So Schnell (2021)
It was long overdue. Thirty years after its landmark premiere, So Schnell, one of Dominique Bagouet’s masterpieces, is back on stage. In the meantime, it has entered the repertoire of the Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris and the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, and is recreated today by Catherine Legrand, a long-time collaborator of the French choreographer, So Schnell reveals the subtle writing of one of the great names of French New Dance to a new generation. A work “whose primary subject is dance”, asserts Catherine Legrand, So Schnell articulates Johann Sebas-ian Bach’s cantata BWV 26 – as well as silences and sound effects – with a choreography that is both fluid and virtuoso. Dominique Bagouet continued to refine this piece up to his death in 1992. For this new production, Catherine Legrand, who regularly revives and performs Bagouet’s works, has chosen twelve dancers, mixing generations. The colourful costumes and pop scenography of the original make way for a new sobriety and a lighting design by Begoña Garcia Navas that under-lines the architecture of this piece, the work of an artist who has influenced the entire contemporary scene.
Source : programme du CN D
Angoulême, July 9 1951 - Montpellier, December 9 1992
From 1965, Dominique Bagouet received a classical instruction from Rosella Hightower in Cannes, and was firstly engaged in the Ballet du Grand Théâtre of Geneva at Alfonso Cata's in 1969. He danced the following year with the Félix Blaska's company and joined Béjart's 20th Century Ballet in Brussels. The experience lasted two years and continued with the Chandra group (where Maguy Marin also worked).
Back to Paris in 1974, Dominique Bagouet took tuitions with Carolyn Carlson and Peter Goss. He also danced in the Joseph Russillo's, Anne Béranger's and Peter Goss' companies. Then he left for the United States where he discovered with Jennifer Muller, Lar Lubovitch and others, the techniques of the American schools.
Back to France in 1976, he presented his first choreography “Chansons de nuit” at the Concours de Bagnolet and won the first prize with a mention for research. He then founded his first company. He created play after play, at a fast pace he deplored, in order to make his company survive. Until 1979, he created 14 plays, sometimes hastily and unsatisfactorily.
With “Sous la blafarde”, the young choreographer began to stand out and Montpellier became his haven: the town welcomed the company and gave it the resources to exist as Bagouet was asked to set up and run the Centre Chorégraphique Régional de Montpellier. Besides, he was to create in this town the Festival International Montpellier Danse that he would run until 1982.
Dominique Bagouet created then some of the most outstanding plays in French contemporary choreography, from “Insaisies” (1982) to “Necesito, pièce pour grenade” (1991), the last commission written to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Spanish town.
With plays such as “Déserts d'amour” (1984), “Le Crawl de Lucien” (1985) and “Assaï” (1986), Dominique Bagouet clearly established his own personality and style. All these plays registered his very particular style, sometimes referred to as ‘neobaroque', but above all very subtle and inventive. Bagouet's choreographic approach developed the dance movement with numerous short gestures (movements with hands and feet, special incline of the chest…) with terrific precision and no mannerisms.
Moreover, and this is another characteristic of Bagouet, the choreographer always managed to work with talented artists, such as Christian Boltanski, Pascal Dusapin for “Le Saut de l'ange” (1987), Tristan Murail for “Déserts d'amour” or the actress Nelly Borgeaud for the superb “Meublé sommairement” (1989) choreographically adapted from a novel by Emmanuel Bove.
He also directed two films with Charles Picq: “Tant mieux, tant mieux!” (1983) and “Dix anges, portraits”(1988), from “Le Saut de l'ange".
If a Bagouet style existed, it would also lie in this curiosity which influenced a whole generation.
His company's dancers founded in 1993 Les Carnets Bagouet, an association dedicated to preserving and passing on the choreographer's artistic heritage. They offer the repertoire to other companies and schools.
Source: Extract of “99 biographies pour comprendre la jeune danse française” in les saisons de la danse, summer 97, special issue.
More information: www.lescarnetsbagouet.org
Catherine Legrand is a dancer, performer and teacher. In 1982, she met Dominique Bagouet and joined his company, where she danced until 1993. Since then, she has often taught his repertoire to different companies, working with the association Carnets Bagouet. In 2012, she recreated Jours étranges for a group of teenage dancers in collaboration with Anne Karine Lescop and Le Triangle de Rennes. Since 1992, she has danced, and continues to dance with a number of choreographers, including Michel Kelemenis, Olivia Grandville and Xavier Marchand, Hervé Robbe, Alain Michard, Boris Charmatz, Sylvie Giron, Laurent Pichaud, Deborah Hay, Loic Touzé, Emmanuelle Huynh, and Dominique Jégou. In 2016-17, she created a new version of Dominique Bagouet’s Jours étranges exclusively for female dancers, which premiered at the Triangle de Rennes as part of the TNB “Mettre en scène” festival in 2016, and later toured France with 25 performances.
In Rennes, she joined a new collective of dancers, Réservoir Danse, where she gives workshops on teaching repertoire. In 2017, Catherine Legrand danced in Hervé Robbe’s new creation, A New Landscape. In 2018, she joined the company DCA-Philippe Decouflé on tour as an assistant choreographer. She ran two workshops teaching the repertoire of Dominique Bagouet, at the Angers National centre for contemporary dance (CNDC) and at the Superior national conservatory of music and dance in Paris (CNSMDP). She created the duo Un Tracé, with Brigitte Châtaignier, and danced Engelsam, en jeu, a new work by Katja Fleig. Catherine Legrand is currently working on three new projects: So Schnell by Dominique Bagouet, a 2020 reconstruction; Suite pour Tango, a work for 24 dancers, in collaboration with Olivier Ferec, based on the film Tango by Zbigniew Rybczynski; and an adaptation of Jours étranges for twelve amateur dancers, at the request of Dominique Boivin.
Source: website of the Triangle (Rennes)
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 : Catherine Legrand
Artistic direction assistance / Conception : Assistant artistique Dominique Jégou - Assistante à la transmission Annabelle Pulcini
Choreography : Dominique Bagouet
Interpretation : Nuno Bizarro, Ève Bouchelot, Yann Cardin, Florence Casanave, Meritxell Checa Esteban, Élodie Cottet, Vincent Dupuy, Élise Ladoué, Théo Le Bruman, Louis Macqueron, Thierry Micouin, Annabelle Pulcini
Additionnal music : Jean-Sébastien Bach, Laurent Gachet
Lights : Begoña Garcia Navas
Costumes : Mélanie Clénet
Sound : Thomas Poli
Other collaborations : Administratrice de production Julie Besserova
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Enregistré au CND le 22 juin 2021 dans le cadre de Camping 2021
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