Là commence le ciel
“Danse la Ville” is the theme of the 2006 Biennial. Julie Desprairies was invited to create a work for it and chose the Gratte-ciel district in Villeurbanne, famous for its innovative and social character. This 1930s complex, with its extraordinary visual coherence, was the laboratory of a city centre that grouped political (town hall), symbolic (theatre) and communal (homes, shops, schools, swimming pool) functions. The designers were at that time convinced that the innovative aspect of urban planning determined social relationships and that the maximum amount of comfort must be available to the lowest-income households. Based on these humanist ideas, Julie Desprairies met local shopkeepers, residents, schoolchildren, elected representatives and employees and invited them to write together a choreographic score relating to its special architecture. The subtle artwork of the complex, the stained glass windows of a stairwell, the rhythm of a frontage, the ironwork of a front door, the collective terraces, the curious interior corridors: all these elements nurtured the choreographic research and composition work.
The extract broadcasted shows Elise Ladoué, a dancer in the Compagnie des Prairies, dancing in unison, from the entrance door of the city hall, with six residents placed at the top of the towers. The staging of the bodies is dictated by the urban setting, that majestic perspective of apartment blocks rolling down opposite the city hall steps. Gestures as signals transmitted at a distance of 500 metres, the choreography is taken from a dance, unearthed from the city archives, written by a primary schoolteacher for her pupils during the Fêtes de la Jeunesse Villeurbannaises (Villeurbanne Youth Festival) in 1966.
Source : Julie Desprairies
Following theatre and visual arts studies, she created her first production in 1998 in stone quarries of Pont-du-Gard. The site’s materials, usages and specificities are at the origin of her work. She asserts her contextual approach by applying it to a number of modern and contemporary architectures. Her choreographies are written and presented in the buildings, whose spatial, historical and human characteristics guide her dramaturgical, plastic and choreographic choices. She advocates applied dance (like “applied art”), where the body serves as a tool to measure the spaces built. Her aim is to give visibility to the movement of places.
Her love of the gestures taken from the places she occupies has led to her interest in working gestures. She frequently associates with her creations the people she has met in these places (140 inhabitants and tradespeople from the Gratte-ciel in Villeurbanne, 192 amateurs and employees from the Opéra de Lyon). While her performances take place in public places, she develops adaptable projects, based on landscapes and agriculture or on the theme of the funfair.
She has set up an “Atelier de création radiophonique”, a programme for the radio station France Culture and produced three films: Autour du parc at La Villeneuve in Grenoble with Louise Narboni, Cinq points de vue autorisés on Les Courtillières, with Vladimir Léon and L’Architecte de Saint-Gaudens, with Serge Bozon. She has mounted a number of projects overseas, inviting native dancers, and has written Manuel d’entraînement régulier du danseur urbain and Danser l’architecture (2017).
Source : Cie Despraires
Vladimir Léon (born 1969 in Moscow) is a director, actor and producer. He danced in "Mods", a film by Serge Bozon, directed by Julie Desprairies and co-directed a short film entitled "Cinq points de vue autorisés sur les Courtilllières » (Five Authorized Viewpoints on Les Courtilllières), as part of the City's Dance Inventory Of Pantin (France) imagined the choreographer. He is the producer of the « L’Architecte de Saint-Gaudens" (The Architect of Saint-Gardens), a film by Julie Desprairies directed by Serge Bozon, completed in 2015. He also directed "Far from the front", "Nissim dit Max", "Le Brahmane du Komintern" (The Brahmin « Les Anges de Port Bou" (the Angels of Port Bou).
He took over most of the creations of Compagnie des Prairies and co-signed with Julie Desprairies the "Petit vocabulaire danse / architecture" (2005) and the "Petit vocabulaire dansé du Center Pompidou-Metz" (2011).
Source : Compagnie des prairies 's website
More information : compagniedesprairies.com
Là commence le ciel
Choreography : Julie Desprairies
Interpretation : Elise Ladoué, Nedjma Merahi, Arnold Pasquier, Olivier Renouf et 140 danseurs et musiciens de l'agglomération lyonnaise
Artistic consultancy / Dramaturgy : Véronique Boige
Costumes : Juliette Barbier
Other collaborations : Historienne de l'architecture : Anne-Sophie Clémençon