Created for the opening of Venice Biennial, this work in eleven "tableaux" sees choreographer Frédéric Flamand and Calfornian architect Thom Mayne bring stunning power to an adaptation of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. Frenzied bodies, shifting architectures, video projections and the play of light turn the stage into an environment fraught with tension. An splendid collaboration that also includes a visual artist and musicians.
Source: Dance Biennial 2004
In 1973 Frédéric Flamand founded the group Plan K: here he questioned the status and representation of the human body by integrating plastic arts and audiovisual techniques into live performance.
From the outset Plan K developed its activities on an international scale, and the recognition from which it benefited abroad allowed it to establish its status. Convinced of the importance for a company to be tethered to a place which allowed meetings and gatherings, in 1979 Frédéric Flamand opened a multi-arts centre in Brussels in an old sugar mill. Artists from various disciplines were welcomed here, such as Bob Wilson, William Burroughs, Charlemagne Palestine, Steve Lacy, Pierre Droulers, Philippe Decouflé, Marie Chouinard, Michael Galasso, Thomas Schütte, Joy Division, Eurythmics, etc… ‘La Raffinerie’ (The Refinery) is also a place of work, where an international dialogue between dance, plastic arts, music, and audiovisual arts takes place, hence perpetuating Plan K’s initial mission.
In 1987 Frédéric Flamand met the venetian artist Fabrizio Plessi. Together they would develop a trilogy which approached the problem of technology envisioned in three different time periods: “La Chute d'Icare” (The fall of Icarus) (1989) considers the Renaissance and craft techniques. The creation of Icarus at “La Monnaie” would reinforce Frédéric Flamand’s presence on large international stages.
Next were “Titanic” (1992) which talks about the industrial revolution at the beginning of the twentieth century, and “Ex Machina” which evokes the end of the twentieth century and the spread of image and communication technologies.
In 1991, Frédéric Flamand was appointed as the artistic director of the “Ballet Royal de Wallonie”, a neoclassical company which he renamed “Charleroi/Danses, Centre chorégraphique de la Communauté française de Belgique”.
In 1996, Frédéric Flamand begun his consideration of the relationships of dance and architecture, both being arts of structure and space. For the show “Moving Target”, he chose to work with New York architects Elisabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, taking inspiration from the uncensored diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky, one of the first classical ballet dancers to build the bridge towards contemporary dance.
Following this was the creation of the shows “E.J.M 1” and “E.J.M. 2”, based on the works of Edward James Muybridge and Etienne Jules Marey, still in collaboration with Elisabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio. “E.J.M. 2” was staged for the “Ballet de l’Opéra National de Lyon”, while “E.J.M 1” was made for the “Compagnie Charleroi/Danses – Plan K”.
In 2000, Frédéric Flamand created “Metapolis” with the iraqi-british architect Zaha Hadid, the 2004 winner of the Pritzker Prize, which is equivalent in architecture to winning the Nobel Prize. This same year he met Jean Nouvel. Their collaboration resulted in the creation of “The Future of Work”, a show which would be viewed by over 600 000 people during its five month run. This achievement adhered perfectly to Frédéric Flamand’s preoccupation with gaining the largest possible audiences for the art of dance. In 2001 he created the double show “Body/Work” and “Body/Work/Leisure” as an extension of his collaboration with the architect Jean Nouvel.
The Venice Biennale entrusted to him the artistic direction of the First International Contemporary Dance Festival of the Venice Biennale in 2003. He opened the festival with the creation of “Silent Collisions”, directed with californian architect Thom Mayne.
In September 2004, he was jointly appointed as General Director of the “Ballet National de Marseille” by the minister of Communication and Culture in the City of Marseille and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region.
He created “La Cité Radieuse” (The Radiant City) with french architect Dominique Perrault, “Metamorphoses” with the renowned brazilian designers Humberto & Fernando Campana, and “La Vérité 25X par seconde” (The Truth 25X per second), with chinese architect-plastic artist Ai Weiwei.
Frédéric Flamand also enriched the Ballet National de Marseille’s repertoire by inviting external choreographers including William Forsythe, Lucinda Childs, Nacho Duato, the french Thierry Malandain, Michel Kelemenis, and Olivia Grandville & Eric Oberdorff, and the belgian Michèle Noiret, …
Frédéric Flamand is an Official in the “Ordre des Arts et Lettres de la République Française”.
Author, filmmaker and video artist Charles Picq (1952-2012) entered working life in the 70s through theatre and photography. A- fter resuming his studies (Maîtrise de Linguistique - Lyon ii, Maîtrise des sciences et Techniques de la Communication - grenoble iii), he then focused on video, first in the field of fine arts at the espace Lyonnais d'art Contemporain (ELAC) and with the group « Frigo », and then in dance.
On creation of the Maison de la Danse in Lyon in 1980, he was asked to undertake a video documentation project that he has continued ever since. During the ‘80s, a decade marked in France by the explosion of contemporary dance and the development of video, he met numerous artists such as andy Degroat, Dominique Bagouet, Carolyn Carlson, régine Chopinot, susanne Linke, Joëlle Bouvier and regis Obadia, Michel Kelemenis. He worked in the creative field with installations and on-stage video, as well as in television with recorded shows, entertainment and documentaries.
His work with Dominique Bagouet (80-90) was a unique encounter. He documents his creativity, assisting with Le Crawl de Lucien and co-directing with his films Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux and 10 anges. in the 90s he became director of video development for the Maison de la Danse and worked, with the support of guy Darmet and his team, in the growing space of theatre video through several initiatives:
- He founded a video library of dance films with free public access. This was a first for France. Continuing the video documentation of theatre performances, he organised their management and storage.
- He promoted the creation of a video-bar and projection room, both dedicated to welcoming school pupils.
- He started «présentations de saisons» in pictures.
- He oversaw the DVD publication of Le tour du monde en 80 danses, a pocket video library produced by the Maison de la Danse for the educational sector.
- He launched the series “scènes d'écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library's digital conversion and created Numeridanse.
His main documentaries are: enchaînement, Planète Bagouet, Montpellier le saut de l'ange, Carolyn Carlson, a woman of many faces, grand ecart, Mama africa, C'est pas facile, Lyon, le pas de deux d'une ville, Le Défilé, Un rêve de cirque.
He has also produced theatre films: Song, Vu d'ici (Carolyn Carlson), Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux, 10 anges, Necesito and So schnell, (Dominique Bagouet), Im bade wannen, Flut and Wandelung (Susanne Linke), Le Cabaret Latin (Karine Saporta), La danse du temps (Régine Chopinot), Nuit Blanche (Abou Lagraa), Le Témoin (Claude Brumachon), Corps est graphique (Käfig), Seule et WMD (Françoise et Dominique Dupuy), La Veillée des abysses (James Thiérrée), Agwa (Mourad Merzouki), Fuenteovejuna (Antonio Gades), Blue Lady revistied (Carolyn Carlson).
Source: Maison de la Danse de Lyon
Choreography : Frédéric Flamand
Interpretation : Charleroi / Danses - Plan K
Set design : Thom Mayne
Lights : Nicolas Olivier, Frédéric Flamand
Costumes : Annelies Van Damme
Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Charleroi / Danses - Plan K, Biennale de Venise, Het Muziektheater Amsterdam, La Maison des Arts de Créteil, L'Arsenal de Metz
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Biennale de la danse - Charles Picq, 2004
Duration : 70"