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Swim one

CN D - Centre national de la danse 1982 - Director : Picq, Charles

Choreographer(s) : Chopinot, Régine (France)

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

Video producer : Compagnie du Grèbe

Integral video available at CND de Pantin

en fr

Swim one

CN D - Centre national de la danse 1982 - Director : Picq, Charles

Choreographer(s) : Chopinot, Régine (France)

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

Video producer : Compagnie du Grèbe

Integral video available at CND de Pantin

en fr

Swim one

Following “Appel d'air” (In-draught) (1981), “Swim one” – a mildly humorous piece, distancing itself from “Simone” (1982) by just a few consonants and a few breaststrokes – staged dancers in leotards in a retro-glamorous comic book environment, accompanied by live music (bass and saxophone) that evoked an aquatic atmosphere.

No surprise then to find Régine Chopinot dealing with the marine element at the heart of this youthful piece, created for the Festival d'été de Seine Maritime in Rouen in July 1982. After “Reflux” and “L'Origine des poissons” (The origin of fish) dating from the time of the Compagnie du Grèbe (1979) but many years before her work immersed itself in the Southern Pacific with the Wetr (2011-2012), Chopinot's destiny seems to be connected to the sea. Born in Fort-de-l'eau in Algeria, she tells of how, as a child there, she spent many hours sitting on her grandmother's knee being shown the sea and the sun reflecting on it. A secret relationship would be born from these hours of observation, bringing her to the head of the CCN (National Choreography Centre) in La Rochelle, to the port of Toulon across the sea from the Algeria of her childhood, and to New Caledonia, in the middle of the Southern Pacific. Water is a structural element for Régine Chopinot: its strength and its perpetual dissatisfaction inspire her. “Water, it's everything that you cannot name, or catch” – a little like her, she acknowledges – “it's running as quickly as possible and not being satisfied with what you find (...) it's picking holes in what you feel certain about.” [1]

No surprise either to find her eternal accomplice and playmate, Michèle Prélonge, her younger sister, here too, who benefited from the introduction to her forebears.  Alongside them, Philippe Decouflé appeared for one of the first times, iconic companion during the first years of Régine Chopinot's career, who he would work with until “Délices” (Delights).

If we are to believe the words of Jean Paul Gaultier, fashion's enfant terrible at the beginning of the decade, it was “Swim one” which captivated him and launched the close cooperation of the two artists on many pieces right up to today: “At any moment, the function and the direction of things are susceptible to being reversed or transmuted. (...) Appearance does not establish identity. Its signs appear on the screen of the bodies like a shimmer on the surface, a precipitate of stereotypes which destroy each other by crashing into each other.” [2]

[1] A. Suquet, “Chopinot”, Le Mans: Cénomane, 2010, p. 34.
[2] R. Chopinot, in an interview filmed with A. Suquet, produced by: Centre national de la danse, 2012.

Updating: February 2013

Chopinot, Régine

Régine Chopinot, born in 1952 in Fort-de-l'Eau (today known as Bordj El Kiffan), in Algeria, was attracted to choreographic art from early childhood. After studying classical dance, she discovered contemporary dance with Marie Zighera in 1974. She moved to Lyon where she founded her first company in 1978, the Compagnie du Grèbe, which included dancers, actors and musicians. Here, she created her first choreographies. Three years later, she was awarded second prize in the Concours chorégraphique international de Bagnolet (Bagnolet International Choreographic Contest) for “Halley's Comet” (1981), later known as “Appel d'air”. Her next pieces of work “Délices” (Delights) and “Via”, introduced other media including the cinema to the world of dance. In 1983 with “Délices”, Régine Chopinot began her longstanding partnership with the fashion designer, Jean Paul Gaultier, which would characterize the period, which included works such as “Le Défilé” (The Fashion show) (1985), “K.O.K.” (1988), “ANA” (1990), “Saint Georges” (1991) and “Façade” (1993). In 1986, Régine Chopinot was appointed director of the Centre chorégraphique national de Poitou-Charentes (Poitou-Charentes National Choreography Centre) in La Rochelle (where she succeeded Jacques Garnier and Brigitte Lefèvre's Théâtre du Silence), which went on to become the Ballet Atlantique-Régine Chopinot (BARC), in 1993. Régine Chopinot made a myriad of artistic encounters: from visual artists like Andy Goldsworthy, Jean Le Gac and Jean Michel Bruyère, to musicians such as Tôn-Thât Tiêt and Bernard Lubat.

At the beginning of the 90s, she moved away from – according to her own expression – “ultra-light spaces” in which, at a young age, she had become acknowledged, in particular through her partnership with Jean Paul Gaultier. She then became fascinated with experimenting on confronting contemporary dance with natural elements and rhythms and on testing age-old, complex body sciences and practices, such as yoga. In 1999, as part of “associate artists”, Régine Chopinot invited three figures from the world of contemporary dance to partner with her for three years on her artistic project: Françoise Dupuy, Dominique Dupuy and Sophie Lessard joined the BARC's troupe of permanent dancers and consultants-researchers, as performers, pedagogues and choreographers.

In 2002, she initiated the “triptyque de la Fin des Temps” (Triptych of the End of Time), a long questioning of choreographic writing and creation subsequent to her creation of a voluntary state of crisis of general notions of time, of memory and of construction. “Chair-obscur”, her first chapter, focused on erasing the past, the memory, whilst “WHA” was based on the disappearance of the future. “O.C.C.C.” dealt with the “time that's left”, with what is left to be done, with what can still be done, in that simple, yet essential spot called performance. In 2008, “Cornucopiae”, the last work created within the Institution, concluded the end of a form of performance and opened the doors to another approach to sensorial perception.

Concurrently to her choreographic work, Régine Chopinot worked, as a performer, with other artists that she was close to: Alain Buffard (“Wall dancin' - Wall fuckin'”, 2003; “Mauvais Genre”, 2004), Steven Cohen (“I wouldn't be seen dead in that!”, 2003). In addition, she trained and directed Vietnamese dancers as part of a partnership with the Vietnam Higher School of Dance and the Hanoi Ballet-Opera (“Anh Mat”, 2002; “Giap Than”, 2004). In 2008, the choreographer left the CCN in La Rochelle and created the Cornucopiae - the independent dance Company, a new structure that would, henceforth, harbour creation and repertoire, all the works of Régine Chopinot. In 2010, she chose to live and work in Toulon, by its port.

Since 2009, Régine Chopinot has been venturing, questioning and intensifying her quest for the body in movement linked to the strength of the spoken word, through cultures organized by and on oral transmission, in New Caledonia, New Zealand and Japan. These last three years have been punctuated by a myriad of artistic creations: choreographies and films resulting from artistic In Situ experiences were created as part of the South Pacific Project. A privileged relationship initiated in 2009 with the Du Wetr Group (Drehu/Lifou) bore its fruits with the creation of “Very Wetr!”at the Avignon Festival in July 2012 and went on to be reproduced at the Centre national de la danse (National Centre for Dance) in February 2013.

More information

cornucopiae.net

Last update : March 2012

Picq, Charles

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

Swim one

Choreography : Régine Chopinot

Interpretation : Régine Chopinot, Philippe Decouflé, Michèle Prélonge

Live music : Graham Fox (saxophone), Jean-Pierre Bessière (guitare basse)

Lights : Bernard Jamond

Costumes : Clémentine

Duration : 20 minutes

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