Course led by João Fiadeiro in 2004
Real time composition : capturing the emerging real
The different approaches to improvisation that João Fiadeiro encountered during his years of training resonate with his preoccupations. The search for a performance form which will invent itself in the very moment in which it takes place, that is, in real time (instead of “re-presenting” with a time delay), became the major focus for his work from 1980 onwards. Since when, all the choreographer's works, but also the teaching workshops he has led since 1997, are run through by the following question: How can one, as a “performer”, conserve – or create – that “quality of ‘reality', of ‘truth', of ‘credibility' which a moment, a gesture, or a word has when it happens for the first time?” [J. Fiadeiro, D.-A. Guéniot, "La Danse en Solo" (Solo Dance), 2002, p. 117].
One is therefore in the presence of a “fragment of reality”, of a moment of “pure present”, impossible to reproduce or fix. Elaborated over the years – particularly in the course of solo research – the method of “composition in real time” offers a technique for making use of an capturing this emergence of reality, under the conditions found both during workshops and on stage.
« Une matrice à produire de la réalité » : sharing authorship of the performance
Applied to the production of a performance, the method of composing in real time puts great responsibility on the performer. Each performer is thoroughly immersed in the method during several months of preparatory workshops and needs to be capable of managing the different moments of the action he or she will improvise, in harmony with the group situation that is developing. Under performance conditions, the method acts as a “matrix for producing reality”, a device which allows unpredictable situations to arise, in the setting of a simple but pre-established dramatic framework.
At the scene, Fiadeiro reserves the right to react himself to the group situation. His live interventions might be with the aim of emphasizing a performer's action, for example by defining the space where it will take place by means of adhesive tape, or intensifying it with a video recording. He can also cause it to branch off by equipping a performer with an accessory which transforms the form and meaning of gestures and creates imaginary associations in its wake. The sound (music, voice…), also handled live, introduce effects of distance or intensification in turn.
As for the audience, they are responsible for the essential task of constructing meaning out of what they see. It is true that no fixed one-to-one significance can be conveyed in a show composed in real time, as it reconstructs itself constantly from life, performance after performance. In Fiadeiro's vision, performer, choreographer and audience co-create the performance's meaning continuously. This shared responsibility is, in the choreographer's view, one of the most important political and philosophical implications of the method of composing in real time.
Source : Annie Suquet, article "De la composition en temps réel", 2005
Updating : March 2010