Contraindre

"Dancers should be more concerned with the bodies they are rather than the bodies they have. They should find a way of communicating the journey of their concentration beneath the skin and in the surrounding space". In Contraindre, Myriam Gourfink allocates particular spaces in her stage device to the audience, echoing those of the dancers, evolving within two set apart, abstract spheres. The audience experiences the dancers' kinetic experiment to the music of Kasper T. Toeplitz which sculpts the space like a dividing wall into a new state of being. It focuses the eyes of the audience on this hypnotic, sensitive and spellbinding "intramuscular" dance.

Choreografie/Chorégraphie/Choreography : Myriam Gourfink

Dans/Danse/Dance : Carole Garriga, Cindy Van Acker

Compositie, live electronica en spatialisatie/Composition, electroniques live et spatialisation/live electronics et spatialisation: Kasper T. Toeplitz
Videoprogrammatie, licht/Programmation vidéo, lumières/Video programming, lighting : Silvère Sayag
Receptoren/Capteurs/Probes : Thierry Cauduys (La Kitchen)

Kostuums & rekwisieten/Costumes & accessoires/Costumes & props : KOVA

Assistent informatica/Assistant informatique/I.T. assistent: Laurent Pottier
Thérémins: Laurent Dailleau
Coproductie/Coproduction : Association LOL, Centre National de la Danse, Les Spectacles Vivants-Centre Pompidou (Paris), La Halle aux Grains - scène nationale de Blois, Drac Ile-de-France/Ministère de la Culture et de la communication/DMDTS, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts.

Création musicale dans le cadre d'une Commande de l'Etat - Dicream, aide à la création - Ministère de la culture et de la communication.

La Compagnie Myriam Gourfink werd door de stad Parijs uitgenodigd in residentie in/ a été accueillie par la Ville de Paris en résidence de création à/has been invited by the City of Paris to be in residence at 'la Cité internationale des arts'.

Presentatie/Présentation/Presentation : KVS/de bottelarij, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

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I envisage each choreography as an opportunity to invite the performers to be present, aware of their postures and depths.

The composition consists of conceiving and researching flexible and organic structures that allow space, time, the subject matter and the music to be modified or generated in real time with the aim of making every performance of the same spectacle unique.

So the performers have to confront the unexpected element of a situation they have not yet experienced. They cannot act out a role; what is sought is their ability to understand what is happening and to respond to it instantly.

The score proposes or imposes, and everything is conceived in a relative way, ranging from the very precise to the suggested. The processes used for writing down the actions all have the same aim: that of engendering the unforeseen and outlining, not determining, gestures, space and time. I am therefore playing with an ambiguous description of situations.

I can define a succession of situations that are either very close in time - when the gestures moving from one to another are precise - or distant in time - which multiplies the possible paths of movements connecting them.

I point out that different actions are strictly simultaneous or, on the other hand, I let it to be understood that they are almost simultaneous, that their order of succession is organic, organised as the dancer wishes. Or I even envisage the dancer's trajectory as a path with situations following on and deduced from one other, but I do not describe what they are: the information on the score acts as an operator, a catalyst, transforming the subject matter. The pretext of the composition is change itself.

This choreographic score gives substance to the performer's variations. These variations are able not only to interfere with the musical score, but develop another writing nurtured by the very movement of the dance being created, from the here and now.

The position of the performers who are reading the score finds itself modified: they read, discover and dance something completely different there and then, but in a composed and structured field. On the other hand their performance is of the utmost importance for it engenders what is going to follow.

The difficulty lies in them having to find a way of displaying the choreographic score and transforming the signs that make up the meta-language of the above score, while respecting each dancer's inner tempo.

To create a future piece based on this principle, we (Myriam Gourfink, Silvère Sayag and Kasper T. Toeplitz) began a research project with four main aims:

first, the invention of a choreographic meta-language whose signs are capable of expressing intentions of varying degrees of precision and admitting unknown ones [...]. This language must enable not only the situation of the arrival of a movement (the goal to be attained) to be indicated, but also the range or angular journey of a movement. On the other hand in order to translate a vision of dance which is my own, it will be necessary to find a way of signifying the journey of concentration in the body and in the surrounding space. Finally the symbols used have to transform themselves according to the needs of the choreographic environment, without however becoming illegible, for these symbols intended for video support will be read instantly.

The second focus of this work is defining the image of this languageand programming a syntax (defining the rules, groups of possibilities, an order of succession etc.) which enables its transformation.

Thirdly, it is about developing a system for capturing and bearing witness to what the performer has experienced. The sense I use most when composing is the sense of touch, which is why I never use video as a tool. A filmed body says nothing to me. For me, dance has to be experienced within the bodies' depths, what is shown has no importance. As I see it, a dancer should be more concerned with the body he is than the body he has, for dance is without form, it is beyond the contours of the body, it is just there, held, like a line between two points. The use of symbolic representation certainly owes its origins to this feeling. To analyse the dance being created, I eliminated the idea of capturing it visually to give a physical representation of dance. I found it more logical touse sensors placed directly on the skin, sensitive to the electricity passing in the muscles as they are being contracted. These electrical signals will therefore come to inform the virtual choreographer (the computer program generating the score) on the present state of the choreographic performance (notably in the area of time passing which will influence the unfolding of the score on screen).

Lastly it will be necessary to create an interface linking the reality of dance as perceived by the sensors and the choreographic meta-language, by defining what the dancers' different performances infer as transformations as well as their inner tempo. Our composer, Kasper T. Toeplitz, will also have to define what the choreographic variations (coming from the area of the performer and/or from that of the score) generate at the level of the musical composition and the articulation of its developments.

The outcome of this project is Contraindre, a piece for two dancers. The audience is integrated into the device of the choreographic score - spectators are not invited to move freely, but are assigned particular spaces that echo the division of the space of the choreographic score in tune with the dancers' kinesic experiment: confining them to a posture as well, making them experience it rather than be shown it.

Dancers Cindy Van Acker and Carole Garriga are set apart from one another. The space of their dance is reduced to a sphere. In this constraining space, we would like there to be an element of urgency with them, we expect them to lay something bare, reveal something. We would like this to be unleashed inside and then put back together simultaneously. Kasper T. Toeplitz's music sculpts the space, turning it into partitions, walls of a new state of being.

They - dance.

Myriam Gourfink

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