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Histoire d'une transmission : So schnell à l'Opéra

At the request of Brigitte Lefèvre who wished to include So Schnell, one of Dominique Bagouet’s last choreographies, in the repertoire of the Opéra Garnier, the Les Carnets Bagouet team set to work with the Opéra dancers. Marie-Hélène Rebois films two logics that confront each other in this story of transmission guided by the original interpreters. 

 How to communicate the experience required to bring about each gesture in the rightness of its relationship to oneself, to others, to space and to sounds? How to transmit without feeling bereft and without fearing that the essential has been lost? The words of Olivia Grandville, who was a dancer at the Opéra before joining Les Carnets Bagouet, of Matthieu Doze, Annabelle Pulcini and Hélène Cathala, testify to this major difficulty. Accustomed to integrating techniques and choreographies in record time, the Opéra dancers know how to quickly copy what they are taught. Matching what is both a fault and a quality with the requirement to interpret, which is at the heart of contemporary dance, is a challenge that Les Carnets Bagouet have taken up here with great generosity.


Fabienne Arvers

So Schnell

Impressive but never monumental, and with sweeps of the paintbrush throwing bright colours through space, never hesitating to introduce a lone female dancer onto the bare and silent stage, here is, as it appears to us, the writing of So Schnell. More fragile, and, to a certain extent, more flat – like the settings of Christine Le Moigne, inspired by Roy Lichtenstein – than the second version, this first So Schnell yet already contains within it the same ambition: to create an immense dance where each interpreter, nevertheless, has their place; let the “space be invaded by forces that leave some traces” (D. Bagouet), while at the same time chiselling this great construction with profound details, worthy of a great goldsmith.


Source : Isabelle Ginot

Bagouet, Dominique

Angoulême, July 9 1951 - Montpellier, December 9 1992

From 1965, Dominique Bagouet received a classical instruction from Rosella Hightower in Cannes, and was firstly engaged in the Ballet du Grand Théâtre of Geneva at Alfonso Cata's in 1969. He danced the following year with the Félix Blaska's company and joined Béjart's 20th Century Ballet in Brussels. The experience lasted two years and continued with the Chandra group (where Maguy Marin also worked).

Back to Paris in 1974, Dominique Bagouet took tuitions with Carolyn Carlson and Peter Goss. He also danced in the Joseph Russillo's, Anne Béranger's and Peter Goss' companies. Then he left for the United States where he discovered with Jennifer Muller, Lar Lubovitch and others, the techniques of the American schools.

Back to France in 1976, he presented his first choreography “Chansons de nuit” at the Concours de Bagnolet and won the first prize with a mention for research. He then founded his first company. He created play after play, at a fast pace he deplored, in order to make his company survive. Until 1979, he created 14 plays, sometimes hastily and unsatisfactorily.

With “Sous la blafarde”, the young choreographer began to stand out and Montpellier became his haven: the town welcomed the company and gave it the resources to exist as Bagouet was asked to set up and run the Centre Chorégraphique Régional de Montpellier. Besides, he was to create in this town the Festival International Montpellier Danse that he would run until 1982.

Dominique Bagouet created then some of the most outstanding plays in French contemporary choreography, from “Insaisies” (1982) to “Necesito, pièce pour grenade” (1991), the last commission written to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Spanish town.

With plays such as “Déserts d'amour” (1984), “Le Crawl de Lucien” (1985) and “Assaï” (1986), Dominique Bagouet clearly established his own personality and style. All these plays registered his very particular style, sometimes referred to as ‘neobaroque', but above all very subtle and inventive. Bagouet's choreographic approach developed the dance movement with numerous short gestures (movements with hands and feet, special incline of the chest…) with terrific precision and no mannerisms.

Moreover, and this is another characteristic of Bagouet, the choreographer always managed to work with talented artists, such as Christian Boltanski, Pascal Dusapin for “Le Saut de l'ange” (1987), Tristan Murail for “Déserts d'amour” or the actress Nelly Borgeaud for the superb “Meublé sommairement” (1989) choreographically adapted from a novel by Emmanuel Bove.

He also directed two films with Charles Picq: “Tant mieux, tant mieux!” (1983) and “Dix anges, portraits”(1988), from “Le Saut de l'ange".

If a Bagouet style existed, it would also lie in this curiosity which influenced a whole generation.

His company's dancers founded in 1993 Les Carnets Bagouet, an association dedicated to preserving and passing on the choreographer's artistic heritage. They offer the repertoire to other companies and schools.


Source: Extract of “99 biographies pour comprendre la jeune danse française” in les saisons de la danse, summer 97, special issue.


More information: www.lescarnetsbagouet.org

Rebois, Marie-Hélène

Marie-Hélène Rebois is a French director born in Nancy. Alongside literary studies (literature preparatory studies for “les grandes écoles”, a Master’s in literature, history of art and philosophy) and theatrical training with the director Jean-Marie Villégier and the Festival international de théâtre de Nancy, her home town, Marie-Hélène Rebois produced her first short films and became a filmmaker. In her films, she develops her favourite themes, always related to the expression of social issues and artistic creation, where family sagas, interior journeys, religion, writing, music, painting, opera and dance play a large role.
 She collaborated in the educational work of the production department of La Femis from 1992 to 1997. She worked for one year with the Montpellier Danse Festival to produce a film on the history of the festival (Montpellier Danse 1980-2000) and a special evening for Arte (Montpellier Danse 2000, points de vue d'Afrique). This programme received a special mention at the 11th Grand Prix international video danse. In 2003, her film Ribatz, Ribatz ou le Grain du temps was awarded the French selection prize at the Festival international de cinéma de Marseille. She also produced for the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris a film on the analysis of the body in danced movement: Le Geste créateur as well as, for the SACD (Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers), a short film on a circus act Rondeau pour un fardeau, a piece with lifts, together with portraits of the pianist Vanessa Wagner, the choreographer Jean-Claude Gallotta, and the Italian puppeteer Laura Kibel. In Dialogue avec les fauves, broadcast on Arte, she shows just how far man can go in communication with wild animals, with what language and with what gestures. Noces d'or, la mort du chorégraphe, broadcast on France 2, is the last part of the trilogy that Marie-Hélène Rebois imagined and started after the death of the French choreographer Dominique Bagouet (the first two parts were Histoire d'une transmission, So Schnell à l'Opéra, 1999, and Ribatz, Ribatz ou le Grain du temps, 2003). She has since produced three documentaries for Arte: Maguy Marin, la danse cachée; Montpellier Danse, 1980-2010, Zigzag, for the 30 years of the Montpellier Danse Festival and Merce Cunningham, la danse en héritage, where she follows the last tour paying tribute to the man who was one of the leading artists of the 20th century. Alternating rehearsal periods, images from archives, and interviews, her film raises the issue of the transmission of a truly intangible heritage. In 2016, her last film, Dans les pas de Trisha Brown, was selected for the Festival international de cinéma de Marseille.


Sources : Ardèche Image ; Film-documentaire.fr ; CMCA

Histoire d'une transmission : So Schnell à l'Opéra

Artistic direction / Conception : Marie-Hélène Rebois

Choreography : Dominique Bagouet

Interpretation : Marie-Agnès Gillot, Olivia Grandville, Matthieu Doze

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Production : Daphnie production, CGP, La Sept-Arte, opéra national de Paris, Mezzo, Les Carnets Bagouet. Participation : CNC, ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (DMDTS), Procirep

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