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Italian choreographer Emio Greco and Dutch director Pieter C. Scholten are internationally recognised as representatives of 'the new choreography'. They made their début in the 1990s, creating innovative dance performances that stood out for the critical look they take at jaded conventions of dance and their candid search for a language for the body.
In their work, Greco and Scholten are looking for the singular interaction between mind and body, exploring the space where they intersect, where time becomes elusive. Greco and Scholten confront the body with external influences and also blur the boundaries between dance and different theatrical disciplines.
In their new piece, Rimasto Orfano (Abandoned Orphan), the body is taken to a point of silence, compelled to a state of contemplation. Accompanied by compositions from the American contemporary composer Michael Gordon, this quest for new strength will be nourished by vulnerability, compassion and obsession.
Emio Greco|Pieter C. Scholten
Set design, sound & light :
Emio Greco|Pieter C. Scholten
Emio Greco, Bertha Bermudez Pascual, Barbara Meneses Guiterrez, Guilherme Monteiro Miotto, Alexander Sieber en anderen
Lighting design :
Costume design :
Realisation sound collage:
Ingrid van Schijndel
Emilio van der Cammen
Emilio van der Cammen
Emio Greco, PC/ Stichting Zwaanprodukties
Kaaitheater, Holland Festival, Théâtre de la Ville, Oriente Occidente, Rovereto, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts
het Nederlands Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten, Dutch Ministry of OC&WBack to top
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 en 7.
The text you are about to read is divided into seven parts, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. It is neither the beginning of a counting rhyme, nor the number of deadly sins. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 refers to the seven necessities of duo Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten (Emio GrecoýPC). This ‘dogma’ – the headings of which are, as you will see, written in French “becauseil faut que (it is necessary that) is a stronger expression in French” – is their attempt to conceptualise dance. In this Manifesto, written during their first production Bianco (1996), Emio GrecoýPC express ideas and opinions on their art, as well as on the social and cultural context of the times, in the form of necessities. All their choreographies have their roots in this Manifesto, even if, as time goes on, the necessities have taken on different emphases.
This meeting with the creators took place on 16 November 2001, well before the creation of Rimasto Orfano (Left an Orphan).
1. Il faut que je vous dise que mon corps est curieux de tout et moi: je suis mon corps. (It is necessary for me to tell you that my body is curious about everything and I am my body.)
Pieter C. Scholten:
It’s not easy talking about a future project, because at the moment we’re still trying to understand the last one. We work a bit like scientists, first doing research and discovering things, then commenting on them and drawing our own conclusions. All we know before we start rehearsals is that the new creation is an echo of the one before. Let’s just say we begin a new work ‘full of emptiness’. So Rimasto Orfano is the continuation, extension, deepening and enriching of Conjunto di Nero. We feel that counterpoint work, linked to the presence of other dancers, is still at an outline stage. We feel we have to refine articulations in the composition. We know that inner necessity is what drives us.”
In other words, there is a fascinating tabula rasa at the beginning of each creation.
“It’s been like that ever since our first production Bianco. Before beginning rehearsals, there’s no subject, no book, no source of inspiration other than Emio Greco’s body.
“We go where the body takes us.”
: “From the outset, all the elements of performance – stage design, sound, lighting – are there to support, contradict, provoke, compel and evolve with the body in a state of creation.”
However, the music in Rimasto Orfano will be more autonomous.
“Like in Extra Dry (1999) with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Double Points: 1&2 (1999) with Ravel’s Bolero, we didn’t really do anything to the scores. What we had to do was reveal what can’t be seen if we stay outside the music.”
“We’re beginning with pieces by Michael Gordon, a contemporary American composer. This encounter constitutes the first stage. After that, he’ll write music in collaboration with the dancers’ work and the creative process.”
2. Il faut que je vous dise que je ne suis pas seul
(It is necessary for me to tell you that I am not alone.)
“Our messages are clear.”
“But not on a moral level. There’s no ‘moral of the story’ because there is no story. We are offering a view of the world and sharing it makes sense.
“I like what Joan Mirò says: Everything you see in my paintings exists. Everything proceeds from what is visible. I’m more and more preoccupied with the object, if only as a starting point. There’s nothing abstract about my paintings. Our messages are not explicit. The aesthetic is not about the order of beauty for beauty’s sake, it’s a matter of choice.”
3. Il faut que je vous dise que je peux contrôler mon corps et en même temps jouer avec lui
(I have to tell you that I can control my body and play with it at the same time.)
“Rimasto Orfano is a work about the body’s vulnerability and the strength of vulnerability.”
Originally, Emio² PC wanted to use Christ’s Passion and, more precisely, the Stations of the Cross, but quickly realised that they were heading in the wrong direction. This was not the case with themes the narrative contained however.
“Because there’s strength in vulnerability, we can see objective beauty in a suffering body.”
“Whether it’s a story or mathematics, performing per se doesn’t interest us. What’s important to us is the will to go forward. It requires a particular frame of mind in a body to seek to cross boundaries and head towards unexplored continents.”
4. Il faut que je vous dise que mon corps m’échappe
(It is necessary for me to tell you that my body is escaping.)
On the trilogyFra Cervello e Movimento (Between Brain and Movement), composed of the solosBianco (1996), Rosso (1997) and Extra Dry (1999):
In their trilogy, Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten explore the tension between mind and body, brain and muscles. At one extreme there is the perfectly controlling mind, subjecting the body to the will of the dancer, the triumph of skill, discipline and order that manifests itself in a euphoric mastering of breathtaking pirouettes and arabesques. At the other extreme, there is the body’s resistance to obeying the mind and the will, a body that follows its own desire and madness, erupting spasmodic disorder, in spontaneous tics and jerks, as grotesque as they are banal.
Antoon van den Braembussche,inIt’s life Jim but not as we know it, 2001
5. Il faut que je vous dise que je peux multiplier mon corps
(It is necessary for me to tell you that I can multiply my body.)
Double Points: 1&2 (1999) was about confronting the different aspects of duality, discord and the utopia of synchrony: light and dark, noise and music. In Conjunto di Nero, there were five dancers confronting space, sound, light and dark. By extension, and echoing this, there will be five in Rimasto Orfano
“That gives us more possibilities, but doesn’t mean that we are looking to compose. We don’t want a structure. It’s always about one lone body, multiplied in this case. We can also dislocate images, shattering and then remaking them. We are looking to talk about solitude (rimasto orfano – Abandoned Orphan – solitude) by experimenting with duality through the existence of five individuals.”
6. Il faut que je vous dise qu’il faut que vous tourniez la tête
(It is necessary for me to tell you that you have to turn your head.)
“I’m running away from my own limits. I want to understand where these limits come from, then destroy them and enjoy discovering infinite possibilities. Once done, we are free to return to ourselves, bringing back things from the past. For it is the future that accepts the past. We don’t mind dancers wearing ballet shoes. We owe it to ourselves to see beyond this classical tradition, so we tackle the academic perspective head on. Classical elements, for example dancer’s shoes, can be identified in the performance without them being used as such.”
7. Il faut que je vous dise que je vous abandonne et que je vous laisse ma statue
(It is necessary for me to tell you that I am leaving you and I am giving you my statue.)
“In reality, Bianco, our first production, was an expression of seven ways of reflecting on the body. The performance was a presentation of our opinions on the body. We often come back to these seven necessities, but with time they have taken on different emphases.
”In their Manifesto (1996), the choreographers have communicated the essence of their research. Six years later, thoughts and words around dance remain a way of stimulating creation. Extremalism, their embryonic project, is the outcome of their six years’ research – contracting the extreme and the minimal, maximising the extreme and positioned somewhere between the profane and the sacred.Back to top