Created in 2001 following a commission initiated by the Culturgest of Lisbon, San (Lointain) represents a tribute to Oskar Schlemmer, a painter but also a dancer, sculptor, choreographer and theatre artist. Building on this prolific, multidisciplinary point of focus, Catherine Diverrès proposes powerful contemplation on externality and initiates an experience here that is radically different from those undertaken in her other works, which focused more so on inner states.
When it was created, San (Lointain), performed by three male dancers, was regularly presented as the second part of a male/female diptych introduced by Voltes, which focused exclusively on female performers.
In San (Lointain), the recurring presence of a white rectangle on the stage, insofar as it is to be perceived as a reference to a work of art, appears to propose a framework here for the dance. As such, this framework induces an extremely intense tie-in with the pictoriality of the moving bodies and poetizes the constant use of gestural geometrics. A game comes progressively into play with the various levels of perception offered to the spectator, as a result of the almost manic use of the dancing bodies moving away from and towards the objects comprised in the stage design. The impression of near and far can, as such, create perceptive confusion, and lead to a vertiginous gain of emptiness. Hence, the aim of the work appears to be utterly predestined to what we are able to believe, to feel, to think almost as if in a work of art.
The use of a looping-electro soundtrack, conjuring up a mechanization of the elements, and even their industrialization, heightens the perceptive upheaval. In fact, the sounds used distance de facto the possibility of organic perception, and guide the gaze towards focusing on a mathematization of the space. As a result, as regards San (Lointain), we can evoke the intention of a chiasmatic intertwining of the senses – in line with the phenomenology of perception initiated by Merleau-Ponty then developed by Michel Bernard  –, where sound material interacts with pictorial elements.
“It is the first time that I have ever accepted a commission and the perilous exercise of paying tribute, bearing in mind, however, that the work to come will not be an exercise of course but a creation. […] Oskar Schlemmer’s mechanical abstraction of bodies, so far from the organic and lyric abstraction that guides my work encourages me not to consider this creation from the point of view of Schlemmer’s work, but rather from a view closer to the man, his intimacy, his psychology”. 
The work was transmitted to the Ballet of the Opera of Lyon in 2011.
 Michel Bernard, “Sens et fiction” in De la création chorégraphique, published by Centre national de la danse, 2001
 Catherine Diverrès about San (Lointain)
“All the images in San ring a bell. The weightless swimmer drifting in mid-water, the welder igniting a hellish fire, or the final scene with the three boys pelting each other with handfuls of rice. We have rarely seen a performance as understated, as condensed, as inspired as this superbly danced tribute”.
René Sirvin, Le Figaro, 26 July 2002
“By focusing on the painter’s gesture, Catherine Diverrès creates a dazzling geometric composition where the bodies, volumes floating in space, evoke a world of weightlessness. Spiral dancing where the movement is an exultation”.
Irène Filiberti, handbill for San (Lointain), 2002
Updating: February 2014