Factory remains one of the iconic works of Hervé Robbe's artistic career. While maintaining the discipline of choreographic and sculptural research, sharing the stage area with the audience gives produces a convivial atmosphere and turns the performance into an event. Ever since his first choreographic experiments, Hervé Robbe has concentrated on the sculptural and architectural aspect of his sets, and in so doing he reveals his ability to work between volumes and dance. When in 1993 he was invited to devise a choreographic work in collaboration with a plastic artist, Hervé Robbe approached Richard Deacon, one of the most interesting representatives of 1980s English sculpture. The dialogue between the two designers was established right away, thanks to the sculptor's desire to move closer to dance. Richard Deacon and Hervé Robbe give the body an obsessive pre-eminence, in particular regarding the value of “toil”. These two personalities felt the need to express their emotions through crafted and considered objects. The involvement of the body in the act and in the space is fundamental to the work. For this reason Richard Deacon considers himself to be an artisan. Moreover, his sculptures often originate from a polymorphic representation of the body, while the materials used have a much sought-after tactile quality. With their organic forms, they invite the body to curl up in or around them, a property that weaves an intimacy with the dancer's body.
If toil happens by means of physical hardship, the latter alternates with relaxation. This involves the body at rest, but can equally involve it in a festive activity, synonymous with using energy (like at a ball, for example…). Hervé Robbe and Richard Deacon were tempted to play on this slipping between work and play.
To construct the work, Hervé Robbe did not establish a fixed scenario, preferring to choose a few terms which still show through in the finalised work:
WORK – PLAY – BLUE – BLUE WORK OVERALL
They also decided to break with a frontal presentation. The designers seem to be searching for a non-traditional stage area. Hervé Robbe and Richard Deacon ask this question: does the position in space of the spectator (receptor) facing an object influence the (emotional) impact of the artwork?
The issues tackled by this revival are the re-exploration of the possibilities of this staging method, the recreation after several years of a new dance for this piece, at a time these interactive experiments between audience and artwork are the subject of much debate.
Source : Centre Chorégraphique National du Havre Haute-Normandie
Born in Lille in 1961. After studying architecture for a few years, Hervé Robbe set his sights on dance. He was principally trained at Mudra, Maurice Béjart's school in Brussels. He began his performing career dancing the neo-classical repertoire, then went on to work with various modern dance makers.
In 1987 he founded his company: le Marietta secret.
The course of his career is clearly founded on a constant renewal of his choreographic writing. Supported by loyal artistic collaborators, his work has become increasingly sophisticated over the years, associating the dance presence with visual, sound and technological worlds. His projects, polysemic works, take many forms: frontal performance, ambulatory shows and installations.
The place of the audience, its presence and view is decisive; the stage space is regularly called into question.
His arrival at the CCN (National choreographic Centre) of Le Havre Haute-Normandie offered more opportunities for his research.
In 1999 he composed his autobiographical solo Polaroïd. Within it, video images of places associated with his childhood appear and coexist with an uninterrupted physical display.
In 2000 he explored the theme of home with Permis de construire – Avis de Démolition, a diptych consisting of an installation and a performance. He went on to tackle the theme of the garden in 2002 with Des Horizons Perdus.
In a world constructed with screens – virtual containers for the body, evokers of death – in the duet REW he engaged in a dialogue between man and woman on the theme of suicide. In 2004, with the group piece Mutating Score, he returned to the idea of the performance area being a common space occupied by both audience and dancers. This installation-dance, while reaffirming this conviction about the force of movement, marks the culmination of a project on the use of new technologies, which are integrated into the show in real time.
In 2006 he designed the installation So long as baby...love and songs will be, a kind of manifesto of the preoccupations which underlie his work. The device is a containing structure in which the audience is invited to watch and listen to the dancer-singers present on screen. Hervé Robbe distanced himself from the stage with this, then returned to it in the works Là, on y danse in 2007 and Next days in 2010.
While maintaining his personal approach in his own productions, he regularly accepts commissions from the Opéra de Lyon, the Gulbenkian Ballet, the CNSMDP (Paris Conservatoire) and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
Source: Centre Chorégraphique National du Havre Haute-Normandie
Artistic direction / Conception : Hervé Robbe, Richard Deacon
Choreography : Hervé Robbe
Interpretation : Yoshifumi Wako, Edmond Russo, Shlomi Tuizer, Virginie Mirbeau, Romain Cappello, Christina Clark, Emeline Calvez
Set design : Richard Deacon (sculptures)
Original music : Groupe LFO – Eric Sleichim / Blindman Quartet
Lights : Yves Godin
Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Coproduction La Ferme du Buisson – Centre d'Art et de Culture de Marne-La-Vallée, le Conseil Général de Seine et Marne, le Théâtre National de la Danse et de l'Image (Châteauvallon), la Biennale Nationale de Danse du Val de Marne, la Région Nord-Pas de Calais, la Marietta Secret.
The BNP Paribas Foundation
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