De l'air et du vent
l'air et du vent (de)
For 5 dancers / 2010 / 1.15'
Recreated in 2010, de l’air et du vent is one of Pierre Droulers’ major works. In this profoundly plastic choreography which also incorporates exhilarating physicality, the choreographer manages to grab hold of the elusive and make the invisible visible. Here, despite their indescribable fragility, the movement along with the sound, lighting and set – consisting of a few objects or materials floating on stage – acquire a remarkable density.
Built on the singular nature and commitment of magnificent performers who offer us also some elements that would not look out of place in a slapstick comedy, the show combines the materiality of objects and the poetry of air.
The sound of a sheet of paper being torn resonates like a thunderbolt; plastic bags rising up in the air evoke a race between clouds… But, above all, the bodies of the five dancers enable us to feel the displaced air circulating around them, battling against it as it isolates and then reunites them. You can sense that they are really making the space breathe
After three years of artistic training at Mudra, the multidisciplinary school founded by Maurice Béjart in Brussels, Pierre Droulers continued his training in Poland with Grotowski. He participated in Robert Wilson’s workshops in Paris. During a trip to New York in 1978, he discovered the work of the Judson Church, and returned to dance after seeing Steve Paxton at St Mark’s Church.
He created a solo in Brussels with Steve Lacy, saxophonist and composer (Hedges, 1979). After working on various projects as a choreographer (Tao, with Sherryl Sutton, 1980 - Tips, with the future Grand Magasin, 1982 - Pieces for Nothing, with Minimal Compact, 1983 - Miserere, with Winston Tong and Sussan Deihim, 1985 - Remains, with Steve Lacy, 1991, etc.) or as a performer (with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Michèle Anne De Mey from 1986 to 1989, among others), he created a work in two parts based on Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce, in which he performed in a variety of ways, incorporating acting, dance, talking and music (Comme si on était leurs Petits Poucets, 1991, and Jamais de l'Abîme, 1993).
The question of form and the construction of a work led to abstraction, disposing of the theatricality which hindered him. He settled the issue of objects with Michel François (Mountain/Fountain, 1995), and explored light and emptiness with Ann Veronica Janssens – artists aroused his interest in matter (De l’Air et du Vent, 1996). He alternated between small and large forms, feeling the necessity to be closer to the performer. Petites Formes, 1997, invited four performers – Stefan Dreher, Thomas Hauert, Tijen Lawton and Celia Hope-Simpson – each to create a small form alongside the one Pierre Droulers created for them. Multum in Parvo, at the KunstenFestivaldesarts,1998, questioned the notion of mass once again with its 26 dancers. In 2000, Pierre Droulers staged MA at the Festival d’Automne with Michel François, Ann Veronica Janssens and Yuji Oshima – a stroll through the architecture of modern cities. In 2001, he returned to the stage with Sames, a duo with Stefan Dreher about the question of doubles and the notions of same and different.
Simultaneously Pierre Droulers opened a venue in Marseille, the Bird Studio, for hosting artistic residencies and north-south migrations on the site of Cap 15, with its various studios for artistes.
In 2003 he was given a free hand for a production at the Balsamine in Brussels. Dealing with several venues, moments and artistes (Vélo and Scrub Color II by Ann Veronica Janssens ; Alu by Michel François ; La Maison de Jan Hoet by Koen Theys), this single, unified event presents an itinerary, a pathway between dance, the visual arts and sound that marks a return to small-scale form (Parades) and to group composition/improvisation (Appartement).
In 2004 he produced Inouï, which was presented in Belgium, France and Germany. In 2005 he took part in the Agora project presented in the grounds of the Parc Royal in Brussels as part of the Kunstenfestivaldesarts, on which he collaborated with the artist Simon Siegmann, the composer George Van Dam and the writer Jean-Michel Espitallier.
After Flowers, piece for 8 dancers created inside the Charleroi Danses Biennal and the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in 2007, and All in All, commissioned by the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon, Pierre Droulers presented his piece Walk Talk Chalk, at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in 2009. In 2010, he recreated de l’air et du vent he presented among others in May 2011 at the Théâtre de la Cité internationale in Paris. The piece is still touring.
Pierre Droulers is now associate artist at Charleroi Danses, the Choreographic Centre of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.
Soleils, Pierre Droulers’ last creation, has been created in May 2013 during the Kunstenfestivaldesarts.
Updating : July 2014
De l'air et du vent
Artistic direction / Conception : Pierre Droulers
Interpretation : Michel Yang, Katrien Vandergooten, Yoann Boyer, Stefan Dreher, Peter Savel
Set design : Thibault Vancraenenbroeck
Original music : Philippe Cam
Additionnal music : Gyorgy Kurtag, Luciano Berio, Jean-Philippe Rameau
Lights : Jim Clayburgh
Costumes : Chevalier-Masson
Other collaborations : Régie générale Nixon Fernandes, Gwenaël Laroche - Régie lumière Gwenaël Laroche - Régie son Benoît Pelé - Régie plateau Pierre Garnier
Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Charleroi Danses, Centre chorégraphique de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles