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Stances

CN D - Centre national de la danse
1997 - Director : Diverrès, Catherine

Choreographer(s) : Diverrès, Catherine (France)

Present in collection(s): Centre national de la danse

Integral video available at CND de Pantin

en fr

Stances

CN D - Centre national de la danse
1997 - Director : Diverrès, Catherine

Choreographer(s) : Diverrès, Catherine (France)

Present in collection(s): Centre national de la danse

Integral video available at CND de Pantin

en fr

Stances

A creation by Catherine Diverrès for the 9th National Biennial of Val-de-Marne in February 1997, “Stances” is a diptych comprising “Stance 1”, a work for nine dancers lasting one hour, and “Stance 2”, a solo performed by the choreographer. Here, she introduces her work using the following wording: “This work will be solar, stellar, with the cold shadowy edges of a moonlit night, a summer night. Abstract. Fragments, of colours. From number to stellar slumber”. [1]

The work was created in the same atmosphere of transformation that the Company had been going through since 1994 and which had already led to its previous creation “Fruits”. Its title should be compared with its Latin etymology: “stare”, which means “to stand up”. In the choreographer’s mind, it identifies the work as “a point of focus”. A key work, it is presented in turn “as a sort of overview of the choreographer’s approach and art” through the implementation of her sense of space, the appeal of the fragment or summary of her career “from writing a solo to working with the Company”, a request “to explore her own choreographic language” [2]. A synthesis of the art that she had been cultivating for fifteen years.

The scenic set-up imagined by Daniel Jeanneteau is intended to be minimalist, a clear box used as a setting for dancing, revealed by the lighting created by Marie-Christine Soma, and for whom it was her first time working with the Rennes-based choreographer. “Behind a translucent white fabric stretched on three sides, an illuminated horizontal line floats at a metre above the stage. It conjures up the studio where the dancers work, where the choreographic creation process is developed”. [3]

The first part focuses essentially on the reprise of various solos embedded in the staging for the group of nine dancers, a collective twin image of “Stance II” in response to a same vision of the movement, according to Philippe Brzezanski: “a unique way of shattering time and space, of deconstructing the figure and the narration, striving for the absolute disequilibrium of a completed, precise and decisive form”. [4]

Regarding the “Stance II” solo, the choreographer says that she created it in the total silence of the rehearsal studio in Rennes. As she was looking for sound to accompany her work, Alessandro Bernardeschi gave her a recording to listen to of Pier Paolo Pasolini reading “La Terra di lavoro”, an author whom she felt very close to in the 1980s and whose text “Orgia” in particular inspired “Fragment”. She embraced the recording as soon as she heard it, with the composer Eiji Nakazawa accompanying it delicately with a few notes on the piano.

Irène Filiberti compares this solo, filled with reminiscences of modern dance, with the figure of the German dancer Dore Hoyer. She describes it as follows: “When dancing solo, Catherine Diverrès unfolds time. Her presence, her gestures open up abstract spaces which verge on the ineffable and irreducible. With the dancers from the Choreographic Centre, she invites us to grasp, in the most intimate way, the movement of writing which places the strengths and energy of the dances at the heart of major universal upheavals, regardless whether they may be political or telluric. From the memory of bodies to poetic incursion, the mental spaces that Catherine Diverrès’ work illustrates focus on doubt to keep dance alert and reasoning in perpetual exploration.” [5]

The fortune that “Stances” experienced established it as a reference of French contemporary dance of the 20th century. The work, which was critically acclaimed, toured for ten years throughout France and, in particular, at the Avignon Festival in 1997, as well as across Europe (Antwerp, Erlangen, Warsaw, Budapest, London) and around the world (Brazil, Tunisia, Colombia, Argentina).

Claire Delcroix

[1] C. Diverrès, creation dossier 1997.
[2] Maison de la culture of Amiens programme, 22 October 1997, p. 16.
[3] Institut français of Warsaw programme, 3 March 1997.
[4] Philippe Brzezanski, programme of the Biennial of Val-de-Marne for “Stances”, 19-22 February 1997.
[5] I. Filiberti, programme of the National Choreographic Centre of Tours, 10-26 June 1997.

Updating: June 2014

Diverrès, Catherine

Catherine Diverrès has said, “Conscience, our relationship with others, this is what creates time”, ever since her first choreographic creation. She is a sort of strange meteor, appearing in the landscape of contemporary dance in the mid-80’s. She stood out almost immediately in her rejection of the tenets of post-modern American dance and the classically-based vocabularies trending at that time. She trained at the Mudra School in Brussels under the direction of Maurice Béjart, and studied the techniques of José Limón, Merce Cunningham and Alwin Nikolais before joining the company of Dominique Bagouet in Montpellier, then deciding to set out on her own choreographic journey.

Her first work was an iconic duo, Instance, with Bernardo Montet, based upon a study trip she took to Japan in 1983, during which she worked with one of the great masters of butoh, Kazuo Ohno. This marked the beginning of the Studio DM. Ten years later she was appointed director of the National Choreographic Center in Rennes, which she directed until 2008.

Over the years, Catherine Diverrès has created over thirty pieces, created her own dance language, an extreme and powerful dance, resonating with the great changes in life, entering into dialogues with the poets: Rilke, Pasolini and Holderlin, reflecting alongside the philosophers Wladimir Jankelevich and Jean-Luc Nancy, focusing also on the transmission of movement and repertoire in Echos, Stances and Solides and destabilising her own dancing with the help of the plastician Anish Kapoor in L’ombre du ciel.

Beginning in 2000, she began adapting her own style of dance by conceiving other structures for her creations: she improvised with the music in Blowin, developed projects based on experiences abroad, in Sicily for Cantieri, and with Spanish artists in La maison du sourd. Exploring the quality of stage presence, gravity, hallucinated images, suspensions, falls and flight — the choreographer began using her own dance as a means of revealing, revelation, unmasking, for example in Encor, in which movements and historical periods are presented. Diverrès works with the body to explore the important social and aesthetic changes of today, or to examine memory, the way she did in her recent solo in homage to Kazuo Ohno, O Sensei.

And now the cycle is repeating, opening on a new period of creation with the founding of Diverrès’ new company, Association d’Octobre, and the implantation of the company in the city of Vannes in Brittany. Continuing on her chosen path of creation and transmission, the choreographer and her dancers have taken on a legendary figure, Penthesilea, the queen of the Amazons, in Penthésilée(s). In returning to group and collective work, this new work is indeed another step forward in the choreographer’s continuing artistic journey.


Source: Irène Filiberti, website of the company Catherine Diverrès


More information: compagnie-catherine-diverres.com

Catherine, Diverrès

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