ANA

Creation date : 1991

 
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Ana

First performed in 1990

Choreography Régine Chopinot

Régine Chopinot created “ANA” on 12 October 1990 at La Coursive in La Rochelle for the World Chess Championships which would take place in Lyon in November 1990. Inspired by the character of Alice in the follow-up to her Adventures in Wonderland – “Through the Looking Glass” – “ANA” was created in two parts, with an interval, a rhythm that reflected the wording: A – N – A: “Upside down, upright, two highly-distinctive As, which are tripped around a single fuse, the N, like iNterval”. [1] With nineteen performers dressed by Jean Paul Gaultier, original music composed by Cyril de Turckheim and a complex stage-set, here the choreographer from La Rochelle offers us a monumental work, which overflows with her studies of the writings of the Lithuanian art historian Jürgis Baltrusaitis which deal specifically with anamorphoses and catoptrics (the science of mirrors).

The first part of “ANA” opens unto a giant glass chessboard designed by Marc Caro and created hand-in-hand with the decorator Danka Semenowicz, and which offers around sixty spectators the opportunity to slide underneath the glass and view the dance in an extraordinary way. The performers, with helmets, dressed respectively in red overalls with white spots and white overalls with red stars, stand ready for battle on two sides, portraying the start of a game of chess, which Régine Chopinot artfully devises with the help of a chess player from La Rochelle, Christian Macheteau. The atmosphere is that of a combat (alarms, shots, killings, etc.).The pawns create duplicates in the silvering of the mirror and through the reflection on the stage imagined by the lighting designer Gérard Boucher, blurring the markers, the frontiers between illusion and reality for which the body plays the link.

The second part of the performance illustrates Lewis Carroll's eleven-move chess game that is set in motion by an army of Alices in white sports shoes, pink crossed-over pinafore tutus, sailor shirts and pink wigs and that plays an introduction to the dreamlike world of the heroine. Playing on a kaleidoscopic style, individualities are dissolved, augmented over and over again, successively conjuring up Busby Berkeley, the military tattoo and classical corps de ballet.

Still riding on the wave of success of her last production “K.O.K” (1988), “ANA” was enthusiastically received. In this first production without actors since “Appel d'air”, Régine Chopinot reconciled herself with classical vocabulary. By her own admission it meant coming back to “pure” dance that she had paradoxically rediscovered when she came face to face with the world of boxing which had inspired her for her previous production: “After “K.O.K”, we couldn't go any further in deconstructing. It was through the body sculpted during “K.O.K” that I rediscovered my dance”. [2]

 

[1] Document presenting the work, Centre chorégraphique national de Poitou-Charentes (Poitou-Charentes National Choreography Centre), La Rochelle, 1990.
[2] Interview with M.-C. Vernay, “Dix-neuf kikis sur un échiquier-miroir”, Libération, 1st November 1990, No. 1280.

 

A

Like Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. And what happens to the curious who usurp the role of the voyeur fish so that they may better re-emerge. It's a case of the fryer fried, relishes the ordinary spectator from the front tier. On the other side, transparent on the chessboard, a choreographed match takes place… solo, from duo to duel, in keeping with the loyal strategy of chess and the virtues of each opponent – dancer. Small, long, round, square, short-haired, on springs, pin-headed, they accordion-fold and unfold their vertiginous curiosity from their ludicrous corpulence. To the skin-tight jersey (stamped by Jean-Paul Gaultier), what strange type of fantasy does a body reveal… I mean, really! The hat of the summit falls once again into the abyss, when Alice, in the air “Never at the back” flies over, imagining for a moment she is Peter Pan. From the trompe-l'œil to the pretence, a hallucinogenic game of yoyo hanging on to the crystal of the Voice. Remember what we tell children … that if they manage to kiss their elbow, then girls will become boys and boys will become girls. And “checkmate”!

N

Like entr'acte, like the nose in the middle of the face that snorts and sneezes, moves between the chess table and the cabinet fantastique. N sits everyone back down in the right place.

Masculine or feminine? “Let's pretend”. The fake unisex makes boys and girls jump into the same petticoats and do skunkworks. One for all, throw sex in the water, and all for one. An army of zombies dressed for the carrousel. In a single body, with the same momentum, a vivid kaleidoscope, a sliding mirage according to the laws of invisible mathematics, dedicated to the secret choreographic intent. From one curtain to the other, a magic box where the mirrors unceasingly inflame the seething tapestry and the resounding labyrinth until total abstraction. Until the stars are squinting! Which of the reflections are really dancing? An eclipse of what is real, that only takes on its human figure under a certain angle, just like the pictorial and architectural technique used by many painters to provide a contrasting analysis of their works, in other words anamorphosis.

A

(source : communication document from the company)

Credits

choreography Régine Chopinot
performance John Bateman, Joanna Blake, Jeannette-Carol Brooks, Boris Charmatz, Philippe Combes, Bertrand Davy, Jacqueline Fischer, Georgette Louison Kala-Lobe, Myriam Lebreton, Anne-Karine Lescop, Samuel Letellier, Maria-Jesus Lorrio, Vojta Pavlicek, Marianne Rachmul, Monet Robier, Manuel Rodriguez, Catherine Savy, Lin-Guang Song, Eric Ughetto
costume Jean Paul Gaultier - réalisation : Les Ateliers du Costume
set Danka Semenowicz
light
Gérard Boucher
sound André Serré
text Alexandre Reverend
original music Cyril de Turckheim
choir Maîtrise de garçons du Conservatoire de Tours
running time 1 hour with interval (15 minutes)

Last update : March 2012

Chopinot, Régine

Régine Chopinot, born in 1952 in Fort-de-l'Eau (today known as Bordj El Kiffan), in Algeria, was attracted to choreographic art from early childhood. After studying classical dance, she discovered contemporary dance with Marie Zighera in 1974. She moved to Lyon where she founded her first company in 1978, the Compagnie du Grèbe, which included dancers, actors and musicians. Here, she created her first choreographies. Three years later, she was awarded second prize in the Concours chorégraphique international de Bagnolet (Bagnolet International Choreographic Contest) for “Halley's Comet” (1981), later known as “Appel d'air”. Her next pieces of work “Délices” (Delights) and “Via”, introduced other media including the cinema to the world of dance. In 1983 with “Délices”, Régine Chopinot began her longstanding partnership with the fashion designer, Jean Paul Gaultier, which would characterize the period, which included works such as “Le Défilé” (The Fashion show) (1985), “K.O.K.” (1988), “ANA” (1990), “Saint Georges” (1991) and “Façade” (1993). In 1986, Régine Chopinot was appointed director of the Centre chorégraphique national de Poitou-Charentes (Poitou-Charentes National Choreography Centre) in La Rochelle (where she succeeded Jacques Garnier and Brigitte Lefèvre's Théâtre du Silence), which went on to become the Ballet Atlantique-Régine Chopinot (BARC), in 1993. Régine Chopinot made a myriad of artistic encounters: from visual artists like Andy Goldsworthy, Jean Le Gac and Jean Michel Bruyère, to musicians such as Tôn-Thât Tiêt and Bernard Lubat.

At the beginning of the 90s, she moved away from – according to her own expression – “ultra-light spaces” in which, at a young age, she had become acknowledged, in particular through her partnership with Jean Paul Gaultier. She then became fascinated with experimenting on confronting contemporary dance with natural elements and rhythms and on testing age-old, complex body sciences and practices, such as yoga. In 1999, as part of “associate artists”, Régine Chopinot invited three figures from the world of contemporary dance to partner with her for three years on her artistic project: Françoise Dupuy, Dominique Dupuy and Sophie Lessard joined the BARC's troupe of permanent dancers and consultants-researchers, as performers, pedagogues and choreographers.

In 2002, she initiated the “triptyque de la Fin des Temps” (Triptych of the End of Time), a long questioning of choreographic writing and creation subsequent to her creation of a voluntary state of crisis of general notions of time, of memory and of construction. “Chair-obscur”, her first chapter, focused on erasing the past, the memory, whilst “WHA” was based on the disappearance of the future. “O.C.C.C.” dealt with the “time that's left”, with what is left to be done, with what can still be done, in that simple, yet essential spot called performance. In 2008, “Cornucopiae”, the last work created within the Institution, concluded the end of a form of performance and opened the doors to another approach to sensorial perception.

Concurrently to her choreographic work, Régine Chopinot worked, as a performer, with other artists that she was close to: Alain Buffard (“Wall dancin' - Wall fuckin'”, 2003; “Mauvais Genre”, 2004), Steven Cohen (“I wouldn't be seen dead in that!”, 2003). In addition, she trained and directed Vietnamese dancers as part of a partnership with the Vietnam Higher School of Dance and the Hanoi Ballet-Opera (“Anh Mat”, 2002; “Giap Than”, 2004). In 2008, the choreographer left the CCN in La Rochelle and created the Cornucopiae - the independent dance Company, a new structure that would, henceforth, harbour creation and repertoire, all the works of Régine Chopinot. In 2010, she chose to live and work in Toulon, by its port.

Since 2009, Régine Chopinot has been venturing, questioning and intensifying her quest for the body in movement linked to the strength of the spoken word, through cultures organized by and on oral transmission, in New Caledonia, New Zealand and Japan. These last three years have been punctuated by a myriad of artistic creations: choreographies and films resulting from artistic In Situ experiences were created as part of the South Pacific Project. A privileged relationship initiated in 2009 with the Du Wetr Group (Drehu/Lifou) bore its fruits with the creation of “Very Wetr!”at the Avignon Festival in July 2012 and went on to be reproduced at the Centre national de la danse (National Centre for Dance) in February 2013.

More information

cornucopiae.net

Last update : March 2012

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Chopinot Collection

Chopinot Collection

The Chopinot collection aims to reflect the artistic output of the choreographer and dancer. A portrait of the artist emerges from the wide selection of extracts from her works, reflecting thirty years of work, fruitful collaborations and new insights. From “Halley's Comet” (1981) to “Very Wetr!” (2012), and her most outstanding creations in between, we invite you to relive the career of this polymorphic, radical and generous artist.

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