Observing the movements of others may generate proprioceptive, kinaesthetic experiences. Noé Soulier sought to explore that aspect of motion perception by working using movements determined by practical goals: hitting, avoiding, reaching, etc. Unlike movements determined geometrically or mechanically, dancers share a vocabulary of gestures with the audience. We seldom think of forming a line with our leg or dropping the weight of our arm, while most of our daily movements are driven by practical goals: to reach a certain place, take hold of an object, avoid a piece of furniture, etc. By relying on a shared vocabulary we can emphasise kinaesthetic resonance and empathy.
“Whether seen on stage, within the walls of a contemporary art foundation or inside a kitchen garden (of the King), Noé Soulier’s gesture approach is always puzzling. After studying in the Conservatoire de Paris, the National Ballet of Canada and finally in P.A.R.T.S. Brussels, Soulier questions “our perception and interpretation of gestures using multiple devices”. Choreography, performance or test, everything makes sense for this movement archaeologist. A believer of discrepancy used as a major art, this choreographer – who won the first prize of Danse Élargie competition in 2010 – impresses his signature without ever forcing it through. When he discusses this creation for six performers Soulier mentions the observation of the movements of others, “a vocabulary of gestures which dancers share with the audience”. It is therefore a matter of working on sequences of movements made of preparations for other movements… “which never occur”. This continuous ellipse makes the dancer’s intentions become visible since it affects the gestures that come before the achievement of the absent goal.” We can guess Soulier’s intention in between intellectual construction and shared joy. To which another source of inspiration, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is added. “We are working on actions directed towards the body of the other by relying on such martial art”. There Soulier plays with the various visual density levels using sudden contrasts or gradual development. Forever searching, his dance questions our certainties”.
Philippe Noisette – excerpt from the programme of the Festival d'Automne à Paris
Updating: January 2016
Born in Paris in 1987, Noé Soulier studied at the National Ballet School of Canada and PARTS in Brussels. He received a master degree in philosophy at La Sorbonne University (Paris IV) and took part in Palais de Tokyo’s residency program: Le Pavillon.
In 2010, he won the first prize of the competition Danse Élargie, organized by Le Théâtre de la Ville in Paris and Le Musée de la Danse with the trio « Little Perceptions » in which he started an ongoing research on ways of defining movement. With the solo « Movement on Movement » (2013), he dissociates gestures from speech to question how they collaborate to create meaning.
In 2014, he explored the syntax of ballet vocabulary with « Corps de ballet » for the CCN – Ballet de Lorraine. In « Movement Materials » (2014) and « Removing » (2015), he develops further the research initiated with Little perceptions on the perception and interpretation of movement.
In October 2016, he publishes « Actions, mouvements et gestes », a choreographic research that takes the form of a book, with the press of the Centre national de la danse.
In July 2020, he has taken over the direction of the Centre national de danse contemporaine d’Angers (CNDC).
Source: Noé Soulier 's website
CNDC - Angers
The National Center for Contemporary Dance - CNDC - was created in 1978 at the initiative of the Ministry of Culture and the City of Angers. It followed the B.T.C. Ballet contemporary theater directed by Françoise Adret and Jacques-Albert Cartier, transferred to Nancy. Designed as a school of choreographers and the headquarters of a permanent company, it is run by Alwin Nikolais for three years.
When Viola Farber succeeded him in 1981, the school specialized in the training of dancers. Viola Farber forms a new company and inaugurates a teacher training program.
In April 1984, the management of the CNDC was entrusted to Michel Reilhac. The center still trains dancers and teachers. It no longer has a permanent company but serves as a production platform through residences. Large companies of international renown (in residence for two to three months) and younger companies (in the context of the "Summer Quarters") are then present. This is how Merce Cunningham and his company inaugurate the large Bodinier studio and that successive personalities such as Régine Chopinot, Maguy Marin, Odile Duboc, Dominique Bagouet, Mathilde Monnier and Jean-François Duroure, Edward Lock, Hervé Robbe, Philippe Decouflé, Catherine Diverrès and Bernardo Montet, Daniel Larrieu, Trisha Brown, Wim Vandekeybus ...
In April 1988 the new director, Nadia Croquet, continues to develop a policy to support creation, with a more specific openness to Europe. In January 1993, Joëlle Bouvier and Régis Obadia were named artistic directors of the CNDC, then labeled CNDC l'Esquisse.
The CNDC, which became a national choreographic center (CCN) in the 1990s, reinforces its mission as a choreographic center through the production of shows and its role as artistic advisor while continuing the training. At the same time, from 1986 to 2006, he worked with the New Theater of Angers, a national drama center, to offer a program of choreographic performances, thus increasing the audience and the readability of the dance to the public by multiplying the glances on the creation contemporary.
In February 2004, the CNDC is under the direction of the choreographer Emmanuelle Huynh, it intends to perpetuate the tradition of experimental contemporary dance and offer a school in connection with the dynamics of contemporary creation. From 2011, the CNDC School has two major courses, one leads to the National Diploma of Professional Dancer (DNSPD) and the license, the second prepares for a master.
Robert Swinston, who was appointed artistic director of the CNDC in 2012 by the Board of Directors, takes office in January 2013. Create and encourage creativity, develop the legacy of Merce Cunningham, program shows in various aesthetics, train artists autonomous, versatile and of a high level as well as fostering the emergence of new talents, this is the purpose of his project for the CNDC. Communicating to the public the foundations of a creative approach, raising awareness among young people and making the CNDC shine at the local, national and international levels are Robert Swinston's objectives for the CNDC.
The directors of the CNDC since its creation:
Alwin Nikolais (from September 1978 to July 1981)
Viola Farber (from September 1981 to July 1983)
Michel Reilhac (from March 1984 to December 1987)
Nadia Croquet (March 1988 to December 1991)
Joëlle Bouvier and Régis Obadia (from January 1993 to June 2003)
Emmanuelle Huynh (from February 2004 to December 2012)
Robert Swinston since January 2013
Artistic direction / Conception : Noé Soulier
Choreography : Noé Soulier
Interpretation : Jose Paulo Dos Santos, Yumiko Funaya, Anna Massoni, Norbert Pape, Nans Pierson, Noé Soulier
Sound : Éric La Casa
Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Production : ND Productions Production déléguée : Cndc – Angers Coproductions : CN D Centre national de la danse, Pantin (FR) ; Festival d’Automne à Paris (FR) ; Maison de la danse, Lyon (FR) ; Théâtre Auditorium de Poitier (FR) ; Musée de la danse – Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne (FR) ; PACT Zollverein, Essen (DE) ; Kaaitheater Bruxelles (BE) ; Tanzquartier Vienna (AU) ; et en co-production avec le Centre de Développement Cho-régraphique Toulouse / Midi-Pyrénées (FR) dans le cadre du réseau «[DNA] Departures and Arrivals», cofinancé par le Programme Europe Créative de l’Union Européenne Avec le soutien de la Direction régionale des affaires culturelles d’Île-de-France – Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication au titre de l’aide au projet
Duration : 66 minutes