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Tempo 76

mathilde monnier

World premiere montpellier danse festival 07
dance yoann demichelis, herman diephuis, julien gallée-ferré, jung-ae kim, natacha kouznetsova, maud le pladec, i-fang lin, éric martin, rachid sayet


For this new work, I would like to draw on a conspicuous form in the history of dance and music: the unison.

Choreographic unison, which is still widespread, elicits a sense offascination. It is used even nowadays to create spectacular endings toall kinds of events, military or paramilitary, processions, parades aswell as carnivals, classical ballet, operetta and opera, musicalrevues, chorus lines (majorettes, cheerleaders). I remember how in the80s, during the contemporary dance explosion in France, it was arelatively taboo form among the dance community, but could neverthelessbe used to produce spectacular effects at the end of a show. It wasdying out and disappearing as a glorious form, and giving way todeconstruction and reorganization of space.

Classical dance, through the “corps de ballet” continues to exploit theunison for a very specific aim: to highlight one of the stars orsoloists by deploying a spectacular and representative array. Hollywooddance in the 50s also used this supernumerary technique to create acloning effect. The showgirls all look alike, same measurements, andpurport to epitomize the canon(s) of beauty back then (water balletscenes by Busby Berkeley, Esther Williams etc…).

In this project, I would like to explore the unison from a standpointthat is both critical and jubilatory. The notion of unison will notjust be considered as a self-contained dance mode; it will be developedas part of a spatial geography, a space to be constructed or destroyed(individuals united in a common space), where the subject interrelateswith its environment, where space is in unison with gestures. This willunleash a set of questions and relationships that are at work betweensubject and environment. Is our connection with the environment amirage, an ongoing illusion?

The dancer, somewhat swallowed by the surrounding space, will play onthis ambivalence, embodying distinctiveness or else an element that ispart of the whole, an ensemble that constitutes him.
The choreography will be shaped around a production of gestures, fromthe tiny all the way to the gigantic. Unisons within unisons, as aform, will be explored through constant reconfiguration comparable to amusic score, generating its own poetical mechanics.

The idea underlying this project is to reinterpret an outmodedaesthetic form in order to question it, to pull it out of its originalcontext, and to draw it into a meaningful adventure. As choreographicdesign, it will be within reach of all without any hierarchy, since itis has deviated and departed from its spectacular goal.

To emphasize the unison of gestures and motions, there will be a sortof live commentary, like a joyful counterpoint that will either clarifyan action in progress (magnifying effect) or else set up a shift intime (dissociation effect). The soundtrack might even bear resemblanceto a surveillance device that positions the subject within a context, alocation, an environment, that can be either hostile orfriendly.  

The music by Hungarian composer Ligeti will by and large be treated ina lighthearted manner. Music and stage design will make up a poeticalensemble, and I wish to link this to a world of mock naturalism, areconstructed garden landscape, an artificial staging of controllednature.

We are clumsily out of tune with the world's unison. We try to clutchat the rhythm of a world that surpasses us, through differing,shifting, framing, idiorrhythmia and arrhythmia. We try to adaptourselves to an increasingly hostile and fast environment, its meaningever harder to grasp and discern. The point is to bear witness, tocompel action out of matter, to search for possible entryways.

a show by mathilde monnier
scenography annie tolleter
music ligeti
sound realization olivier renouf
light design éric wurtz
costume design dominique fabrègue assisted by laurence alquier
artistic advice herman diephuis
dance notation enora rivière
dance performance yoann demichelis / herman diephuis / julien gallée-ferré / jung-ae kim / natacha kouznetsova / maud le pladec / i-fang lin / éric martin / rachid sayet

production festival montpellier danse 07 / théâtre de la ville - paris / festival d'automne - paris / culturgest - lisbonne / steirischer herbst - graz / la halle aux grains -  scène nationale de blois / centre chorégraphique de montpellier languedoc-roussillon
acknowledgment au théâtre des 13 vents - centre national dramatique de montpellier languedoc-roussillon

duration of the show 62'

film director valérie urréa
editing of video clip vidéo karim zeriahen


updating january, 19th, 2011

Monnier, Mathilde

Mathilde Monnier holds a reference position in the French and international contemporary dance landscape. Her creations continuously defy expectations thanks to constant renewal. Her nomination as director of the Centre Chorégraphique de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon in 1994 has initiated a series of collaborations with people coming from different artistic domains. From artist Beverly Semmes to philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy from film director Claire Denis, Mathilde Monnier has always pushed the boundaries of a work she sees as an experience above all. Musical creation holds an important position with very varied collaborations within the fields of popular as well as scholarly music - jazz musician Louis Sclavis, composers David Moss and Heiner Goebbels, virtuoso platinist eriKm. More recently, she has used PJ Harvey's rock music but also the pink pop settings 2008 vallée, the show she co-created with singer Philippe Katerine. It came to a glorious end in the Main Courtyard at the 2008 Avignon festival. Fascinated by the concept of unison, she created the pastoral Tempo 76 show at the Montpellier Danse 07 festival on Gyôrgy Ligeti's music. In february 2008 she was commissionned by the Berlin Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by Simon Rattle to choreograph Heiner Goebbels opera, Surrogate Cities. More than 130 amateurs went on stage to take part to an opera dealing with the city and the power struggle within. The same year, she presented the burlesque duet Gustavia in which she appeared along with spanish performance artist La Ribot at the Montpellier Danse 08 festival. In 2009, she created Pavlova 3'23'', in reference to the classical ballet The Death of The Swan. In 2010, working in close collaboration with visual artist Dominique Figarella, Mathilde Monnier created the show Soapéra, and subsequently paid homage to Merce Cunningham by way of the show Un américain à paris. In 2011, together with choreographer Loïc Touzé and writer Tanguy Viel, Mathilde Monnier created Nos images, a work focusing on film. Together with Jean-François Duroure, she restaged Pudique acide / Extasis at the Festival Montpellier Danse 11, two duos that the choreographers created in 1984 and 1985.

Source : Mathilde Monnier 

En savoir plus : 

Urréa, Valérie

Back in 1987, after having completed her studies at the Ecole nationale supérieure Louis-Lumière, Valérie Urréa began asserting her passion for visual and performing arts. Documentaries, live recordings, fictions, from 'Bruit Blanc' to 'L’Homme qui Danse', all of Valerie Urréa’s films, which are principally coproduced by ARTE, explore highly-sensitive themes such as autism, masculinity and issues concerning race, through artistic visions. Her multiple award-winning films are regularly presented in international festivals. She was guest-artist twice for the Commission Image Mouvement de la Délégation des Arts Plastiques (Image/Movement Commission of the French Visual Arts Delegation). At the same time, she was a teacher for several years at the École Supérieure des Arts Visuels (ESAV - Higher Institute for Visual Arts) in Marrakech, specializing in the relationships between images and performing arts. 

Source : Valérie Urréa 

Tempo 76

Artistic direction / Conception : Mathilde Monnier

Choreography : Mathilde Monnier

Interpretation : Yoann Demichelis, Herman Diephuis, Julien Gallée-Ferré, Jung-ae Kim, Natacha Kouznetsova, Maud Le Pladec, I-fang Lin, Éric Martin, Rachid Sayet

Artistic consultancy / Dramaturgy : Herman Diephuis

Set design : Annie Tolleter

Lights : Éric Wurtz

Costumes : Dominique Fabrègue, assistée de Laurence Alquier

Sound : Olivier Renouf

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : production festival montpellier danse 07 / théâtre de la ville - paris / festival d'automne - paris / culturgest - lisbonne / steirischer herbst - graz / la halle aux grains - scène nationale de blois / centre chorégraphique de montpellier languedoc-roussillon remerciements au théâtre des 13 vents - centre national dramatique de montpellier languedoc-roussillon

Production / Coproduction of the video work : ccnmlr

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