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À bras le corps

CN D - Centre national de la danse 2017 - Director : Centre national de la danse, Réalisation

Choreographer(s) : Charmatz, Boris (France) Chamblas, Dimitri (France)

Video producer : Centre national de la danse

Integral video available at CND de Pantin

À bras le corps

CN D - Centre national de la danse 2017 - Director : Centre national de la danse, Réalisation

Choreographer(s) : Charmatz, Boris (France) Chamblas, Dimitri (France)

Video producer : Centre national de la danse

Integral video available at CND de Pantin

À bras le corps

In 1992, Boris Charmatz and Dimitri Chamblas, fresh out of the conservatoire, burst onto the choreographic scene with À bras-le-corps. This piece, which requires a huge expenditure of energy on the part of the body, deviated from the conventions of the time. As Dimitri Chamblas has explained, for them it was about exploring what it was possible to do ‘without a frame or masters’, and to ‘show what they had learnt how to hide’: testing limits, the edges, over-exposing the body, fatigue and breathing, and by confronting their presence with that of the audience. Spread out in a square around the dancers, the spectators see and hear everything: the beat of steps, the moments of recuperation, the bumping together, flesh brushing against flesh, the skin getting hot then glistening, then covered in droplets. The proximity enables the audience to zoom in, to het a close up of a contact, a moment of hesitation: how a hand grabs another hand, how a hand grasps a thigh, how bodies part and come back together again.

A physical, athletic creation, conceived by their young dancers’ bodies, À bras-le-corps might have stopped when Dimitri Chamblas brought his career as a performer to an end. Instead, they chose to subject their bodies to this dance of exhaustion, and to see what these gestures could still say to them, in the present. Now À bras-le-corps is entering the repertoire of the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris, they are entrusting this dynamic choreography to young performers who will, in turn, pit their energy and all their strength against it.

Charmatz, Boris

Born in Chambéry (France), on January 3, 1973

After studying at the Ecole de Danse de l'Opéra de Paris and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon, Boris Charmatz was engaged by Régine Chopinot to dance Ana (1990) and Saint-Georges (1991). In 1992, he was asked by Odile Duboc to join her company Contrejour to dance 7 jours/7 villes (1992), Projet de la matière (1993) and Trois Boléros (1996). He also took part in the premiere of K de E, choreographed by Olivia Grandville and Xavier Marchand (1993).

In 1992, he co-founded edna association with Dimitri Chamblas. Following the premieres of works the pair choreographed together À bras-le-corps (1993) and Les Disparates (1994), Charmatz began creating his own works: Aatt enen tionon (1996), a vertical piece for three dancers, herses (une lente introduction) (1997), a piece for five dancers and a cellist set to music by Helmut Lachenmann. In 1999, he choreographed Con forts fleuve (1999), a group piece performed to texts by John Giorno and musics by Otomo Yoshihide. In 2002, he premiered héâtre-élévision, a provocative installation piece influenced by russian Matryoshka nesting dolls that was designed to be seen by one spectator at a time. In 2006, he premiered régi, a performance with Julia Cima, Raimund Hoghe and himself, as well as Quintette Cercle (2006), a live version of héâtre-élévision. La danseuse malade (2008) performed by Jeanne Balibar and Boris Charmatz, was inspired by the texts of Tatsumi Hijikata, founder of butoh dance. One of his latest works, 50 years of dance (2009), is performed by former dancers of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Conceived like a choreographic flip-book, it takes the book “Merce Cunningham, Fifty Years” by David Vaughan as its score. Roman Photo (2009) is the version for non-dancers, students and amateurs and Flip Book (2009) the one for professional dancers. Levée des conflits (2010) is a performance for 24 dancers and 25 mouvements. Associate artist of the 2011 Festival d'Avignon, Boris Charmatz creates at the Cour d'Honneur of the Pope's Palace enfant, a piece for 26 children, 9 dancers and 3 machines.

Since 1997, in collaboration with Angèle Le Grand, he developed varied projects within the association edna. The purpose of such propositions was to create a space open to multiple experiments: thematic sessions, production of films (Les Disparates by César Vayssié, Horace Benedict by Dimitri Chamblas and Aldo Lee, Une lente introduction by Boris Charmatz), Hors-série programmes proposed by the edna team (La chaise and Visitations by Julia Cima, Jachères by Vincent Dupont), production of installations (Programme court avec essorage), organisation of exhibitions (Complexe, Statuts), and trans-media projects (Ouvrée - artistes en alpages, Entraînements-série d'actions artistiques, Facultés, Education).

While maintaining an extensive touring schedule, he also participates in improvisational events on a regular basis (recently with Saul Williams, Archie Shepp and Han Bennink) and continues to pursue his performing career (with Odile Duboc for Projet de la Matière and Trois boléros, as part of the piece d'un Faune (éclats) by the Albrecht Knust Quartet and with Fanny de Chaillé for Underwear), to name a few.

From 2002 to 2004, while an artist-in-residence at the Centre national de la danse in Pantin and driven by the idea of exploring the theme of education in depth, he developped the Bocal project, a nomadic and ephemeral school that brought together students from different backgrounds. He was visiting professor at Berlin's Universität der Künste, where he contributed to the creation of a new dance curriculum which was installed in 2007.

He is the co-author of a book with Isabelle Launay: Entretenir / à propos d'une danse contemporaine (published jointly by the Centre National de la Danse and Les Presses du Réel) published in English in 2011 under the title undertraining / On A Contemporary Dance (Ed. Les Presses du Réel). Boris Charmatz is also the author of “Je suis une école” (2009, Ed. Les Prairies ordinaires) related to the adventure Bocal.

Director since 2009 of the Rennes and Britanny National Choreographic Centre, Boris Charmatz proposes to transform it into a Dancing Museum of a new kind. A manifesto is at the origin of this museum, which has received, amongst others, the projects préfiguration, expo zéro, rebutoh, service commandé (on commission), brouillon (rough draft), Jérôme Bel en 3 sec. 30 sec. 3 min. 30 min et 3 h., Petit Musée de la danse, « Rétrospective » par Xavier Le Roy and has travelled to Saint Nazaire, Singapore, Utrecht, Avignon and New York.

He creates the piece manger at the Ruhrtriennale in Germany on September 23rd, 2014, danse de nuit as part of the Built-Festival of Geneva in 2016, then 10 000 gestes in 2017 at the Volksbühne of Berlin.

Source : Boris Charmatz’s website

More information :

Chamblas, Dimitri

Graduate of the  National Conservatory of Music and Dance of Lyon (CNSMD), Dimitri Chamblas  participated in the creation of Bernard Glandier's Trails before being  hired as a permanent dancer by Régine Chopinot in 1993. From 1997, he  committed himself alongside Mathilde Monnier at the CCN of Montpellier and interprets the duet Tout Contre by Emmanuelle Huynh.

In  the early 2000s, he developed a work in the audiovisual field and  realized successively Horace-Benedict (in collaboration with Aldo Lee),  The Key of Places and In our places. In 2002, he began working as a first assistant director in the advertising industry. He collaborates among others with Tranh Anh Hung, Jacques Audiard, César Vayssié and the Zoo. Since 2005, he is associate producer of Same Production and accompanies the development of young directors.

Source : Site de Boris Charmatz

En savoir plus :

Centre national de la danse, Réalisation


À bras le corps

Choreography : Boris Charmatz et Dimitri Chamblas

Interpretation : Stéphane Bullion (danseur étoile), Karl Paquette (danseur étoile)

Additionnal music : Niccolò Paganini, Caprices nos 1, 10 et 16

Lights : Yves Godin

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Musée de la danse / Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne, direction Boris Charmatz. Association subventionnée par le ministère de la Culture (Direction régionale des Affaires culturelles / Bretagne), la ville de Rennes, le conseil régional de Bretagne et le conseil départemental d’Ille-et-Vilaine. Entrée au répertoire du Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris le 16 mars 2017. Spectacle créé dans sa version initiale le 13 janvier 1993 à La Villa Gillet / Lyon.

Duration : 39 minutes

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