The last two pieces the company has created form a kind of diptych in which the driving force of the movement comes from the emotional states that the current state of the world gives us. Although the context – widespread crises and existential concerns – is similar in both pieces, the spirit, dramaturgy and material that emerge are extremely contrasting. In How to Proceed (2018): anger, agitation, force, even violence, permanent change but also humour, diversity of forms and looks and entertainment offer an active presence in interaction with the audience. The scenography is constantly and deliberately transformed. In If Only (2020): resignation, monotony, lethargy, sadness infuse a constantly low level of energy, without evolution, in a state of marked seriousness, of “absent” presence and without any address to the audience. Short sequences of small, scattered movements emerge from the immobility. The scenography is arranged by the dancers almost involuntarily, in spite of themselves.
For the new creation, we will leave aside the tormented state of the world and delve into the physical relationship between life and earth. Driven perhaps by the need to remind ourselves that we are part of nature. It is a more concrete approach where matter will emerge directly from our bodies confronted with external forces and space. An abstract dramaturgy will unfold, closer to musical composition than to theatrical narration.
Life and all living things seem to be an anomaly, an ingenious coordination between matter and energy that was originally much less orderly. They go against entropy, the loss of order and concentration and the tendency to chaos, which is the absolutely inevitable fate of all physical systems. This phenomenon, called negentropy, is fascinating: it is a kind of cohesive force, like a physical translation of information, a clever diversion of energy. It can only be transitory but that does not make it any less mysterious. One of its effects is that every organism is distinguished by the ability to lift itself up against gravity, a feat that no inanimate matter could accomplish (if we ignore phenomena such as volcanic or solar eruptions for example). Movement is an inherent part of life. It is different from the movement that could be produced by, for example, the force of gravity itself. However, any movement of our body is played out in relation to gravity (at least on the earth or on the moon) and necessarily involves tension and release in various proportions and coordinations. This fluctuation between tension and relaxation, the complexity of the simultaneous and dynamic presence of these antagonisms in our body, as well as the alternation between resistance and surrender to gravity, will be the starting points, the focus and the creative field of this new project. The movement of the human body as raw material contains in its essence the resistance to the most destructive and implacable forces of the universe. Life needs very specific and improbable conditions in order to be born and to survive. A kind of ode to life, to the earth and its fragile atmosphere.
Concept & direction Thomas Hauert
Research & creation Fabian Barba, Thomas Hauert, Liz Kinoshita, Sarah Ludi, Federica Porello, Samantha Van Wissen
Performed by 4 dancers of the company
Music Ornella Vanoni, Lucio Dalla, Gino Paoli – Senza Fine / Eric Thielemans, Bart Celis – Drumloops / Jean C. Roché – Anthologie de chants d’oiseaux, Alpes du sud, vers 1000m / Krzysztof Penderecki – Polymorphia (Excerpt) / Jonny Greenwood – 48 Responses to Polymorphia / Marvin Gaye – Mercy mercy me (Ecology)
Light Bert Van Dijck
Sound Bart Celis
Costume Chevalier-Masson, Sami Tillouche
Production costume Isabelle Airaud, Eric Chevalier
Production ZOO/Thomas Hauert, DC&J Creation
Coproduction Théâtre les Tanneurs (BE) / Mercat de Les Flors (ES) / Pavillon ADC (CH) / Atelier de Paris / CDCN (FR) / Charleroi Danse, Centre Chorégraphique de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (BE), ICI – centre chorégraphique national de Montpellier/Occitanie – direction Christian Rizzo, Montpellier (FR) / Residenzzentrum tanz+, Baden (CH)
Studio Tictac art centre, Ultima Vez, Grand Studio, Studio Thor, Charleroi Danse
Support Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles – Service de la danse / Pro Helvetia – Fondation suisse pour les arts / Ein Kulturengagement des Lotterie-Fonds des Kantons Solothurn and the tax-shelter of the belgian federal government