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Midori

Numeridanse.tv 2013

Choreographer(s) : Leighton, Joanne (Belgium)

Present in collection(s): Numeridanse.tv , Joanne Leighton

Video producer : CCNFCB

en fr

Midori

Numeridanse.tv 2013

Choreographer(s) : Leighton, Joanne (Belgium)

Present in collection(s): Numeridanse.tv , Joanne Leighton

Video producer : CCNFCB

en fr

Midori

For the creation of Exquisite Corpse, Joanne Leighton invited leading french dancer Jérôme Andrieu to join the company of the Centre Chorégraphique National of Franche-Comté in Belfort.
Following this rich artistic encounter, Joanne and Jérôme continued their collaboration, working together for the creation of Midori. The piece explores the place of the performer in a choreographic work, taking as its departure point notions of identity and role-playing. They  attempt to recreate a number of iconic dance works using a spoken, real-time description as the only resource. The object is not the recreation of an existing piece per se, but to explore the use of language as a medium of transmission, instruction and documentation in choreography. The process is not dissimilar to the processes that have been used to attempt to recreate « lost » choreographies from little more than notes and sketches.

Leighton, Joanne

Based in Paris Ile-de-France, Joanne Leighton is a Belgian-Australian choreographer. Her professional career is linked to an original, dynamic and constantly evolving vision of dance and her discourse is permeated by an emphasis on dialogue and exchange, both with the public and with her artistic collaborators. Central to her work lies the notion of site, territory and identity, which are for Joanne Leighton interdependant spaces.

After dancing in the Australian Dance Theater (1986-1991), Joanne Leighton moved to Europe, living and performing in London for 2 years. Her company Velvet was established in Brussels in 1993, where she built up her choreographic work, active for over 18 years. 

Directrice of the National Choreographic Center of Franche-Comté in Belfort in France (2010 – 2015). In 2015 Joanne Leighton formed WLDN, project, philosphy and platform for her choreographic research and creation. Her works have been performed nationally and internationally in theaters, urban and industriel spaces, art galleries, town squares, on rooftops and presented on screens and smartphones.

Joanne Leighton's choreographic work has been co-produced and presented on many international stages for over 20 years. Joanne Leighton has to her credit over twenty dance productions. This includes her stage work « Exquisite Corpse » (2012) an exquisite corpse for 57 worldwide choreographers and 7 dancers ; « Made in…Séries », a large scale ‘architecture in movement’ for 99 participants performed in situe and (re)created in France, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Cuba ; « The Modulables », a series of site-specific pieces between installation and performance with an ambulatory public, which have been evolving over a period of 10 years. Joanne Leighton and the director Christoph Frick co-sign « Melting Pot » for 9 young performers from immigrant backgrounds, a cultural exchange between the Theater Freiburg, the CCN of Belfort and Junges Theater Basel ; « Chair Dances » (2010-2015), a virtual digital gallery comprising over 30 short choreographic films involving chairs ; « 9000 Steps » (2015), is performed by six dancers on a bed of salt to the music of Drumming, Steve Reich.

In September 2011, Joanne Leighton launched her large scale work, « The Vigil », a work for 732 inhabitants and performed over 366 consecutive days.  The Vigil of Evreux - « Les Veilleurs d'Evreux » is currently being mounted for the Scène Nationale Tangram in Evreux, the performance will premiere on the 22nd September 2017 - 22 Setpember 2018.

In parallel to her signature stage piece « 9000 Steps », Joanne Leighton has initiated a series of walking pieces with « WALK#1 Belfort – Freiburg », where she walked a path between the two Vigil sites by following waterways over 120 kms in four days. Since 2014 these ‘walking dances’ are part of her choreographic practice.

An internationally recognized pedagogue, Joanne Leighton regularly gives lectures and workshops. She has taught for companies such as Jean-Claude Gallotta, Catherine Diverrès, Angelin Preljocaj, Trisha Brown Company, Centre National Danse in Paris, Carolyn Carlson Atelier, Batsheva Company etc.

« Songlines », the new choreographic work for 6 dancers, will premiere in February 2018. Interested in finding new ways of being, doing, thinking, working, making and presenting, Joanne Leighton seeks to embrace a radically different approach to access, ownership, and authorship in contemporary dance performance.


Source: Joanne Leighton's website

More information: wldn.fr

Midori

Choreography : Joanne Leighton

Interpretation : Jérôme Andrieu (danse et voix)

Artistic consultancy / Dramaturgy : Geoffrey Carey

Original music : Peter Crosbie

Live music : Pieter Van Dessel (guitare)

Lights : Sylvie Mélis

Costumes : Hélène Oliva-Patinec

Technical direction : Thierry Meyer

Other collaborations : Geoffrey Carey (voix), Noël Claude, Christophe Maltot (voix), Gérard Mayen et Benjamin Tovo (lecture des danses)

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Centre Chorégraphique National de Franche-Comté à Belfort / Coproduction Le Granit, Scène nationale de Belfort

C'est un solo (À propos de Midori de Joanne Leighton)

On the stage: the singular physical presence of Jerome Andrieu, leading figure in the contemporary dance scene in France for a number of years. In Midori, for the first time, he performs not only a solo, but presents an elaborate verbal discourse.
The piece, is a meeting point. With a number of partners.
Jerome was one of the performers in Joanne Leighton’s recent Exquisite Corpse. We are already familiar with her choreographic approach, the use of a range of techniques - borrowing, copying, the use of series, alteration, recycling- to rework existing models of the role of the author. If in doing so she illuminates the fundamental critiques of modernity, she does so with intelligence and a malicious humour, keeping at arm’s length anything that risks becoming too serious or pretentious.
Another partner is, obviously, the viewer - to whom we’ll return later.
Because there’s another presence that finds its way into Midori. It’s less perceptible, but no less splendidly active. During much of the piece, we listen to «voices-off» describing the gestures and movements of dancers as they dance. To generate these texts, a range of filmed dance sequences were shown to observers, who were then recorded as they described what they were seeing. These recordings were subsequently replayed to Jerome. Thus, a voice-based transposition initiated a chain reaction of transmission, appropriation and commentary, which animates the piece.
The description is thorough, factual. After all, a movement is a movement. But we never get to see these movements in their original form. So a shift takes place. And it is in this shift that Jerome Andrieu creates a dialogue, through his own words and movement, as a performer with a capital P.
But, let us return to the spectator. Midori invites the audience to undertake an unusual perceptual experience. To listen to the unfolding of one dance by one dancer while regarding that of another dancer. Is it the same? Between listening and watching there’s an inter-sensorial double play, which connects the spectator to a network of what is heard and what is expected. So meticulous is the description of this absent dance, that it opens up the possibility of an inexhaustible imaginary space, a space which is activated and inhabited by the performer who is present, Jerome Andrieu.
The range of variability, considerable and profoundly alive and constantly renewed, moves from a literal translation of the text to a more liberal interpretation, rich in intentions, dynamic changes, rhythmic modulations and spatial explorations. That is when Andrieu doesn’t himself describe the dance that he’s performing.
Activating the various states of «being present», interchanging the «I’» and the «he», moving from being the subject of an action to being the object. We glimpse the ontological distance between being a body, and having a body. A pleasant feeling of vertigo is established, inviting us to look anew at what fixes a written work of dance, and what opens it up to variable readings.
In this regard, the discourse returns to a discussion on the dualism between the supposed rigid authority of the choreographer on one hand, and the amount of freedom given to the dancer on the other. But in doing so, we perhaps overlook what Midori actually touches on: a fluctuation between levels of meaning and performance, a questioning of all that a repertoire of dance has already interpreted of the world.  And all the while, not forgetting that this interpretation - for which the choreographer has faith in the rendering of his/her work by the performer(s) - has no meaning without a spectater. Midori, has all the shimmering brilliance of these games of shifting and switching cross-references. In Japanese, «midori» is the word for «green». But did we think that the chromatic range would give us a reliable and universal scale by which to measure our perceptions? Even in speaking of colours, this piece by Joanne Leighton shows how ingenious civilisations can be in representing with a thousand differences the singularities of their world.
Between the event and the symbol that refers to it - a word or a movement - their is enough space to give rise to a plethora of possible interpretations. Midori contributes a joyous choreography to this game of relationships.

Gérard Mayen, dance critic

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