In addition to being an exceptional dancer and famous choreographer, Foofwa d'Imobilité is a peerless instructor. He loves to transmit his passion for movement, for all movement. In Histoires condansées, convinced that a performer is above all an imitator, he uses his talent for replication on a journey into 20th century history. From Isadora Duncan to Merce Cunningham, Rudolf Laban and Vaslav Nijinsky, he dances, mimes, sings, recounts, constructs and deconstructs the aesthetics, techniques and concepts of the dancing body through time. Each section of the performance evokes another kind of tale. The challenge of this danced lesson, which is as funny as it is fascinating, is to spark the interest of the uninitiated and the younger generations just as much as connoisseurs and professionals of dance.
Updating: April 2015
Born Frédéric Gafner in Geneva in 1969, son of Brazilian prima ballerina and dance teacher Beatriz Consuelo and solo dancer turned theatre photographer Claude Gafner, Foofwa d’Imobilité studied at the Geneva Dance Centre and worked with the Ballet Junior (1981-1987) under his mother’s direction. He then danced professionally with the Stuttgart Ballet in Germany (1987-1990) before joining the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in New York (1991-1998).
He began working as a choreographer in 1998, creating three multimedia solos.
In 2000, he established the Neopost Foofwa Association in Geneva, with which he produced several group performances. Foofwa has worked in association with mix-media artists Alan Sondheim; artist Antoine Lengo; musicians Fast Forward, Jim O’Rourke, Christian Marclay, Elliot Sharp, Polar, Brice Catherin, Claude Jordan, Nicolas Sordet and Séni; visual artists Nicolas Rieben and Alexia Walther; video makers Pascal Magnin, Nicolas Wagnières and Pascal Dupoy; choreographers Thomas Lebrun and Corina Pia; author Mathieu Bertholet; lighting designers Liliane Tondellier, Jean-Marc Serre, Marc Gaillard, Yves Godin and Jonathan O’Hear; scientists Olaf Blanke and Vincent Barras; dance researcher Annie Suquet and journalist-critic Christina Thurner.
He has studied the relationship between dance and sport and invented the “dancerun”, a hybrid activity between dancing and running over several kilometres, either on stage with « Perform.dancerun.2 » (2003) or outside with « Kilometrix.dancerun.4 » (2003). He then studied the relationship between public and choreographic work in « The Making of Spectacles » (2008) and « Quai du Sujet » (2007); the digital body in « Media Vice Versa » (2002), « Avatar dance series », « Second Live series » (videos), and « Body Toys » (2007); the historicity of the dancing body in « Descendansce » (2000), Le Show (2001), MIMESIX (2005), Benjamin de Bouillis (2005), « Musings » (2009), Pina Jackson in « Mercemoriam » (2009) and « Histoires Condansées » (2011). Foofwa has been commissioned by the Nederlands Dans Theater II, the Bern Ballet, the Ballet Junior de Genève, the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD) and the Festival d’Avignon in 2010 for « Au Contraire » (à partir de Jean-Luc Godard). He has received the financial backing of the Geneva and the Swiss authorities every year since 2002 and received awards from the Leenaards Foundation in 1999 and the prestigious New York Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2009. He was also awarded the Prix de Lausanne in 1987, the New York Bessie Award in 1995, the Swiss Dance and Choreography Prize in 2006 and the first Swiss Prize for Dance in the “dancer” category in September 2013, among other prizes.
His most recent performances include « Uterus, pièce d’intérieur » (2014), « L’engage » (2014), and « Soi-même comme un autre » (2014).
Source: The company Neopost Foofwa s website
Centre national de la danse, Réalisation
Since 2001, the National Center for Dance (CND) has been making recordings of its shows and educational programming and has created resources from these filmed performances (interviews, danced conferences, meetings with artists, demonstrations, major lessons, symposia specialized, thematic arrangements, etc.).
Artistic direction / Conception : Foofwa d'Imobilité
Interpretation : Foofwa d'Imobilité
Text : Foofwa d'Imobilité
Duration : 130 minutes