The Reunionese choreographer Jérôme Brabant inaugurated his dance company L’Octogonale with a solo piece, Heimat.
The German word Heimat means “Homeland”, the country you carry within yourself, the country that defines an intimate identity, opening onto a unique universe. The choreographer’s insular identity insinuates itself into his staging and his dance. The stage is a rectangular space, stripped bare, where through the shapes and movements he makes, the body of the solo dancer embodies Reunion Island, at the heart of the piece.
The land is characterised by recurring linear and triangular shapes: the island is criss-crossed by lines, either through the air or as horizons. A shape that is repeated across the Reunion Island landscape is the triangle, which becomes the dancer’s adornment and results in the creation of many cones. The cones are arranged over the dancer’s body and as they are moved they resemble Reunionese micro-landscapes. As the shapes evolve on stage, they take on different meanings, such as the fertility of the nurturing earth.
Jérôme Brabant’s dance is steeped here in Maloya, one of Reunion Island’s traditional dances, from which he has taken the repetitive 3-stage movements (flatten out, turn, then stop), demonstrating this obsession for the country that we carry within ourselves, Heimat. The choreographer stresses this almost pulsating movement to which he adds a sensual note by accentuating the use of the hips. The hypnotic, enchanting power of the gesture is a vehicle for returning to the origins of the mixed race people of Reunion Island.
Heimat also casts its eye over the Creole, mixed race or black stereotypes, and the fascination that the dances of non-western peoples can evoke. The imagery of colonialism has produced some stereotypical aesthetics, a true projection of imaginary worlds onto these dances and these bodies from “elsewhere”.
Source : Lalanbik
More information : www.jeromebrabant.com/
Jérôme Brabant is a choreographer, born in 1973 at Saint-Pierre in Reunion Island. He studied theatre at Paris 8 University and the Mimodrame Marcel Marceau School. In 2001 he joined the Toulouse/Midi-Pyrenées Choreographic Development Centre to follow the “Extensions” course and started his career as a dancer-performer for several companies: Marco Berrettini’s *Melk Prod, the Samuel Mathieu company, the Patricia Ferrara company/Unber-Humber Group.
Jérôme Brabant started working as a choreographer from 2002, when he founded the UND und ballet with Marion Muzac. He created his first pieces: Roomy Dancing in 2002, Gala in 2003 and Pavilion in 2004.
In 2011 he founded his Octogonale Company on Reunion Island. His return to the island was the opportunity for him to search for a choreography that focused on the island’s identity. He created his first solo, Heimat, “the country you carry within you”.
In 2014, he produced his second solo performance called Impair, which was inspired by the craft of his grandparents, who were well-known for their knowledge of medicinal plants and magnetic healing.
In 2015, Jérôme Brabant collaborated with New Gravity, a group of free runners, and with them he created the piece Emergency.
In 2016, he researched exoticism with Maud Pizon and created A Taste of Ted, a group of solos adapted from original creations by Ted Shawn.
Source : Lalanbik’s website
More information : https://www.lalanbik.org/
Sebastien Feys, Jérôme Brabant
Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work
CDC Toulouse/ Midi-Pyrénées