation of space in France, he hopes, with Corpos e Laos, to teach the universe of Neiemeyer as a territory of exchange with painters, photographers and videographers. Trained in

Rue de la Dance, promenade choreographique

A few students from the Dance Department at Paris 8 Saint Denis mobilised some local amateurs and three choreographers for an in situ creation. The public restitution took place on 20 June; a stroll through the ordinary life of
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the city centre of Saint Denis on a Saturday. In the pit of the Chapelle des Trois-Patrons, the proposal by Carmen Morais appears as poetic archaeology. On the Place de la Halle and a high, glassed-in footbridge, Silvia Siriczmans group delivers

a light-hearted performance with an acidic tone. As for Laurent Pichaud, he offers an open course of appearances and disappearances, born from the use of urban objects or a sudden physicality that is distorted in relation to that of

passers-by. It seems that the research was heavily focused on the appropriation of the space and the viewpoint offered to spectators, immersive, overhanging or from below.
SYLVIE CLIDIRE www.ruedeladanse.com

The Willi Dorner Company, Bodies in Urban Spaces, Festival des 7 Collines, Saint- Etienne, 2009.

contact improvisation, Jean-Jacques Sanchez also attempts to disseminate dancers into the city during his Corps-Enjeu(x) workshops. Patrice Barths, in residency at ENSAM (National School of Architecture in Montpellier). After having conversed with the work of Buren in Srignan, in the Hrault department, he is using Danse Demeure to bring together architecture students and geographers from the neighbouring campus. The rst workshops, Territoires en Mouvement led him to create choreography in roundabouts and to confront bodies and full locations (service stations, malls or apartment buildings) chosen by the architecture students to pregure their projects. As per the request of the schools administrative sta, he is oering dance classes twice a week, as a way of putting the building on the road. He also created a performance to inaugurate the library with his students. The particularity of the Paris 8 Dance Department is in how it joins theory and practice. With the support of the Rencontres Chorographiques Internationales of Seine-Saint-Denis and in the locations loaned out by the Regional Bureau of Patrimony, Julie Perrin4 and two architects from the architecture school at Paris-Malaquais Philippe Gurin and Xavier Fabre led, along with their own students, Le Corps ldice (2005-2007), an immersive experience in a nursery, public garden or psychiatric hospital. Philippe Gurin informs the work as a

Confronting esh and building.

A sculptural amalgamation pops up in the crevices of urban fabric, unresolved knots in a mass of bodies.
painter and architect, while choreographers such as Christophe Haleb, Prue Lang, Maria Donata DUrso, Gabriel Hernandez or Edmond Russo encourage his tactile appropriation. It all comes together to bring about unexpected gestures. It is in this way that one of Julie Perrins seminars at University Paris 8 on the spatiality of dance opened up with an in situ workshop, including a number of non-dancers, students in cultural mediation or town planning, thus giving life to the initiative Rue de la Danse (see box, p.16). It doesnt matter if its a tiny proposal or one that is beyond the scales. Dancers occupied the city. They are there to bear witness and to trace their route with meaning. But caught in the threads of the urban patchwork, they distort it every chance they get.
ALIX DE MORANT 1. Philippe Prost, Penser un lieu pour la danse, in Repres, Cahier de Danse no 18, Nov. 2006. 2. For Rudolf Laban (1879-1958), movement is living architecture. Labans kinesphere denes the multidirectional volume that surrounds the dancer and his or her movement. 3. Presented in April 1947 by Le Corbusier, the Modulor is a system of measurements based on the proportions of the human body. 4. Julie Perrin, researcher at the Dance Department of University Paris 8, ran Espaces de danse, Repres, Cahier de Danse no 18, Nov. 2006. 5. Jean-Jacques Sanchez, www.trans-sud-amerique.com/laza dossier from stradda #14 / page 11


Coming into contact with the elements, water, earth and mud
Franoise Lger, Ilotopie.
Seen as a material, exposed, painted, absorbed by the set or set free into nature, the body is at the base of Iltopies work. It is a central idea that reveals the afnities between dance and the street arts.
ince its creation in 1980, Ilotopie considers the street to be a democratic vehicle. First oriented toward performance and the public arts, then toward the theatre and dance, the company constructed its own workspace in 1992 in Port-Saint-Louis in Camargue. As a place of creation, Le Citron Jaune also hosts artists residencies, with dancers included. Since 1999, the creation of the festival Les Envies Rhnements has pursued this research and experimental work with choreographers. Stradda met Franoise Lger, the artistic co-director of Ilotopie, to try to answer this question: What does dance bring to the street arts?
Stradda: What links have been forged between contemporary dance and the street arts since the 1980s and 90s?

Francoise Lger: At rst, it took some time for dance to get out into the streets. I was able to observe this from my small window in the street theatre and with the two hats that I wear as both a conceiver and programmer of shows. In dance, the big boom took place in the beginning of the 80s, shortly before street theatre. And although things continued, for example, with the non-dance movement, today we feel a bit out of steam. It should be said that training programmes calibrate not only artistic practices, but also conceptions of shows. Take the Flemish dance movement, for example, which continues to produce substantial works. In Flanders, artistic training is multidisciplinary visual arts, performance, dance and theatre. This approach produces more complete and pertinent artists. However, the link between dance and the street arts is that we step out of the discipline. This idea is reected by the word multidisciplinary. We open up to practices and to sectors of society that are not traditionally consi-


dancing the space

dered as being artistic or cultural. We proceed the public space, the body has yet to nd its place. Ilotopie, to a displacement and a movement beyond the It feels as though the body must again take its Gens de discipline. place among the other species. There, we really couleur, Furies, work with the choreographers, like Ex Nihilo, Chlons-enFor you has this link been created through whom we commissioned for the festival and who Champagne, 2009. performance? has already come up against the elements, water, Yes. I had come from the performance world and earth, mud... With Satchie Noro, we mounted Iltopie was still young, since I arrived in 1983. the mechanism Tridanse, to support innovative After a period of installations, I thought that projects. Every year, we select a dance company we wouldnt stay on the sidewalk across the way, to be hosted in residency in three locations, the just watching the reactions of passers-by! We had Citron Jaune, the Vlo Thtre in Apt and the to involve the body through its presence, perhaps 3bisF in Aix-en-Provence. But aside from a few even more so than through its performance. One companies that have been at it since the beginof our rst performances was called La Vie en ning, many artists are caught between the street Abribus. We had made installations at bus stops and the stage. While the street is certainly a bit with a kitchen and a bedroom and that created harsh, one can nd milder locations in natural a kind of distortion. Then it transformed into a spaces... performance piece with a couple living there and a more involved relationship with the passers by. When did dance appear in the residencies at the From the point of view of a visual artist, we were Citron Jaune and Envies Rhnements? From the beginning. One year, we even emphausing the body as material. sized dance, as we thought that that was where Does People of colour, which was created in 1989 the interesting things were happening. We hosted and continues to tour, also use the body as material? Christophe Haleb, Ali Salmi, from Osmosis Outside of all the symbols that this creation might Company, Yann Lheureux, Tango Sumo, Chrisrefer to and the dimension that it takes according tine Quoiraud or the Pernette Company, which to the country it traverses, Gens de couleur is based on the plasticity and architecture of the body. This performance incites an incredible The link between dance and the street feeling of freedom for the actors. Stripped of their clothing and their identication, the body arts is (...) the word multidisciplinary. again becomes a form of architecture, a microWe proceed to a displacement of and cosm within the macrocosm of the social body. What we are trying to say is that we are not naked, a movement beyond the discipline. but clothed in colour. We have nonetheless had diculties, including some arrests in Australia. In Anglo-Saxon countries, there is a real taboo of was invited this year to Envies Rhnements, the body. and which performed Les Miniatures and Le Dance is also present in shows like La Salle de Passage at the Citron Jaune in October. Next remise en forme, or Eden sous-sol... Many of year, well be hosting a Belgian choreographer, Ilopies actors have a background in dance and Satya, who is preparing something on water, and one nds choreographic elements in most of our the Jeanne Simone Company, with Mademoiperformances. But we are more into the idea of selle. going from the body to the set. For Les Menus Plaisirs, we work on food and then the body So then what does dance bring to the street? becomes a centre for proposals. We organised All of these choreographic adventures oer more banquets where people eat in the actors bodies. of a feminine universe and sensibility in the public Its the devouring of the body, or even the absorp- space. So this year well be more on the path of tion of the body into the set with La Femme women. Perhaps thats another reason why dance Papier-Peint. took some time to go out into the streets, because street theatre is a bit macho... The presence of the female body in the street is not always an Do you nd that your thoughts on space, the side easy thing. Weve had our fair share of salacious step or the march, meet up with the political and artistic preoccupations of many choreographers? comments on the subject, but young generations Yes, we nd this question of the march in the are less likely to see things that way. Something Envies Rhnements festival that takes place in a has gone out of style. natural setting where, perhaps even more than in TEXT COMPILED BY FABIENNE ARVERS

dancing the space

The outdoor adventure

s dance an all-terrain art? Its hard to pretend that it is. At rst sight, it seems that nothing could be less suitable for a dancers work than the outdoors. The question of a dance oor alone seems enough to do away with any vague notion of creation. And yet there are more and more choreographers running into each other in gardens, parks, streets and in the hollow parts of architecture At the risk of wearing big shoes in all senses of the term you dont clap your heels the same way on grass or tar as you would on a stage , they transplant their dance under dierent skies. It is up to them to invent spectacular responses, suitable to original environments. Moving into this new terrain represents a thrilling risk for them. Far from repelling choreographers, outdoor working conditions are curiously becoming an exciting factor, even an addiction. Changes in the weather, shifts in
dossier from stradda #14 / page 14


So what is a dancer outdoors to do? He submits to the soundtrack of life, he breaks through the audience and twirls within a moving set He creates sparks of happiness.

the ambiances, an unplanned soundtrack, various odours Nothing is under control. Everything is random and terribly alive.

Enjoyment. The black box, with its technical perfection, seems out of this world in relation to outdoor settings. How enjoyable it is to dance outdoors, states the dancer, choreographer and circus artist Satchie Noro. Of course, when one dances in a theatre, one is not confronted with the diculties of the outdoors. But I will never have a soundtrack or a set like the ones Ive been lucky

Satchie Noro, Mmoire Clause, Dedans-Dehors festival, Brtigny-surOrge, 2009.

A puddle of water under my feet, what a dream

Satchie Noro, Furnika Company

Agns Pelletier, from the Volubilis company, alias Bndicte Pilchard, Aurillac, 2007.

enough to have by chance in nature. On stage, the message is too framed and Im getting more and more bored with it. Theres no way Ill become a functionary in the domain of dance or the theatre. In a eld, or in the street, one can actually be more present. A puddle of water under my feet, what a dream. One does not choreograph in the same way for the stage of a theatre or for a garden or a piece of asphalt. The strength of certain shows that are conceived for the outdoors resides precisely within this particularity. Agns Pelletier tells us that Its dicult to hoist up what might be a specic choreographic way of composing for the street. One thing is certain with regard to my pieces. They are not suitable for a conventional stage. The context for example, the steps for My System for ladies

Thanks to Transports Exceptionnels, the world opened up to me []. Its a gift that I would never have dared to dream about.
Philippe Priasso, Beau Geste.
and gentlemen aussi where the story itself sets out parameters that rule out performing in theatres. The scenario is what brings out the dance in my shows. The unique identity of the street dancer begins with his or her relationship with the spectators. Addressing the audience directly is at the heart of outdoor performances. It is dicult, even impossible unless one simply wants to avoid the subject, to not see the audience, to sense it, to hear it Eye to eye (or almost), shoulder to shoulder, or even stepping on its feet, it is the partner of choice. The audience is volatile, but harshly present, to the point of accosting the dancer after the performance without giving it a second thought. Since he began dancing Transports Exceptionnels, a pas de deux with a steam shovel, created by Dominique Boivin in 2004, Philippe Priasso is still in shock. I have never lived through such strong emotions with people, he tells us. The world, in the broad sense of the term, opened up to me thanks to this show. It opens another perspective on dance and allows me to reach out to very dierent people. Its a gift that I would never have dared to dream about. dance calls for a certain kind of conditioning for the dancer. Flexibility, adaptability, a heightened sense of risk and of the accidental Oddly enough, many dancers that today work in the street come from a relatively classical background. Priasso is a dancer formatted by the black box, as he himself says. He went through the Centre National de Dance Contemporaine in Anger in the late 70s, and then founded the Beau Gest company with Dominique Boivin and Christine Erb in 1981. In contrast, the background of Satchie Noro, an expert in classical ballet, is rooted in the terrain of performance in Berlin, then in Amsterdam and New York in the early 1990s. I was seventeen and I found myself in the street with a group of people, she tells us. Anything was possible, we would nd a spot and present a performance, and then wed go set ourselves up elsewhere. It was hard core, as they say, but also very creative and exciting. After
dossier from stradda #14 / page 15

Outdoors by chance. The fragility of outdoor


dancing the space

collaborating with the contemporary choreographer Alain Rigout, among others, Satchie Noro converted herself in 2002 to the circus arts (trapeze and wire) before going back to working outdoors. As Agns Pelletier spontaneously declared, dancing outdoors is a matter of chance And, as we all know in life, nothing really every happens by chance. Her training started with athletics, then contemporary dance at 18 years of age in a school in London that applies the Martha Graham technique. Her career began under the auspices of an English collective. Later on in Bordeaux she would earn her state diploma as a dance instructor before founding her own company, Volubilis, which has successfully focused on the street since 2004. My System, a choreographic spiel for one actor and two dancers, has been touring for four years.

Patrick de Valette in LAutre Dl, by Philippe Decou, La Villette, Paris, 2006.

Rock Stars. Economically speaking, the sector is nothing like the theatre. While the paydays are slimmer, they are generally more numerous. In a dicult context, dancing outdoors represents a sizeable resource. The immense enjoyment of mesmerizing 3,000 people, as Ive had the opportunity to do, is an unimaginable gift, Philippe Priasso tells us. Dancing outdoors is an extraordinary experience, but the result is also disproportionate. Youre really received like a rock star. Since its creation, Transports Exceptionnels has had a level of success that is as exceptional as its title, with nearly four hundred performances throughout the entire world, From So Paolo to Tokyo. Priasso then blurts out, Im not sure Ill ever be able to go back to the stage. ROSITA BOISSEAU

Grand Master Decoufl

Philippe Decou has a truly unique status. He is one of the rare choreographers and directors, perhaps the only one today in France, who does not only play with labels, but is also able to do what he wishes without having to answer to anyone. So theres no surprise in seeing him creating a parade for amateurs in Seine-Saint-Denis in September, 2008 and then setting up at the National Theatre of Chaillot with his company for Sombreros before leaving for a turn around the ring with the Crazy Horse girls. Inside, outside, in the street, at the cabaret, under the big top (soon with the Cirque du Soleil) and always on stage, Decou glides from one space to another with remarkable grace. Surely his historical performance at the opening of the winter Olympics in Savoie in 1992 allowed him to develop the scholarly freedom that he now enjoys with delighted abandon. Overlapping such disparate registers as burlesque for erotic shows, or fashion for LAutre Dl, with costumes from the Opra de Paris and the Comdie Franaise and presented at the park of La Villette (2006), seems to come naturally for this man who has worked as a mime, a circus artist and a dancer. In collaborating with dancers, video directors, circus artists and amateurs, Decou shows us that he knows how to adapt anew to a given space. Whether it is free or not, referential or simply playful, it is, rst and foremost, the work of Decou that we enjoy. What could be better! R.B.

essai sur la danse dans lespace public


an essay on dance in the public space

Extrieur Danse,
Sylvie Clidire and Alix de Morant Copublication by HorsLesMurs/ LEntretemps, Carnets de rue collection, 192 p., 29 .

olo performance, urban festival, in situ creation The forms of outdoor dance are among the most diverse. In this book-DVD, the authors bring the reader as close as possible to the dancers experience. The creations are interpreted and the references are carefully chosen. Richly illustrated, Extrieur Danse supports the diversity of dance pathways laid out beyond the conventional stages and in a reinvented proximity with the audience.
eur Extri Danse
danse sur la public essai lespace dans

DVD inclus

Sylvie Clidire Alix de Morant

DVD Extrieur Danse, Images de la cration hors les murs collection HorsLesMurs, october 2009. Publication in french language.
dossier from stradda #14 / page 16



This projectfrom has been funded with support the European Commission. This publication dossier strad dafrom #14 / page 18 [communication] reects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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