Matières I

  • Site-specific work − 2003
  • Contemporary dance
  • Project for two dancers
  • Place: Grande Poudrière (Great Powder-store), Port-Louis

“ La Grande Poudrière is an old military building in a surrounding wall, storage space for the king of France’s gun powder around 1650. The stone edifice had its scarce openings filled in long ago. It is divided in the height by beams and in the width by wood pillars, all this forming a kind of mezzanine. It’s a cold and wet place with walls crumbling away when you lean on them.

I imagined a working place, which I adapted to aesthetics reminiscent of a US garage in the 30’s. I was inspired by the Cohen brothers’ world in their film O’Brothers. A male background a little absurd and off its trolley, turning on itself, both playful and pathetic.
As the piece went on, the two dancers who moved on the framework, on the ground, the walls had them crumble making the room more resonant. Their feet scraped the ground in this closed space, sculpted by the beams and the woodwork. The dance was written in two stages. First I choreographed a duo inspired by the two dancers, one coming from mime and contemporary dance, the other from capoeira. I had them relate to each other using a writing principle about contact which is based on the complementarity of the bodies.

It was a way of taking hold of their respective qualities and imposing a common language on them. Then, we adapted the duo to the place, looking for possible connections. Upon it came the writing about the place itself, that is a research on its specificity, its materials, trying to use all of its rough edges.
From this research on movement, the complementarity of the bodies, the encounter between the bodies and the place, appeared a world, a particular atmosphere.
This reminded me of Barbara’s verse:
‘Working from the places is, also in a way, letting the places speak’.
I gradually discovered what emerged little by little, slipped from the research I did not necessarily wish to be under my complete control, in a kind of balance between faire and laisser-faire.”


Choreography : Gaëlle Courtet, Eric Delpech
Performers : Eric Delpech, Grégory Espitalier

Produced by: Festival Avis de Temps Fort – Port-Louis municipality.
With the support of : Brittany Regional Council, Department of Morbihan Council, Lorient municipality.

Comments are closed.