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Humus vertebra

Trio - Cycle des épouvantails

Humus vertebra

Trio - Cycle des épouvantails

Humus vertebra

Trio Humus vertebra gathers the three figures appearing in solos Fidèle à l'éclair (Claudio Stellato), havran (Jaro Vinarsky) and babil (Eric Domeneghetty), from The Scarecrow Cycle, a series dedicated to this emblematic figure.

The starting point for this hallucinatory fable is the scarecrow, this vertical being, absurd and exposed to all winds, standing between earth and sky. This figure haunts the piece, but secretly, from within. In this trio, you will find all the ingredients typical of Karine Ponties's original work: wonderful atmospheres, a strange, tender comicity tainted with profound doubt, acrobatics, a puppetry-like use of set, and short films projected on stage, all expertly woven. The graphic score by Stefano Ricci, author of the illustrated book Humus vertebra, portrays hybrid characters, apparitions somewhere between human and animals. A fragile, yet sharp poetry sharing that instant at the heart of illusion: the uncertainty of being.

Ponties, Karine

Karine Ponties was born in France in 1967. She started training in dance at the Juan Tena and Ramon Soler dance schools in Barcelona, and then went on to graduate from Mudra, Maurice Bejart’s school in Brussels, in 1986.
As a performer, she worked with several companies, most notably with Frédéric Flamand, Michèle Noiret, Nicole Mossoux / Patrick Bonté and Pierre Droulers, in addition to founding Dame de Pic / Cie Karine Ponties in 1995. In 1996 the company premiered at Théâtre Le Public in Brussels with solo Planta Baja, and shortly thereafter Karine Ponties was selected for the 4th Edition of Les  Pépinières européennes for young artists.

In her over 20 years of choreographing for the company, she has created over forty pieces including commissions from the Helsinki  Theater Dance Department, Lod in Ghent, the D.C.M. Foundation in Bucharest, Montréal Danse, La Petite Fabrique in Paris, Transdance  Europe 03-06 and the Moscow Ballet. She was one of seven European choreographers selected to participate in the EU-Russian contemporary  dance project, Intradance (2010). In that context, she choreographed Mirliflor, which was awarded the 2011 Golden Mask (National Theatre Award in Russia) for the best contemporary dance performance. The attention  garnered around her work at this time later led to her collaboration  with the contemporary section of the Moscow Ballet for piece "Every  Direction is North", which was awarder the 2017 Golden Mask for best contemporary dance performance.

Ponties’ award-winning collaborations with visual artist Thierry Van Hasselt (Brutalis 2002, Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques [SACD] choreographic prize; and Holeulone, 2007 best dance performance at the French-speaking Belgian Critics' Awards) highlight  the company’s commitment to interdisciplinary exploration.

Other collaborations include composer Jan Kuijken and Lod (Les Taroupes 2000, Capture d’un caillot 2001, Brutalis 2002); composer Dominique Pauwels and Lod (Le Chant d’amour du grand singe 2005, Mi non Sabir 2004, Desirabilis 2004, Holeulone 2006, Boreas 2007), visual artist Lawrence Malstaf (Boreas 2007) and visual artist and illustrator Stefano Ricci (the Scarecrow Cycle 2008-2011, gathering babil, havran, Fidèle à l’éclair, Benedetto Pacifico and Humus vertebra).

She most recently collaborated with Czech dancer Tereza Ondrová (Best Czech Dancer 2014 and 2019) and theatre director Petra Tejnorová on duo Same Same, which was awarded the Special Jury Mention at the 2019 Czech Dance Platform.
Known for works with a flair for the absurd, exploring  intimacy and interlacing relationships, Ponties' choreographies have toured nationally and internationally, notably at the Festival de la Cité (Lausanne), Tanec Praha (Prague), Julidans Theatre Bellevue  (Amsterdam), Szene Festival (Salzburg), Dublin Fringe Festival, Centre  Culturel Wallonie-Bruxelles (Paris), Neuer Tanz Festival (Freiburg),  Dansstationen (Malmö), City Theater Reykjavik (Iceland), Plesni Theater (Ljubljana), Les Hivernales d’Avignon, Les Brigittines (Brussels), Agora  de la danse (Montreal), O Espaço do Tempo (Portugal), Pavillon Noir –  National Choreographic Center of Aix-en-Provence, One Yellow Rabbit  Festival (Calgary), Théâtre des Salins – Scène Nationale (Martigues),  Festival de Marseille (France), International Dance Festival of  Cochabamba (Bolivia), National Theatre of Korea (Seoul), National  Choreographic Center of Orléans, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Mimos  Festival (Périgueux), Uzès Danse, Kaaitheater (Brussels), Dance New  Amsterdam (New York), Festival de Otoño (Madrid), Dance Week Festival  (Zagreb), Vooruit (Ghent), Théâtre de la Cité (Paris). 


Cristiano Carloni and Stefano Franceschetti studied animation and painting in Urbino (Italy). They are teachers and artists, authors of videos and installations, focusing on the use of techniques designed to explore the optical procedures of vision in the transmutation of material and the temporal shift of the memory.

The long collaboration with Romeo Castellucci and Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio brings their works to the most important avant-garde theaters in the world.

Their works have been shown in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Louvre, Paris, the Museum of Modern Art, Strasburg, La Biennale Teatro, Venice, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, Oxo Tower, London, Martin Segal Center, New York.

Dame de Pic / Cie Karine Ponties

Dame de Pic / Cie Karine Ponties is a Belgian contemporary dance company directed by choreographer and performer Karine Ponties. Founded in Brussels (Belgium) in 1996, Dame de Pic / Cie Karine Ponties is supported by the Belgian Ministry of Culture at Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Service Danse, as well as by Wallonie Bruxelles Théâtre/Danse and Wallonie Bruxelles International. The company's office is kindly hosted at Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles. 

Find out more :

Humus vertebra

Artistic direction / Conception : Karine Ponties

Choreography : Karine Ponties

Interpretation : Eric Domeneghetty, Claudio Stellato, Jaro Vinarsky

Artistic consultancy / Dramaturgy : Stefano Ricci

Set design : Wilfrid Roche

Original music : David Monceau

Additionnal music : Sigur Ros

Video conception : Stefano Ricci

Lights : Florence Richard

Costumes : Samuel Dronet

Technical direction : Guillaume Toussaint Fromentin

Other collaborations : Réalisation costumes: Ethell Bibbo, Samuel Dronet, Maria-Eva Rodriguez, Régie son et vidéo: Quentin Simon

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Une production Dame de Pic/Cie Karine Ponties, en coproduction avec le Théâtre Les Tanneurs, Charleroi/Danses (Belgique), O Espaço do Tempo de Montemor-O-Novo (Portugal), Centre Chorégraphique National d’Orléans - direction Josef Nadj, dans le cadre de l’accueil studio 2008 - Ministère de la Culture, Festival de Marseille, Centre départemental de créations en résidence des Bouches-du-Rhône, les Salins / Scène nationale de Martigues, Arcadi, Centre des Bords de Marne, CDC/Biennale nationale du Val de Marne (France). Avec l’aide du Ministère de la Culture de la Communauté française Wallonie-Bruxelles – Service de la Danse, le soutien de l’Association Beaumarchais (aide à l'écriture), du Ballet National de Marseille dans le cadre de l'accueil studio et de Wallonie-Bruxelles Théâtre/Danse.

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Dame de Pic / Cie Karine Ponties

Duration : 55 min

The scarecrow

It is difficult to describe the scarecrow, this poet of ancient times who reigns from the edges of fields: an impostor, a bogeyman, an ogre, a ghost, a protester, a crucifix, a no-way street sign, a tower, an hourglass...

For Karine Ponties, a scarecrow is both touching and contradictory, a lonely soldier of terror who has never actually scared anyone. He belongs to the imagination. This vertical being is man’s double, a self-portrait that keeps its own name under silence. 

An abandoned being, a being in abandonment. 

Giving life to a scarecrow is to become alive again, to bring back to life, to put pieces back together, to relearn. Trying to reach that place where the dual movement of vertical falling and elevation can co-exist.  The difficult birth of a body and a word that are linked and which begin over and over again, in perpetuity. 

This trio is the result of the deconstruction and gathering of the three characters created around the same theme in solos babil, Fidèle à l'éclair and havran. Catered out of their initial context, they find a new life, together in this performance, Humus vertebra.

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