2004 - Director : Solides
Choreographer(s) : Diverrès, Catherine (France)
Present in collection(s): Centre national de la danse
Video producer : Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne
Integral video available at CND de Pantin
“Solides (à propos des fondamentaux de la danse contemporaine)”, is a proposal made by Catherine Diverrès, halfway between a performance and a conference, imagined for 8 dancers and premiered in November 2004 at the Mettre en scène Festival, organized by the Théâtre national de Bretagne et de Rennes (TNBR).
As per what is suggested by its subtitle, this work strives to decrypt contemporary dance through the elements that characterize it through a series of twelve thematic scenes: time, space, forms, dynamic, random, weight, free dance, objects, ma, minimalism, expressionism, happening. Linked to the words of leading choreographers, these parameters are illustrated, one after the other, through movement and space.
Catherine Diverrès presents her intentions in notes from 2003: “The idea is for this proposal to be collective research work, shaped by a perspective and punctuated with the words of a few leading choreographers who marked the breakaways, the developments, in this human and aesthetic adventure known as contemporary dance. What is contemporary dance, no, what are the events that make up the physical, spatial, gestural foundation of this language; perhaps a form that is pedagogical, but above all poetic, far from the performance because structured by the exacting nature of the subject. A trip as such, real through time, a passage like in any creation, however small it may be”. (C. Diverrès, TNB programme for “Solides”, from 13 to 16 December 2005). A small pedagogical booklet written by the critic Gérard Mayen accompanies this show.
Beyond the educational exercise, Catherine Diverrès asks: “What is still relevant and active today in choreographic production of creations that have ever such different aesthetics?” For this choreographer who positioned herself totally against the American trend of the 1980s by going to follow the teachings of Kazuo Ohno in Japan, “Solides” is also an assessment of the avant-gardes: “Solides is a digression in this warrior-like journey. The choreographer takes a break to question the fundamentals that have structured contemporary dance. What is left of a century of breaking away from classical ballet? What is still relevant, irreversible?”
Intended to “get as close as possible to the public”, as the choreographer says, the scenic set-up in “Solides”, imagined by Laurent Peduzzi, is light and entertaining: a stage trimmed with a blackboard on which the dancers write in chalk the keys that they progressively provide, which follows a cumulative logic.
“Solides” was widely performed from its creation in 2004 until 2007. Adapted in German, Italian and Spanish, its universal reach was affirmed and confirmed the European direction that the CCNRB had already initiated with “San” and “Cantieri”.
In 2014, the work was reproduced by a smaller, 7-dancer team, with only Kathleen Reynolds remaining from the original cast. A variation, “Petits solides”, designed as a hands-on workshop around the fundamentals of contemporary dance, proposed to children and to families, accompanies this reprise.
Claire Delcroix, March 2016
Catherine Diverrès has said, “Conscience, our relationship with others, this is what creates time”, ever since her first choreographic creation. She is a sort of strange meteor, appearing in the landscape of contemporary dance in the mid-80’s. She stood out almost immediately in her rejection of the tenets of post-modern American dance and the classically-based vocabularies trending at that time. She trained at the Mudra School in Brussels under the direction of Maurice Béjart, and studied the techniques of José Limón, Merce Cunningham and Alwin Nikolais before joining the company of Dominique Bagouet in Montpellier, then deciding to set out on her own choreographic journey.
Her first work was an iconic duo, Instance, with Bernardo Montet, based upon a study trip she took to Japan in 1983, during which she worked with one of the great masters of butoh, Kazuo Ohno. This marked the beginning of the Studio DM. Ten years later she was appointed director of the National Choreographic Center in Rennes, which she directed until 2008.
Over the years, Catherine Diverrès has created over thirty pieces, created her own dance language, an extreme and powerful dance, resonating with the great changes in life, entering into dialogues with the poets: Rilke, Pasolini and Holderlin, reflecting alongside the philosophers Wladimir Jankelevich and Jean-Luc Nancy, focusing also on the transmission of movement and repertoire in Echos, Stances and Solides and destabilising her own dancing with the help of the plastician Anish Kapoor in L’ombre du ciel.
Beginning in 2000, she began adapting her own style of dance by conceiving other structures for her creations: she improvised with the music in Blowin, developed projects based on experiences abroad, in Sicily for Cantieri, and with Spanish artists in La maison du sourd. Exploring the quality of stage presence, gravity, hallucinated images, suspensions, falls and flight — the choreographer began using her own dance as a means of revealing, revelation, unmasking, for example in Encor, in which movements and historical periods are presented. Diverrès works with the body to explore the important social and aesthetic changes of today, or to examine memory, the way she did in her recent solo in homage to Kazuo Ohno, O Sensei.
And now the cycle is repeating, opening on a new period of creation with the founding of Diverrès’ new company, Association d’Octobre, and the implantation of the company in the city of Vannes in Brittany. Continuing on her chosen path of creation and transmission, the choreographer and her dancers have taken on a legendary figure, Penthesilea, the queen of the Amazons, in Penthésilée(s). In returning to group and collective work, this new work is indeed another step forward in the choreographer’s continuing artistic journey.
Source: Irène Filiberti, website of the company Catherine Diverrès
More information: compagnie-catherine-diverres.com
Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne
Choreography : Catherine Diverrès
Interpretation : Fabrice Dasse, Julien Fouché, Sung-Im Kweon, Filipe Lourenço, Marta Izquierdo Munoz, Kathleen Reynolds
Set design : Laurent Peduzzi
Lights : Catherine Diverrès assistée d'Eric Corlay
Costumes : Cidalia da Costa
Sound : Denis Gambiez
Duration : 70 minutes
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