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Brice Leroux, formerly a dancer with Rosas, is developing a body of work at opposite extremes of the spectacular. He is bringing his new piece, Quantum, to the Festival. It follows on from his earlier Gravitations, in which the choreographer focuses eyes and ears on a totally still night. At first all that can be heard is the crunching of very regular walking. In the half-light silhouettes rotate strangely, appearing to generate their own milky glow. Modified by minute variations, Gravitations sinks us into a hypnotic and cosmic ritual where stars are bodies. Quantum-quintette (working title) follows on, once more absorbing meanings in a precise writing, looming from the depths of the night.
Concept, choreografie, licht & kostuums/Conception, chorégraphie, lumières & costumes/Concept, choreography, lighting & costumes : Brice Leroux
Met/Avec/With : Zoë Knights, Dolores Hulan, Wendy Cornu, Aleksandra Janeva
Zakelijke leiding/Administratrice/Administrator: Ilse Vandesande
Productie/Production : vzw Continuum
Coproductie/Coproduction : Théâtre National de Bretagne (Rennes), CCNRB de Rennes(in het kader van een / dans le cadre d'un / in the context of an 'acceuil studio'), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), KunstenFESTIVALdesArts
Met steun van/Avec le soutien de/Supported by: Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Armunia (Castiglioncello)
Choreografie, geluid, licht & kostuum/Chorégraphie, son, lumières & costumes/Choreography, sound, lighting & costumes :Brice Leroux
Met/Avec/With : Dolores Hulan, Zoë Knights, Wendy Cornu, Aleksandra Janeva.
Realisatie geluid/Réalisation son/Sound Realisation : Alexandre Fostier
Technische realisatie/Réalisation technique/Technical Realisation : Jan Van Gijsel
Realisatie kostuums/Réalisation costumes/Costumes Realisation : Lies Van Assche, Germana Tack
Zakelijke leiding/Administratrice/Administrator: Ilse Vandesande
Productie/Production : Continuum vzw
Coproductie/Coproduction : Dans in Kortrijk, Stuk (Leuven), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), KunstenFESTIVALdesArts
Met steun van/Avec le soutien de/Supported by: Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap, APAP (gesticht door/fondé par/founded by E.U.), CCN de Franche-Comte à Belfort, Centre National de la Danse à Paris & VGC
Met dank aan/Remerciements à/Thanks to : Jean-Luc Ducourt
Presentatie/Présentation/Presentation: Théâtre Les Tanneurs, KunstenFESTIVALdesArtsBack to top
Rennes, March 2004
In the studios of the Centre Chorégraphique National de Bretagne,
Brice Leroux is rehearsing his new creation. Raymond Paulet talks to him about it.
R.P. – This is a very singular work that you’ve been developing over a number of years. What are its origins, what was its genesis?
It’s hard to pinpoint an exact moment when there would have been something of the order of a revelation. What I’ve been interested in for a long time is showing the components of movement by reducing or magnifying different parameters. In the work on trajectories, it’s almost about materialising space, revealing a space that moves and turns. Reducing the component of movement to a path, and trying to free it from anything that can get in the way of perceiving the forces at work. Gravity, speed, centripetal force… It’s almost about trying to show these rather invisible forces and the illusions they generate.
R.P. – How does this new piece expand on or differ from Gravitations?
It has the same basis of circular trajectories, still with four people. The experience of Gravitations is there in the complexity and virtuosity it demonstrates. This is the starting point and even greater levels of physical complexity, writing and composition have been sought. I think the result will be very different, yet at the same time will be like a kind of continuation.
R.P. – Some people might get the feeling that the dancers in your work disappear as people into something that seems to be disembodied and dehumanised.
You could indeed get the impression of machines not leaving any room for the human being. But I work on this paradox and I think that you really can see something fundamentally human in it, dramaturgical or poetical dimensions that I’m wary of defining or expressing. People can read it in their own way.As for the performers, you can also have the feeling that they’re like machines to want to execute these perfect little mechanics, or you can see in it a work on awareness of their limits, extending and refining their perceptions and possibilities, day after day. In any case these little mechanics are conceived according to what’s possible, evolving at the same time as the acquisition of the capabilities to execute them. I was a performer in my pieces too up to this point, and even if I won’t be on stage this time, I would never ask a performer to do something I didn’t have the experience or ability to do myself. This experience defines the writing.
R.P – Another paradox: your pieces are based on a process that produces both something identical and something metamorphosed. Is this a key element of what you offer and what you’re looking for?
First there is the fact that I’m looking to reduce the parameters. To follow the evolution of what he sees, the spectator is almost required to “zoom in”. If he stays in the distance, what he sees can seem very static, a kind of repetition. If he takes a closer look at it, he realises there is very little repetition and that there is a constant evolution, a gradual transformation of things. And then there is his own perception which is gradually transformed and brings about a metamorphosis.
R.P. –Light also has a part to play …
Light is heavily involved in attenuating or accentuating certain parameters. I’m trying to work so that all the components go in the same direction, with no light having just an aesthetical function or adding nothing. It evolves in parallel with the process of creation and, when all’s said and done, participates fully in the experiment.
Diary of a Creation
As part of a course of study with the philosopher and dance specialist Laurence Louppe, Isabelle Celer followed the work of Brice Leroux and his performers on this new creation. Here are some excerpts from her “diary”, written daily between 24 February and 2 March.
First impressions: the principle of walking is at work again in this creation. But it’s not just about moving forwards, it can also be concentrated on a sidewards or backwards movement… Even so, a big change from Gravitations: the bodies turn on themselves with the consequence that the body is endlessly changing sides. It gives the impression of a body that’s taking its different sides with it.
I learn that the outline the performers are following on the ground, which in Gravitations was an unchanging point of reference, would become fluid here.
What already seemed to be pushing back the limits in Gravitations, both for the dancer in his score and for the spectator in his perception, would still be at work in this new piece but in the sense of even greater complexity.
I’m wondering about the status of the body in this use of geometry. I see that wanting to give the body over too much to the perfection of geometric forms would risk making it lose its humanity, yet at the same time I remain quite firmly convinced that something essentially human is at play here. Moreover in his work evoking American minimalist sculpture, Ce que nous voyons, ce qui nous regarde, George Didi-Huberman talks about these “sculptures far too geometrical not to conceal like human entrails”.…
The performers’ paths become entangled, creating an infinite number of intersections. Each time, there’s the astonishment that it passes, like experiencing dizziness briefly. I’m struck by the unchangeable nature of the upper body and the speed of the lower portion. It’s all formidably precise, yet seems obvious, easy, natural…
Doing and redoing to make the thing even more fluid, with the least little collision… It draws and re-draws circles. The “same” returns. Then this “same” starts to change, but in such a gradual way that you don’t see it coming. Imperceptibly the distances between the bodies evolve, increasing or reducing. And thus a whole series of combinations is produced as time goes by.
I’d seen it before, but I’m increasingly aware of the extreme virtuosity of this dance… Within the framework of a much reduced vocabulary, it demands a true work of expertise in the management of the redistribution of weight throughout the entire body and specifically in the pressure of the feet on the floor.
Seeing these figures repeating before me, I no longer see the bodies, I just see what’s between them: “transient permanence”. It seems that the bodies fade away to the benefit of the forces at work becoming visible…
The impression of suspended bodies, barely touching the floor, is striking… You could almost believe that they’re floating… You get the impression that what moves the bodies doesn’t come from a usual mode of locomotion, as if an exterior force of theirs made the bodies glide…
The steps, the rustlings and the flapping of the clothes in the movement render the relationship with the air and the displacement of air masses caused by the bodies in movement even more palpable. It appears to me that an entire poetics around the subject of “air” is at play in this work …Back to top