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May B (1981)
MAY B / First produced 1981
Choreography Maguy Marin
Dance performance Compagnie Maguy Marin
“For us, this work, based on the writings of Samuel Beckett, was the basis for a secret decoding of our most intimate, most hidden, least known gestures. In it, the movement and theatrical atmosphere are at odds with the physical performance and aesthetic of the dancer. An attempt to draw attention to those minute or grandiose gestures, those many barely-noticeable, banal lives where waiting and ‘not quite still’ stillness leaves a void, an immense nothing, a beach of silences full of hesitations. When Beckett’s characters search only for stillness, they cannot help moving, a little or a lot, but they move. In this work which is theatrical in principle, for us the interest was to develop neither words nor speeches, but gesture in its broken-down form, and in so doing, search for the meeting point between the contracted movement of theatre on the one hand and dance and choreographic language on the other.”
“Twenty-five years of existence and almost six hundred performances! May B, an iconic work of choreographer Maguy Marin, continues its progress without the slightest sign of weakening. Quite the contrary. This ballet, created in 1981, is on the way to becoming an inevitable classic.”
“There are ten of them. At times gathered together, at times spread out. With their pyjamas and clumsy gait, they look like puppets, toys of a destiny to which they appear strangers. An impression heightened by their gruntings and their floured faces. Between abstraction and repetition, Maguy Marin shows the “stillness that is not quite still”, the shattering silence, and today, nearly 30 years after its creation, this piece still arouses mixed senations in the audience. The subversive spirit of the work (dance, theatre, performance?) is there, diffuse but undeniable.”
Assistantes à la chorégraphie Cathy polo, Christiane Glik interprètes Ulises Alvarez, Preciosa Gil, Mychel Lecoq, Maguy Marin, Thierry Partaud, Caroline Picard, Ennio Sammarco, Marcelo Sepulveda, Kerrie Szuch, Adolfo Varges, Isabelle Saulle musique Franz Schubert, Gilles de Bincle, Gavin Bryars lumières Pierre Colomer costumes Louise Marin direction technique François Renard régie plateau Stephane Nee
Réalisation vidéo Luc Riolon, Charles Picq date du document vidéo 1999 production Cie Maguy Marin, Les Films Pénélope, 24 images
Durée de l'œuvre 1h24
Updating : January 2011
Not just a place to be born, this town. Toulouse. A place to settle, reached after a series of moves provoked by political unrest in Spain. So it was there that she grew up, in France, at the start of the fifties. A dancer’s dream has to be born somewhere – a desire which grew as her studies progressed: at the conservatoire in Toulouse, then at the Strasbourg Ballet and at Mudra (Brussels). A momentum already marked by encounters: the student actors of the Théâtre National de Strasbourg, Maurice Béjart, Alfons Goris and Fernand Schirren ... a future which took shape with a theatrical research group (Chandra) then Maurice Béjart’s Ballet of the Twentieth Century. New encounters, other obvious directions. Her creative work began alongside Daniel Ambash, and the Nyon and Bagnolet competitions (1978) gave a further impetus.
A team formed (there was Christiane Glik, Luna Boomfield, Mychel Lecoq...).
So, now to bring this artistic research alive. To carry this need to create through into an essential work. A work nourished by an unquenchable astonishment at how the world is made. A world that we arrange and which makes us up. In research or composition, this shock is ever present, but continually shaped over the course of encounters.
1981 - a formative encounter with the work of Samuel Beckett: being there, without having chosen to be, between that moment when one is born and when one dies. That time which we fill up with futile things to which we ascribe such importance. A distressing absurdity – (“May B”). That time which obliges us to reach a kind of understanding with numerous others, while we wait to die – (“Babel Babel” and “Eden”).
Research always approached as teamwork. With a company, a troupe reinforced by Cathy Polo, Françoise Leick, Ulises Alvarez and many others besides
1987 – a new encounter: this time with Denis Mariotte. A collaboration begins. Decisive, it goes beyond the music. Points of view begin to diverge. A distancing space opens up (“Cortex”) and spreads in a number of directions (“Waterzooï”, “Ram Dam”, “Pour ainsi dire” and “Quoi qu'il en soit”). No more illusions, but living beings, just as they are. Lively music and living together which is no longer an expression of Me, but of “Us, here, now”.
A meeting of presences which act in a common space (“Points de Fuite”, "Les Applaudissements ne se mangent pas”). There, on stage, we are components in a social space. We are also the expression of others’ space. We – collectively – each take our place. In a “how to live together” that is a never-ending experiment. So, one acts in spite of everything. Ceaselessly experimenting with our possibilities – great or small – (“Umwelt”) so as not to lose sight of the fact that escape from reality is nothing more than a laughable restlessness (“Ha! Ha!”). And in all this orderly or disorderly turmoil, rhythms coexist and create the movement, the life (“Turba”). So, a tireless searching – in this place where past experiences, present life and the yet to come interweave – for the necessary distance to take an impartial look at what is at stake (“Description d’un Combat”).
Source : Maguy Marin company
Updating : January 2011
Author, filmmaker and video artist Charles Picq entered working life in the 70s through theatre and photography. A- fter resuming his studies (Maîtrise de Linguistique - Lyon ii, Maîtrise des sciences et Techniques de la Communication - grenoble iii), he then focused on video, first in the field of fine arts at the espace Lyonnais d’art Contemporain (eLaC) and with the group «Frigo», and then in dance.
On creation of the Maison de la Danse in Lyon in 1980, he was asked to undertake a video documentation project that he has continued ever since. During the ‘80s, a decade marked in France by the explosion of contemporary dance and the development of video, he met numerous artists such as andy Degroat, Dominique Bagouet, Carolyn Carlson, régine Chopinot, susanne Linke, Joëlle Bouvier and regis Obadia, Michel Kelemenis. He worked in the creative field with installations and on-stage video, as well as in television with recorded shows, entertainment and documentaries.
His work with Dominique Bagouet (80-90) was a unique encounter. He documents his creativity, assisting with «Le Crawl de Lucien» and co-directing with his films «Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux» and «10 anges». in the 90s he became director of video development for the Maison de la Danse and worked, with the support of guy Darmet and his team, in the growing space of theatre video through several initiatives.
- He founded a video library of dance films with free public access. This was a first for France. Continuing the video documentation of theatre performances, he organised their management and storage.
- He promoted the creation of a video-bar and projection room, both dedicated to welcoming school pupils.
- He started «présentations de saisons» in pictures.
- He oversaw the DVD publication of «Le tour du monde en 80 danses», a pocket video library produced by the Maison de la Danse for the educational sector.
More recently, he launched the series “scènes d’écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library’s digital conversion and created the website numeridanse.tv, an international video library for dance online.
His main documentaries are: «enchaînement», «Planète Bagouet», «Montpellier le saut de l’ange», «Carolyn Carlson, a woman of many faces», «grand ecart», «Mama africa», «C’est pas facile», «Lyon, le pas de deux d’une ville», «Le Défilé», «un rêve de cirque».
He has also produced theatre films: «song», «Vu d’ici» (Carolyn Carlson),»Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux», «10 anges», «necesito» and «so schnell», (Dominique Bagouet), «im bade wannen»,»Flut» and «Wandelung» (susanne Linke), «Le Cabaret Latin» (Karine saporta), «La danse du temps»(régine Chopinot), «nuit Blanche»(abou Lagraa), «Le Témoin» (Claude Brumachon), «Corps est graphique» (Käfig), «seule» et «WMD» (Françoise et Dominique Dupuy), « La Veillée des abysses» (James Thiérrée), «agwa» (Mourad Merzouki), Fuenteovejuna (antonio gades), Blue Lady revisted (Carolyn Carlson).
Sources : Maison de la Danse
Updating : January 2011
Following his studies in advanced mathematics and medicine, Luc Riolon began producing work at his medicine faculty, then met choreographers during the 1980s (Maguy Marin, Mark Tompkins, Josef Nadj, Daniel Larrieu, Odile Duboc, Josette Baiz, Angelin Preljocaj, etc.) with whom he produced a myriad of films (recreation for the camera, live recordings).
In the 1980s, along with the American choreographer Mark Tompkins, he introduced video to the stage, and retransmitted directly images unto giant screens that he had shot with his camera whilst on the stage with the dancers, as such mixing images on a reel with the live and direct performance.
With Daniel Larrieu, he participated in the creation of “Waterproof”, a contemporary choreographic show that took place in a swimming pool, and where he filmed the dancers live and direct, as they moved in the water, then mixed these live images with pre-recorded underwater ones.
He then collaborated for 10 years with Eve Ruggieri for her programme “Musiques au Cœur”. He produced a host of documentaries with her on classical music, opera and dance.
From 1999 onwards, he produced scientific popularization documentaries, by following the work of field researchers who focused on solving specific enigmas.
These two artistic and scientific fields, which may seem to be far apart from each other but which, in fact, are, as far as Luc Riolon is concerned, driven by the same vision, the same approach. The desire to understand the world, whether it is through art or through scientific research, and reproduce this discovery for as many people as possible.
Among his most recent scientific documentaries, we can mention, for example, “Tchernobyl, une histoire naturelle?”, “L’Énigme du Caïman Noir”, “Voyage en eau trouble” and “Delta du Nil: La fin du miracle”. These scientific popularization documentaries were recently honoured with awards in festivals throughout France and abroad.
Updating: August 2012