Heroes is first an affirmation, the conviction that each of us is possibly the true hero of his or her own life, sometimes masked, often only available on a part-time basis. Walter Benjamin said that the modern 20th century hero is in fact the ordinary man, the everyday guy who continues to be heroic in spite of constant changes in his life, some too subtle to be immediately visible.
I am interested in finding that place in each of us which is heroic, that helps us stand, that helps us stand up to things. This concept is a difficult one for the current generation which has somehow de-politicised itself, cut out the idea of a hero, out of cynicism, diffidence, even a powerful indifference.
I often use the word "commitment" in rehearsal, asking for commitment in the voice, in their lives, in their bodies, and to the community.
I wanted to hear those amazing speeches, the words which would literally inspire others to move. To counter the seriousness of this process, we also backtracked into our childhoods where the giant, heroic figures we remember retain their magic and power. My own pleasure and conviction brought me to rockn'roll music which seems right for this work, the utopic force of it carrying us forward.
Onstage, a marine mountain (or perhaps a wall?) is there to accompany us, a souvenir of the epic adventures of the past - and those to come. I wanted to hear us shouting joyfully, calling out to as well as refusing to give in to whatever it is that wants us to submit, to join, to support or to accept something that is not right. Heroes is a way to say YES.
Source : Mùa website : http://emmanuellehuynh.fr/index.php/en/creations/101-heroes-en
Born in 1963, Emmanuelle Huynh studied both philosophy and dance. Having performed with Nathalie Collantes, Hervé Robbe, Odile Duboc, Catherine Contour and the Quatuor Knust, in 1994 she was awarded a prestigious Villa Médicis hors-les-murs grant to go to Vietnam, and upon her return she created her first piece, a solo, Múa, with the lighting designer Yves Godin and the composer Kasper T. Toeplitz. The creation of Múa was the first step in her ongoing creative collaborations with artists from different fields.
She continued her choreographic work with projects in which she encountered practicians from many different disciplines: the astrophysicist Thierry Foglizzo explaining his research on black holes onstage with six dancers in Distribution en cours (Casting to be announced) in 2000, as well as many plasticians: Erik Dietman for the performance piece Le modèle modèle, modèle; Frédéric Lormeau for Vasque fontaine/partition Nord; Fabien Lerat for Visite guidée/vos questions sont des actes; Nicolas Floc’h for Bord, tentative pour corps, textes et tables in 2001; Numéro in2002; La Feuille in 2005; Jocelyn Cottencin for Cribles in 2009.
She created several pieces based on literary works: Bord, tentative pour corps, textes et tables, a choreographic project based on texts by Christophe Tarkos, and A Vida Enorme/épisode 1, a duo based on texts by the Portuguese poet Herberto Helder (2003).
Emmanuelle Huynh creates choreographic vocabulary which is constantly changing, specific to each project. In Heroes (2005). a piece for seven dancers and a musician, she placed onstage heroic figures from our childhood; Le Grand Dehors (The Great Outdoors), a tale for today, created in 2007, is related to the “lost dances,” those phrases we give up, leave behind in the choreographic creative process, which evoke a certain state of affairs, of the time.
In 2009, Emmanuelle Huynh began an atypical collaboration with the ikebana master Seiho Okudaira in Shinbaï, le vol de l’âme (Shinbai, the stolen soul), in which ikebana – the Japanese art of flower arranging – and dance respond to each other, resulting in the creation and performance of a rikka (bouquet).
Her interest in Japan and Japanese artists had already brought her to choreograph the duo Futago (twin in Japanese) in 1998, under the auspices of The Monster Project, a dialogue of choreographic language created in Kyoto with the Japanese choreographer Kosei Sakamoto, based on the theme of the monster. Spiel, a duo with the Japanese performance artist Akira Kasai, was the first stage of work at the Festival Extra in Bonlieu in April 2011, then at the Morishita Studio in Tokyo.
In 2009, the creation of her piece Cribles at the Festival Montpellier Danse introduced a new relationship with music in the choreographer’s creative process: the score of the piece Persephassa (1969) by Iannis Xenakis became the principal protagonist of the work, with its 11 dancers. The version of the work called Cribles/live in 2010, with the musicians of the Percussions Rhizome, brought an even deeper appreciation of this relationship between the dancers and the musicians sharing the same space: the musicians were spaced around and outside the audience, according to Xenakis’ instructions.
Emmanuelle Huynh has developed over the past fifteen years her pedagogical work, targeting arts schools and training programmes for dancers, in the form of workshops and teaching at these schools, among others the ex.e.r.ce programme at the Centre Chorégraphique National of Montpellier. She has organised several work sessions involving artists from different fields: Hourvari, laboratoire instantané at the Centre Pompidou in 2001, Edelweiss at the CCN of Montpellier in 2003, and Ligne d’arrivée during a residency of her company at the Domaine départemental of Chamarande in 2004. As a collaborator for the magazine Nouvelles de Danse, she organised a series of interviews over many years with the American choreographer Trisha Brown, published in 2012 by the Editions Les Presses du réel, Trisha Brown/ Emmanuelle Huynh.
Emmanuelle Huynh also does performance work in museums. In July of 2004, she was the Artistic Director of the Festival Istanbul Danse, a cooperative project between Turkish and French artists involving touring, pedagogy and arts discussions. She rewrote the pedagogic plan for the École supérieure of the CNDC in Angers when she was appointed its director in 2004, where she also created the Essais training programme, now a master’s degree programme in dance, creation and performance, in partnership with the Université Paris 8 Saint-Denis and the Beaux- Arts School of Angers (Esba-talm). She mentored emerging artists, notably in the Schools Festival, a bi-annual international conference for dance schools.
From 2004 to 2012 Emmanuelle Huynh was the Director of the Centre national de danse contemporaine in Angers (CNDC), where she implemented her project for this national choreographic center which is also an institution of higher learning focused exclusively on contemporary dance. The two programs of the school were offered to young choreographic artists, performers (the FAC program) as well as young creators (the Essais program). The artistic mission of the CNDC consisted then of five different axes: creation, artists residencies, programming the dance season at the Quai, a forum for performing arts in Angers, the École supérieure of contemporary dance, and educational, community and audience outreach.
In 2013, Emmanuelle Huynh reactivated her Compagnie Mùa, continuing her creation and pedagogical work as well as international and transdisciplinary projects.
In October 2014 she created TÔZAI!... piece for 6 performers (whose her) at Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse.
At the same time, based on an invitation from the French Embassy in New York, Emmanuelle Huynh began a two year project, New-York(s), with Jocelyn Cottencin, consisting of film portraits and performance pieces which will create a portrait of the city of New York through its architecture, its spaces and its residents. The installation will be created at the Passerelle Centre d’Art in Brest in February 2016 and the performance which will launch the installation will be during the Festival Danzfabrik/ Le Quartz in March 2016.
Part of the preparation of New York(s) is a long term collaboration with the Japanese choreographer Eiko Otake, who emigrated to the USA 40 years ago – whom Emmanuelle met in 2013. This collaboration includes several public presentations (Brussels in May 2015, New York in June 2015 and February 2016, Berkeley in April 2016…).
Emmanuelle Huynh is also preparing a creation based on Formation, the autobiographical book by Pierre Guyotat.
Since 2014, she has been an associate assistant Master at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture in Nantes.
Source : website of the company Múa : http://emmanuellehuynh.fr/index.php/fr/biographies
CNDC - Angers
The National Center for Contemporary Dance - CNDC - was created in 1978 at the initiative of the Ministry of Culture and the City of Angers. It followed the B.T.C. Ballet contemporary theater directed by Françoise Adret and Jacques-Albert Cartier, transferred to Nancy. Designed as a school of choreographers and the headquarters of a permanent company, it is run by Alwin Nikolais for three years.
When Viola Farber succeeded him in 1981, the school specialized in the training of dancers. Viola Farber forms a new company and inaugurates a teacher training program.
In April 1984, the management of the CNDC was entrusted to Michel Reilhac. The center still trains dancers and teachers. It no longer has a permanent company but serves as a production platform through residences. Large companies of international renown (in residence for two to three months) and younger companies (in the context of the "Summer Quarters") are then present. This is how Merce Cunningham and his company inaugurate the large Bodinier studio and that successive personalities such as Régine Chopinot, Maguy Marin, Odile Duboc, Dominique Bagouet, Mathilde Monnier and Jean-François Duroure, Edward Lock, Hervé Robbe, Philippe Decouflé, Catherine Diverrès and Bernardo Montet, Daniel Larrieu, Trisha Brown, Wim Vandekeybus ...
In April 1988 the new director, Nadia Croquet, continues to develop a policy to support creation, with a more specific openness to Europe. In January 1993, Joëlle Bouvier and Régis Obadia were named artistic directors of the CNDC, then labeled CNDC l'Esquisse.
The CNDC, which became a national choreographic center (CCN) in the 1990s, reinforces its mission as a choreographic center through the production of shows and its role as artistic advisor while continuing the training. At the same time, from 1986 to 2006, he worked with the New Theater of Angers, a national drama center, to offer a program of choreographic performances, thus increasing the audience and the readability of the dance to the public by multiplying the glances on the creation contemporary.
In February 2004, the CNDC is under the direction of the choreographer Emmanuelle Huynh, it intends to perpetuate the tradition of experimental contemporary dance and offer a school in connection with the dynamics of contemporary creation. From 2011, the CNDC School has two major courses, one leads to the National Diploma of Professional Dancer (DNSPD) and the license, the second prepares for a master.
Robert Swinston, who was appointed artistic director of the CNDC in 2012 by the Board of Directors, takes office in January 2013. Create and encourage creativity, develop the legacy of Merce Cunningham, program shows in various aesthetics, train artists autonomous, versatile and of a high level as well as fostering the emergence of new talents, this is the purpose of his project for the CNDC. Communicating to the public the foundations of a creative approach, raising awareness among young people and making the CNDC shine at the local, national and international levels are Robert Swinston's objectives for the CNDC.
The directors of the CNDC since its creation:
Alwin Nikolais (from September 1978 to July 1981)
Viola Farber (from September 1981 to July 1983)
Michel Reilhac (from March 1984 to December 1987)
Nadia Croquet (March 1988 to December 1991)
Joëlle Bouvier and Régis Obadia (from January 1993 to June 2003)
Emmanuelle Huynh (from February 2004 to December 2012)
Robert Swinston since January 2013
Choreography : Emmanuelle Huynh
Choreography assistance : Célia Houdart, Pascal Quéneau
Interpretation : Nuno Bizarro, François Chaignaud, Corinne Garcia, Clémence Galliard, Ana Sofia Gonçalves, Johanna Korthals, Ayse Orhon
Artistic consultancy / Dramaturgy : Jean-Paul Quéinnec
Set design : Nicolas Floc’h
Additionnal music : Petit Vodo
Lights : Yves Godin, Nicolas Diaz
Costumes : Cécile Feichenfeldt, Mariam Rasch (assistant costumes)
Settings : Christian Frapeau, Vincent Bridonneau
Technical direction : François Le Maguer
Sound : Alain Cherouvrier
Other collaborations : Frédérique Wolf-Michaux (travail des voix)
Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Centre national de danse contemporaine (Angers), Centre national de la danse (Pantin), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris)