Myriam Gourfink, Amas: a (very) slow-motion meditation

The power of the extremely slow: this is the bet Myriam Gourfink has made and upon which her whole artistic research is based. The choreographer uses yoga breathing techniques to explore the limits of the human body in motion whilst observing the greatest benevolence towards it. This subtle balance enables her performers and herself to go into extreme postures of utmost difficulty and hold them.

Myriam Gourfink, Amas, live sketching
Myriam Gourfink, Amas, live sketching

The picture is demanding- for both the public and the dancers, and graphic. Amas, litterally «cluster» is the juxtaposition of eight bodies evolving on all fours within individual invisible ovoid bubbles. As usual, unclassifiable yet unmistakable composer Kasper T. Toeplitz orchestrates the progression of seismic waves from his computer.

Myriam Gourfink, illustration © Araso
Myriam Gourfink, illustration © Araso

This unbelievably slow-moving ballet is somehow unsettling. What is this impossible speed, too slow for the naked eye, to fast to be sketched? What is the message carried by this deserted landscape, those spotless costumes on this bare stage?

 

The answer lays somewhere in this one-hour long experience that can only exists in each viewer’s eyes, and nowhere else.

 

Myriam Gourfink, Amas, live sketching
Myriam Gourfink, Amas, live sketching

Illustrations © Araso


Myriam Gourfink opened the Faits d’Hiver festival on Thursday January 12th 2017 at the Théâtre de Gennevilliers with Amas, her latest creation playing until January 19 2017.

The festival goes on until February the 9th.


Maniacs au Mouffetard - illustration by Araso

Maniacs: inside the world of love dolls

It is not so often that one comes across love dolls in a theatre play. With Maniacs, Amsterdam-based Ulrike Quade Company dives into the heart of a topic as essential as it is controversial.

Phi Nguyen is made of flesh and bones. While naked on stage, he engages in a courtship dance with Renée, his silicon doll. The public walks into the scenery to some backroom music. Some feel uneasy, other feel excited, some are  stuck somewhere in the middle.

Upon entering the room, members of the audience are given a red cardboard pouch, similar to those used in schools. It contains selfies of Phi and Renée, letters from the actor to his partner and a photo story by brilliant Benita Marcussen portraying some ambassadors of the very discreet dolls collectors’ community. The quality of the materials provided is noticeable.

Maniacs, illustration by Araso
Maniacs, illustration by Araso

More than a show, Maniacs is an outstanding research piece. The play in itself is certainly awkward at times, but the issue is extremely well addressed and delved into. Essential matters are dealt with, such as loneliness, the otherness, the notions of consent and reciprocity.


Maniacs, by Ulrike Quade Company was shown at the Théâtre Mouffetard in Paris from November 29th  to December 3rd  2016.


COCHLEA, Illustration © Araso

COCHLEA, the art of breath listening

Sitting on the benches of the Ménagerie de Verre like small children in Kindergarten, the audience is awaiting Maguelone Vidal for a very first anatomy lesson. A saxophone player with a tomboy look dressed as an air mechanics, Maguelone is domesticating the mechanics of the ear, the body and the breath. She has the most remarkable way.

Maguelone Vidal circulates spheres of wood for the public to touch and listen to, their colchea pressed onto the object. She teaches us how breath lives inside of it like a membrane. Then she goes on to charm record-players as if in hope some imaginary snakes might raise. Light works create a beaming expressionist painting in shades of blue, red, white, yellow, all vibrating.

The conductor used to be a physician before she was a sax player. Amongst the purists she developed a solid technique only to invent a new kind of writing. The breath is a beating heart; the words are whispered on glass walls. The poetic, the sensitive and the mystical are at home in this realm.

COCHLEA, Illustration © Araso
COCHLEA, Illustration © Araso

Performance seen within the Inaccoutumés festival at the Ménagerie de Verre.
COCHLEA, Une histoire intime du souffle à nos oreilles, Maguelone Vidal, November 15th and 16th 2016, 8.30 pm

Conception, composition, dramaturgy, interpretation: Maguelone Vidal
Direction / dramaturgy: Eva Vallejo
Body direction: I-Fang Lin
Sound engineering: Emmanuel Duchemin
Light engineering: Laïs Foulc
Stage setting: Samuel Aden


Coproud: César Vayssié and Olivia Grandville like in a movie

Knock down the walls. Let the sky in. Dance in the rain.

César Vayssié is a video artist. He pieces his movies together like music videos, subliminal images on psychedelic sounds. With Coproud, he creates a movie set for dancer Olivia Grandville for for an unconventional pas de deux. They both arrive on the venue on board a saloon spitting out loud music and gasoline vapor.

She shows him her dance and he follows. The back of the theatre opens up on the night and the rain of Paris. It’s a movie in the movie. The original soundtrack of which is People Are People by Depeche Mode « I can’t understand/ What makes a man/ Hate another man/ Help me understand » and Obama’s speech and the words « Yes, we can » like a make-believe that all of this might still just be a bad dream.

Breathlessly singing « help me understand », César Vayssié dives to the ground as if to collect shattered pieces of hope. Olivia Grandville mimics him, stretching her body on his back, their bodies as one.

They don’t speak the same tongue yet together they are invincible.

Coproud, Illustration © Araso
Coproud, Illustration © Araso

Performance seen at the Ménagerie de Verre in Paris upon the opening of the Inaccoutumés festival
From Novembre 8th to December 3rd 2016.
Beforehand, seen in October inside the Cour Carrée of the Louvre museum during the FIAC.


Katerina Andreou in «A Kind of Fierce», illustration © Araso

Katerina Andreou, the punk poet

In dark tights and yellow sweater, Katerina Andreou flies onto the stage like a small bee. White neon lights and a microphone hanging upside down from the ceiling frame the black cube for her 45 minutes performance where silence and Eric Yvelin’s experimental music take turns.

The dance is angular, that of a dislocated doll, each limb living their own life. Watching Katerina drawing jolting lines across the stage, one immediately thinks of Marie Chouinard’s war ballets. The acrobatic figures, arched legs on distended ankles are a trademark of the Peeping Toms’.

Striking pauses like a degenerate kind of Lolita, almost clownish as she speaks in the microphone with her hair and scalp. Leaping up from the floor, she picks up a pair of drum sticks and waves them around like a clumsy majorette.

Her phrases have a beatnik rhythm. Is she Patti Smith’s secret daughter? Her messy hair and impassive look, her crazy energy feel disturbingly familiar. So does the heavy mix of cheeky poetry, trooper language and electric guitar.

Hallef***lujah.

Katerina Andreou in «A Kind of Fierce», illustration © Araso
Katerina Andreou in «A Kind of Fierce», illustration © Araso

Katerina Andreou danced A Kind of Fierce on November 4th and 5th at the CDC Atelier de Paris.

With this 2016 creation she took part in the [8:tension] section of ImpulzTanz Festival – Vienna International Dance Festival last summer and was awarded the Prix Jardin d’Europe, the European prize for emerging Choreography.


GK Collective, Proust. Illustration Araso

Drama over the telephone, anyone?

What if theatre was just a phone call away?

Proust, a show by GK Collective, questions our relationship to manipulation, to obedience, and our passion for this smart connected thing that literally rules our lives.

Through an SMS written like a SPAM, we’re invited to a meeting where we have to go alone, one hand to the heart. On D-day, here we are standing on the spot, scrutinizing each and every passer-by, wondering where, how and when the show will happen.

A young woman comes close to us. She’s loud on the telephone. At first we don’t even notice her, she seems to have popped out of nowhere. Then we figure: this is it.

In the next few minutes, we will be the guinea pig in a telephone test. We will go to a meeting in a nearby café, sitting down with strangers, loosing ourselves in a synecdoque scenario.

We will play a role that’s been written for us, becoming the heroes of our own film. And when it’s over, we will find ourselves played like fools, feeling manipulated and not understanding what happened.

And what’s worse: we’ve enjoyed it.

Image © Araso

Proust, by GK Collective
For one, 45 minutes per session.

Festival de Chalon dans la Rue
Every year in July, in Chalon-sur-Saône, Burgundy, Festival a transnational festival dedicated to street artists.