Creation at Avignon Festival 2013

conception, choreography, scenography and costumes : christian rizzo
performance : fabien almakiewicz, yaïr barelli, massimo fusco, miguel garcia llorens, pep garrigues, kerem gelebek, filipe lourenço and roberto martínez
original music : didier ambact and king Q4
light design : caty olive
general manager : jérôme masson
sound manager : vanessa court
light manager and video : arnaud lavisse
light manager : samuel dosière
administration, production and touring : bureau cassiopée

executive producer : l’association fragile
coproduction : théâtre de la ville - paris (FR), festival d’avignon (FR), opéra de lille (FR), le centre de développement chorégraphique de toulouse - midi-pyrénées (FR), la ménagerie de verre – paris (FR), la filature, scène nationale - mulhouse (FR), l’apostrophe, scène nationale de cergy-pontoise et du val d’oise (FR), centre chorégraphique national de rillieux-la-pape / direction yuval pick (FR)
with the support : conseil régional nord-pas de calais, convention institut français + city of lille, association beaumarchais – sacd and institut français dans le cadre du fonds de production circles
with the help : le phénix, scène nationale valenciennes
residency for the rehearsals : opéra de lille (FR), centre chorégraphique national de rillieux-la-pape / direction yuval pick (FR), centre chorégraphique national roubaix nord-pas de calais (FR)
thanks to : all the team of the opéra de lille, l’opéra de lyon, le théâtre du nord, le fresnoy – studio national des arts contemporains, marie-thérèse allier, rostan chentouf, sophie laly, arthur le fol, frédéric bonnemaison, catherine tsékenis and stéphane malfettes.

“2004, Istanbul.
A few minutes before the end of a performance, out of nowhere, a group of men erupt on stage, break out into a very short folk dance, and then immediately disappear.

I am overtaken by a deep and almost archaic emotion.
Was it their dance, or the void they left after disappearing that overwhelmed me?
Though hazy, this sensation has remained anchored in me ever since.

The starting point for this new project has been this memory, or more exactly, the quest to find what this memory had left in me.

I feel no interest in recreating a pre-existing dance in its entirety. I would rather understand why I felt such empathy with this very precise moment and with this form of dance and why its impact still resonates to this day.
It is therefore more a question of retracing the steps of my memory in order to invent the basis of an abstract form of writing; one where possible fictional snippets could find an inherent place in which to lodge themselves.

Accompanied by eight dancers and two musicians, I’ve been looking for a space where movement and its relationship to music plays with the categories of ‘popular’ and ‘contemporary.’ I imagine a dance that, while taking its cues from memories of folkloric practices, would find friction with my taste for falling and touch, allowing each and everyone to stand gracefully in the presence of others, or within his/her immediate contact.

The factual and decontextualized observation of movements and systems of composition, often common over several different dances (more masculine and Mediterranean), offers me the ideal terrain to once again question the notions of community.

How is a group formed at a given moment?
Being together, for a form belonging to no determined group or territory, and thinking up a collegial dance that digs into the ground while simultaneously looking for elevation.

Since the music is an essential part of the project, I entrusted the composition (and live performance) to drummer-composers Didier Ambact and King Q4. Two drum kits, at the extreme limits of tribal rhythms and psychedelic rock, will maintain a relationship between dialogue and ‘battling’ in order to offer a zone of tension to the dance and to Caty Olive’s atmospheric lighting.”

Christian Rizzo, June 2013

“With swinging arms that wrap around a shoulder, circle dances that are formed and immediately dissolved, hand-in-hand garlands, pas de bourrée to the right and kicks to the left, the eight dancers – all men – lead us towards what eventually resembles a neo-traditional rock rave. And when the two drummers unleash their bursts of rapid-fire percussion, which grab your guts and turn them upside down, it’s in the bag. (…) It is the joy of being alive, of being together momentarily, and the visceral excitement of dancing that win the day“.
Rosita Boisseau, Le Monde July 10th 2013

« As for the dance itself, it is wise, made up of steps (meaning steps, and not concepts of steps), jumps, and jubilations. The men here hold each other by the hand in a number of ways, grab each other’s shoulders, observe one another – but never judgementally. Lines, bridges, solos too, which are important to traditional dance, are all highlighted. ( …) We are in awe. »
Marie-Christine Vernay, Libération July 10th 2013

« Little by little, the rhythm picks up speed, the steps are increasingly complex – the discreet arabesques, for instance. A feeling of enchantment starts to take over the public, and the drummers, Didier Ambact and King Q4, let loose. (…) We love this interpretation of the traditional which, now stripped down becomes fiercely modern. (…) When all is said and done, this “horde” turns out to be gentle in a way rarely seen. They take each other by the hand and dare perform pas de bourrées with the innocence of children who have grown too quickly ».
Philippe Noisette, Les Echos July 12th 2013