world premiere 2002 au théâtre de gennevilliers
Which Way, Dance?
"Those who have art in their sights and in theirminds are in a state of se fless ness. Art puts the I at a remove. Art here within a certaindirection calls for a cer tain distance, a certain path." [...] paul celan - le meridien
To begin with, Lenz, by Georg Büchner (1835). Not just any old text.
Even if we are wary of the snare of biographicalanecdotes, let us nevertheless reveal that Mathilde Monnier hailsoriginally from Germanic (Alsatian) culture and a family backgroundhallmarked by salient figures involved in mystic thinking; further,that she diligently consults the work of the philosophers Jean-LucNancy and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, with their orientation towards theGerman pre-Romantics.
The poet Jakob Lenz, hero of the very short novelnamed after him (it was actually never finished) criss-crosses themountainscapes of the Vosges. By coming somewhat to terms with them, hesoothes his albeit unavoidable slide into madness, fuelled by his lossof faith. In lending a new ear to the call of Nature, modern Man ishere in the process of making the world poetic once more--a world,incidentally, that is no longer inhabited by God.
So just as Mathilde Monnier once more shifts herchoreographic writing, she--together with Lenz--draws near aground-breaking key moment of western intellectual modernity.
We should note that she does this by bringing intothe set of Deroutes quite a lot of young participants hailing directlyfrom e.x.e.r.ce, a training unit that is a fully-fledged part of theMontpellier National Choreographic Centre, which she runs. The batontaken up by creative generations is nowadays a key issue for the futureof contemporary dance.
Here, thirsteen artistes are brought together in themodern landscape of a scenic void drawn out like a chasm ofhorizontality. They move hither and thither across it. They walk.
For two months, in the first instance, each one ofthe dancers worked one-to-one with the choreographer, developing routesto do with sound, breath (poetic?) and reflections in the mirror. Itwas only at the end of this initial and exhausting phase that thegeneralized intersection of these trajectories was introduced. So therewas nothing making it possible to foreshadow the nature of the linkswhich they would bring out
Here, with neither frontalness nor direct contacts,apart from one or two rare portes that are almost spilled out, thecollective forward movement forms nothing more than a network ofstealthy relays, erased movements, resistant steps, and dynamic spells,either caught or reversed. This operates surreptitiously throughcontaminations, coverings, and propagations.
Annie Tolleter's set arrangement has hemmed thestage with tubes and pipes and inflatable objects which lend substanceto the general circulation of a breath in the matter permeated withinand without. This dynamic achieved by way of the same objects isrecycled by the musician erikm. inventing the material of an endlesschoreo-musical repetition, the material of a dizzy and deeplymeaningful unity The lyrical singer Dalila Khatir, for her part, seeksa song at the source of the breath, not yet formulated, palpitating.Last of all, the poet Stephane Bouquet, likewise given to shifts anddisplacements, mixes with the dancers and each night relives theexperience of a physical abandonment liberating the mental emergence ofhis still-to-be-written words.
Laid out flat, with never any prominence, they areextremely rare moments when these qualities of presence converge asfigural unities. This is the case when, at a particular moment, almosteveryone stands stockstill in a stunning vertical posture, their headson the floor. The fact is that, in no time at all, at the mercy ofGeorg Büchner's pen describing Lenz's reassuring excursions, it issaid, quite off the cuff, that "quite simply, he found it unpleasant,at moments, not to be able to walk on his head."
Whence come the dance. gérard mayen
a show by mathilde monnier
original music erikm
light design eric wurtz
scenography annie tolleter
assisted by benjamin landois, cyrille maillot
with nuno bizarro, stéphane bouquet, bertrand davy, herman diephuis, eRikm, julien gallée-ferré, corinne garcia, rémy héritier, dalila khatir, i-fang lin, mickael phelippeau, rachid sayet, filiz sizanli
coproduction . centre choregraphique national de montpellier languedoc-roussillon . festival d’automne - paris . theatre de la ville - paris . theatre de gennevilliers-centre dramatique national . DeSingel - anvers . belgique . Teo Otto theater - remscheid . allemagne