Quantum - Quintet

24.26/05>20:30, 25/05>22:00, 27/05>18:00
1H

Physics in our universe is like a huge building set where stable and unstable particles attract each other then combine, disperse, disintegrate and interact. Is dance like this too, a kind of bodily 'physics'? A moving calligraphy giving the illusion of created matter is Brice Leroux's response. After Gravitations and Quazar - trajectory pieces in which milky silhouettes slide by in endless rotations - the choreography here is for a 'piece on the spot' where the feet form an invisible and unmoving foundation. It isolates the arms' millimetrical writing from the rest, producing luminescent particles of a constantly changing building set. Like a disturbing and poetic piece of high precision quantum mechanics emerging from the black of the night.

Concept, choreography, lighting & costumes:

Brice Leroux

With:

Isabelle Celer, Wendy Cornu, Krassen Krastev, Brice Leroux, Laure Myers

Costumes:

Carole Martinière

Technique:

Philippe Baste

Production:

vzw Continuum

Direction assistant:

Jean Luc Ducourt

Executive production:

Margarita Production vzw

Coproduction:

Maison de la Culture (Bourges), Théâtre de la Ville, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

Supported by:

de Vlaamse overheid, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie

Presentation:

La Raffinerie-Charleroi/Danses, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

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The quantum vacuum is, I believe, a marvellous facet of Reality, which shows us that we do not have to stop at the "illusions" created by our own scale. The quanta, the vibrations, whether "real" or "virtual", are everywhere. The vacuum is "full" of vibrations. Potentially it contains all Reality. The entire Universe has perhaps been extracted from nothingness by a gigantic fluctuation of the vacuum.

March 2006

It could be said of Brice Leroux that he is a rigorous aesthete mastering a singular poetry of matter. It could also be said that he combines this staggering ability to suspend the audience outside time with the intuitive curiosity of a scientist fascinated by observing laws governing the universe. And it is not purely a matter of chance if the essence of his choreographic work is carved on the sharp wire of phenomena of perception. With moving and hypnotic clarity, his inspiration comes directly from the potential infinity lying in the complex science of the infinitely small, the kind devoted to examining and understanding the very first creation of the tiniest nucleus of matter like the laws of energy that set it in motion: quantum mechanics.

The result is neither dry nor difficult. Brice Leroux's stage absorbs the spectator's senses in an indescribable mystery, that of the Universe surveyed by bodies - or fragments of bodies -like pure abstractions, whose interaction is governed by extremely concrete laws, mathematical combinations which, like those of science, collide with the sudden invasion of the random. Quantum mechanics has made the principle of uncertainty its own. The choreographer integrates the subtle alliance of certainties and uncertainty: for him, a virgin and fertile territory, a source of infinite creativity.

Entering the universe of Brice Leroux is not like entering a third dimension, but a fourth or fifth one that is unsuspected from our reality. Physical science says we are prisoners today of our senses that impose on us a restricted vision of the world. The infinitely small cannot be seen by the naked eye: to study a particle it has to be illuminated and magnified using giant microscopes, accelerators of particles. These impressive detectors then reveal the imprint of their presence and their mobility, attracting and repulsing.

Brice Leroux turns the spectator into a detector, revealing it by desaturating the field of vision. To do this the artist reverses the direction of the current, reduces its speed, decompresses time. The global device of perception that he implements is more like a "decelerator" of particles. In his approach, light comes first. It reveals magnetic fluctuations in the darkness - symbolic or metaphysical. We could compare the expert work carried out by Brice Leroux on the level of perception, moving from one consciousness to another: shifting towards the pure beauty through which he certainly delights our senses outside the tangible usual state of things...

As a choreographer, his medium is the body: a body offered like a material, moved by the energy of its interaction with other bodies. A swift and virtuoso body, at opposite extremes of the spectacular. It is revealed by the light just as it is inflected by the choreographic composition. Brice Leroux is a composer in the soul, his physical writing emits a profound musicality, just as people talk of the dance of particles or the music of spheres... At the KunstenFESTIVALdesArts in 2004, he presented Gravitations and Quasar . These were trajectory pieces where the body conveyed the step, where the choreographer focused the audience's eyes and ears on a calm night where initially all that emerged was the crunching sound of an astonishingly regular step. The half-light enabled silhouettes to be seen in strange rotation, appearing to generate their own milky light. Inflected with tiny variations, the dance engulfed the senses in a hypnotic and cosmic ritual in which the stars were bodies.

His new piece establishes a link with his first choreographic works including Continuum after which his company is named. Brice Leroux is returning to what he calls a "piece on the spot". This does not mean it is a static piece. Far from it. Simply that it is no longer the whole body conveying the movement. Pinned to the floor, the dancers are no longer mobile except where their forearms are concerned, two together and with the others. Five dancers in a line, ten forearms to calligraph and the fixed choice of eighteen different positions of which the choreographer explores the potentiality of infinite interacting combinations. Only the light makes these ten rectilinear segments visible: floating freely, they pierce the abyssal darkness with their luminescence. A focal length on the detail, the line, the rhythm. Each arm is part of the system, says Brice Leroux, an elementary particle in a microscopic building set, stable and unstable. The game of composition modifies the system's state thanks to the interdependent action of each combination. A tiny cause, a perceptible effect ... Chaos theory likes to embellish this principle by claiming that the wingbeat of a butterfly in the Amazon rainforest can unleash a storm over Chicago...

"The Universe's processes of order and organisation are constituted in and by chaos", says the French sociologist and philosopher Edgar Morin. "And chaos is exactly that which is inseparable in the two-sided phenomenon by which the Universe disintegrates and organises itself at the same time, dispersing and polynucleating..." And in echo Brice Leroux replies: I am working on the illusion of created matter, I am exploring a mechanics of compositional precision responding to mathematical laws of probability. This new creation comes from a mobile calligraphy, a geometry of space. I manipulate the durations, the rhythms of execution, the gradual degrees of change. Once the mechanics gets going, it no longer seems able to stop itself... Perpetuum continuum...

It makes me think of a dance of chromosomes , continues Jean Luc Ducourt, artistic assistant on Brice's latest creation, perhaps because the audience gets the feeling they are entering an immobile body and that the segment of the arm can summon up a genetic code. But the work attracts attention at the same time with a powerful visual musicality. To start with there is an apparently discordant chaos that could be a chaos of even sounds cohabiting in the disorder. Gradually these "sounds" are magnetised according to their musical colour and a selection of their combinations made: in music it is called harmony... Everything then becomes more contracted as increasingly the selection is done selectively and the combinations, repeating themselves, are reduced.

At work is a principle of slowing down and refinement. On stage, but also unconsciously in what the audience sees, in the chemistry between what can be seen and a lavish and undefined chaos of which the audience initially perceives only a dissonant union before their minds start arranging the similarities and points of contact, the chain reaction ... Phenomena of persistence in the memory... The choreography works on this transformation of course, it outlines a path that moves from the physical and perceptible reality of the dancer generating the movement - incredibly involved - to the depth of the detail in his dance, hereafter pure visual abstraction. A focal length that first brings into view the person doing it before becoming blurred by gradually zooming in on the smallest visible element, the geometric purity of forms. In photography, the progressive zooming ends up entering the grain, making the image disappear in favour of an abstraction of colour. When does the perception stop? Is it a reverse path towards the apparent original void? Or a metaphor of our own extinction...

A metaphor, certainly. But open, gaping, free and mysterious, following the example of this universe of which we are only a tiny part of the immense material: a stitch, a flaw, a resource...

Claire Diez

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Born in France in 1974, Brice Leroux studied ballet and contemporary dance at the 'Conservatoire National Supérieur' in Lyon. In 1992 he finished his studies with a first prize and presented his First solo at the Paris International Competition of Dance, where he won the first prize as best contemporary dancer and the gold medal of the City of Paris. He was invited to show his solo at the Opéra-Comique in Paris and at the Bulgarian Varna Festival.

Also in 1992 he received a grant from The American Dance Festival in North Carolina to study for a few months and show his work there. In 1993 he finished his training in New York, at the Trisha Brown studio and the Cunningham studio.

1994-1996

In 1994 he comes to Brussels to dance with Rosas. He is seen in performances such as Amor constante, más allá de la muerte, Toccata, Kinok and Verklärte Nacht. After three years he leaves the company to concentrate on his own work, to study musicology and ethnomusicology at the university Paris 8 and to conduct research on ethnical dances.

1997

  • starts to work with David Hernandez: (The essence of its going…, several improvisations and body installations)

1998

  • presents Volubilis, duo at the Centre d’Art Contemporain de pavillion-sous-Bois in Paris;
  • invited by the Kanagwa Arts Foundation in Yokohama/Japan for the creation of Sequenza, a duet with George Alexander Van Dam, violinist of the Ictus Ensemble
  • creates vzw Continuum in Brussels
  • premiers Continuum, solo et duos sur place at Klapstuk
  • instructor for the Performance Education Programme
  • creates Arms and Steps for six students of the PEP; both works are presented at Klapstuk and the Off à la campagne festival in Semur-en-Auxois (F), where he creates two installations in the open air: in a river and on a high bridge
  • after residences at Klapstuk and Dans in Kortrijk, he presents the final version of Continuum at the Klapstuk Festival
  • starts working with several artists (Sarah Chase, Jean Luc Ducourt, David Hernandez,…) with whom he does collective improvisation sessions (improvisations within a marked out frame)
  • after residences at Szene Salzburg and Klapstuk, Brice Leroux premiers Gravitations-duo with David Hernandez, with original music by Thierry De Mey, at the Sommer Szene Festival
  • outdoor installation Ghosts of the castle at the Armunia festival in Castiglioncello (I)
  • creates Gravitations-quatuor at the dans@tack festival in Kortrijk, followed by an extensive tour in Belgium and abroad.

1999

  • creates vzw Continuum in Brussels
  • premiers Continuum, solo et duos sur place at Klapstuk
  • instructor for the Performance Education Programme
  • creates Arms and Steps for six students of the PEP; both works are presented at Klapstuk and the Off à la campagne festival in Semur-en-Auxois (F), where he creates two installations in the open air: in a river and on a high bridge
  • after residences at Klapstuk and Dans in Kortrijk, he presents the final version of Continuum at the Klapstuk Festival
  • starts working with several artists (Sarah Chase, Jean Luc Ducourt, David Hernandez,…) with whom he does collective improvisation sessions (improvisations within a marked out frame)
  • after residences at Szene Salzburg and Klapstuk, Brice Leroux premiers Gravitations-duo with David Hernandez, with original music by Thierry De Mey, at the Sommer Szene Festival
  • outdoor installation Ghosts of the castle at the Armunia festival in Castiglioncello (I)
  • creates Gravitations-quatuor at the dans@tack festival in Kortrijk, followed by an extensive tour in Belgium and abroad.

2000

  • after residences at Szene Salzburg and Klapstuk, Brice Leroux premiers Gravitations-duo with David Hernandez, with original music by Thierry De Mey, at the Sommer Szene Festival
  • outdoor installation Ghosts of the castle at the Armunia festival in Castiglioncello (I)
  • creates Gravitations-quatuor at the dans@tack festival in Kortrijk, followed by an extensive tour in Belgium and abroad.

2002

  • creates Gravitations-quatuor at the dans@tack festival in Kortrijk, followed by an extensive tour in Belgium and abroad.
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