“Echo”, created for the International Dance Festival of Cannes in December 2003, is designed as a “journey through the previous works”  of Catherine Diverrès, and comprises extracts from seven works, selected from twenty years of creation: “L'Arbitre des élégances”, “L'Ombre du ciel”, “Fragment II”, “Concertino”, “Stance I”, “Corpus” and “Fruits”. “Only movement, just that”  states Irène Filiberti as the first intention of this selection organized in two 50-minute parts. “Arranged based on rhythmic progression”, the extracts privilege “body musicality” : “Short solos are weaved together with duos and trios, which longer group sequences harmonize. “Echo” can be described as a set of open scores. On its staves, the haunted steps of processions, sharp trajectories riffling the space with luminous diagonals, disconcerted take-offs of bodies scattered through singular movements. Solitary stanzas, tempos related to the evocation of the community and its history, every single range of time pulsates on the stage, in a deep black space which is transformed in waves, changes colour and varies depending on emotions and the states experienced. An innermost journey that deals with a community and its language. Dance”. 
“Echo”, which comprises both long-standing and new performers, is an opportunity for the dancers – as was the case in “Retour”, “Voltes” and “Stance I” before – to embrace Catherine Diverrès’ “world, technique and energy” and to provoke “an “unconscious” resonance” which “they can make use of later” . “The idea of bursts is included in this approach”, states Irène Filiberti, “for the new dancers as well as for the dancers who were behind the revisited works, and even for the chorographer herself, [she] questions the qualities of movement as well as the qualities of writing”. 
Through “Echo”, Catherine Diverrès showcases her previous works, “of a more tragic aspect”, to a renewed public: “It was important that this public, fifteen or twenty years on, – public that does not know my work at all and that is all of a sudden going to see a current-day creation – understands this writing and it is also a way of passing on, to this public, something that will never exist again and which it will never see again”.  This new opus illustrates, as such, once again, the durability of the CCNRB Director’s choreographic writing, verifies its relevance and asks the question: “how does it hold out fifteen years on?” 
Working on time, memory, transmission is also a way for her to revive her dance, to disconnect the creative process, as was the case with the dialogue concerning Palermo and the Mediterranean Basin, when she created “Cantieri”, “new material which the new performers are not going to draw from within themselves through research and other types of improvisation, but more so by investigating past events” .
Finally, revisiting her repertoire also means that the choreographer distances herself from past work, as she explained in 2007 when filmed by Hervé Portanguen: “A bridge has been created with the dancers, which means that, as far as I’m concerned, I’ve completed my transmission work. But, for me, creating “Echo”, performing these solos, has also helped me somehow to let go of previous work. Somehow, when you transmit, you open new pages. Sometimes it is difficult to bear the weight of fifteen or twenty years of choreography with dancers leaving and creations that will never be danced again, that will be swept under the carpet. Breathing new life into them and passing them on at a moment in time is, first of all, very moving but it is also a way for me to distance myself from this past”. 
 C. Diverrès, creation dossier, 9 December 2002
 I. Filiberti, Catherine Diverrès, mémoires passantes, Paris : Centre national de la danse ; L'Oeil d'or, 2010, p. 92.
 Ibid, p. 94.
 Ibid, p. 93-94.
 C. Diverrès, wording taken from extracts of H. Portanguen’s, “Vous dansez ?” , 2007.
 I. Filiberti, ibid, p. 93.
 C. Diverrès, ibid, 2007.
Updating: November 2014
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
Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne
Choreography : Catherine Diverrès
Interpretation : danseurs Fabrice Dasse, Julien Fouché, Tamara Stuart-Ewing ou Carole Gomes, Isabelle Kurzi ou Marta Izquierdo Munoz, Sung-Im Kweon, Filipe Lourenço, Thierry Micouin, Kathleen Reynolds
Set design : Laurent Peduzzi
Text : Alain Rigout, Fernando Pessoa interprétés par Téo Hernandez et N. Ledu
Original music : Eiji Nakasawa, Denis Gambiez, P Symansky, Bernardo Montet
Additionnal music : Karl-Amadeus Hartmann et Ingrid Caven
Lights : Catherine Diverrès et Pierre Gaillardot
Costumes : Cidalia da Costa - Masques Hafid Bachiri
Duration : 70 minutes
A Rite of Passage
A Rite of Passage