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Catherine Diverrès - Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne
Dancer of the ineffable and choreographer of intranquillity, Catherine Diverrès works on extremes and contradictions. For her, the quality of dance hinges on a rare awareness of time. Gravity and tension make her pieces powerful and disturbing works that combine abstraction and theatricality.
Since she started out with Bernardo Montet, this former director of the Centre Chorégraphique de Rennes (in 2008 she founded her own company) has created her “land”: an incisive writing made of surges, desires and abandons, a conception of nothingness that gives her dance an earthy dimension. Her works, often inspired by philosophical, literary and poetic texts, are imbued with a tragic perception of existence. Fruits is a continuation of this. A work on war, it takes place on a carbonised land, where a huge gate blocks off the stage. In this deserted space, as though marked by traces of bombing, the choreographer questions the notion of territory. She exposes dance to the cruelty of the world, a mirror on which the interpreters’ bodies collide during choreographic sequences uplifted by a lyrical spirit.
Source : Irène Filiberti
Catherine Diverrès has said, “Conscience, our relationship with others, this is what creates time”, ever since her first choreographic creation. She is a sort of strange meteor, appearing in the landscape of contemporary dance in the mid-80’s. She stood out almost immediately in her rejection of the tenets of post-modern American dance and the classically-based vocabularies trending at that time. She trained at the Mudra School in Brussels under the direction of Maurice Béjart, and studied the techniques of José Limón, Merce Cunningham and Alwin Nikolais before joining the company of Dominique Bagouet in Montpellier, then deciding to set out on her own choreographic journey.
Her first work was an iconic duo, Instance, with Bernardo Montet, based upon a study trip she took to Japan in 1983, during which she worked with one of the great masters of butoh, Kazuo Ohno. This marked the beginning of the Studio DM. Ten years later she was appointed director of the National Choreographic Center in Rennes, which she directed until 2008.
Over the years, Catherine Diverrès has created over thirty pieces, created her own dance language, an extreme and powerful dance, resonating with the great changes in life, entering into dialogues with the poets: Rilke, Pasolini and Holderlin, reflecting alongside the philosophers Wladimir Jankelevich and Jean-Luc Nancy, focusing also on the transmission of movement and repertoire in Echos, Stances and Solides and destabilising her own dancing with the help of the plastician Anish Kapoor in L’ombre du ciel.
Beginning in 2000, she began adapting her own style of dance by conceiving other structures for her creations: she improvised with the music in Blowin, developed projects based on experiences abroad, in Sicily for Cantieri, and with Spanish artists in La maison du sourd. Exploring the quality of stage presence, gravity, hallucinated images, suspensions, falls and flight — the choreographer began using her own dance as a means of revealing, revelation, unmasking, for example in Encor, in which movements and historical periods are presented. Diverrès works with the body to explore the important social and aesthetic changes of today, or to examine memory, the way she did in her recent solo in homage to Kazuo Ohno, O Sensei.
And now the cycle is repeating, opening on a new period of creation with the founding of Diverrès’ new company, Association d’Octobre, and the implantation of the company in the city of Vannes in Brittany. Continuing on her chosen path of creation and transmission, the choreographer and her dancers have taken on a legendary figure, Penthesilea, the queen of the Amazons, in Penthésilée(s). In returning to group and collective work, this new work is indeed another step forward in the choreographer’s continuing artistic journey.
Source: Irène Filiberti, website of the company Catherine Diverrès
More information: compagnie-catherine-diverres.com
Catherine Diverrès, Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne
Artistic direction / Conception : Jean-Michel Plouchard
Choreography : Carherine Diverrès
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Injam production, Paris première / Participation : CNC, ministère de la Culture (DMD), ministère des Affaires étrangères
Paroles de danses
This collection dedicated to contemporary French choreographers is presented as a series of encounters around a creation. These portraits, which alternate interviews and extracts from performances, propose an approach to dance through thought and the issues of the body, while making visible the link existing between reflection and representation.
In the early 1980s, a new generation of choreographers emerged on the French scene. Occupying theatres with a radically different conception of dance, they won over a public and ensured their work and ideas would last. Today, most of them direct a national choreographic centre (CCN) or a recognised company. In the course of their career or in their work processes, they all ask questions linked to the world – whether focused on the body, writing, dance components (in particular space and time) or the relationship to other artistic forms.
Angelin Preljocaj - Centre chorégraphique national d'Aix-en-Provence (1996)
Catherine Diverrès - Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne (1996)
Charles Cré-Ange, compagnie Cré-Ange (1997)
Claude Brumachon - Centre chorégraphique national de Nantes (1998)
Jean-Claude Gallotta - Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble (1996)
Josef Nadj - Centre chorégraphique national d'Orléans (1997)
Mathilde Monnier - Centre chorégraphique national de Montpellier (1998)
Odile Duboc - Centre chorégraphique national de Franche-Comté (1997)
Philippe Decouflé, compagnie DCA (1998)
Régine Chopinot - Centre chorégraphique national de La Rochelle/Poitou-Charentes (1998)