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Very Wetr !

CN D - Centre national de la danse 2013 - Director : Centre national de la danse, Réalisation

Choreographer(s) : Chopinot, Régine (France)

Present in collection(s): Centre national de la danse , CN D - Spectacles et performances

Video producer : Centre national de la danse

Integral video available at CND de Pantin

en fr

Very Wetr !

CN D - Centre national de la danse 2013 - Director : Centre national de la danse, Réalisation

Choreographer(s) : Chopinot, Régine (France)

Present in collection(s): Centre national de la danse , CN D - Spectacles et performances

Video producer : Centre national de la danse

Integral video available at CND de Pantin

en fr

Very Wetr !

A music and dance project co-developed by Umuissi Hnamano and Régine Chopinot.

Travel, meeting people and learning about herself through contact with other cultures have always been extremely important to Régine Chopinot. In New Caledonia, she became acquainted with the Wetr, a traditional group from the island of Lifou/Drehu which, since 1992, has reclaimed and given a contemporary stamp to the dances and songs which disappeared as a result of French colonisation.

An ancestral art adapted to the modern world

“Traditional dance is an art form in everyday life. Formerly with warlike connotations, strictly reserved for the men, the traditional Kanak dances became the symbol of a whole art form of everyday life and consist of a large variety of postures and rhythms. Transmitted in the oral tradition, from generation to generation, these bodily expressions were transformed into moments of joy and sharing, in particular in the celebrations of social rites. Over the years, the women also found their place in the practice of this art. The Wetr group, which sees itself more as a “collective” than as a “dance company”, has always known how to preserve their Kanak artistic heritage in works that mix the original culture and that of the outside world.

Umuissi Hnamano

“As a group, Wetr is flexible and variable in its number but its spirit remains the same.  Anyone can be the leader for example, but the responsibility of the role remains the same. Each person is both replaceable and irreplaceable! Since 2009, I've seen the “same” Wetr perform, with new dancers and in very different contexts. As soon as you have the minimum number of dancers, singers and musicians and a leader, you have Wetr…”

Régine Chopinot, 2012

Updating: May 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

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.).

Cornucopiae

Very Wetr !

Artistic direction / Conception : Umuissi Hnamano et Régine Chopinot

Choreography : Régine Chopinot

Interpretation : Qane ANGAJOXUE, Monu DRAIKOLO, Hawe HNAIJE, Umuissi HNAMANO, Wemo HNAMANO, Drengène HNAMANO, Dawan HNAMANO, Tewie HNAWANG, Milie MILIE, Zelue SAILUEGEJE, Ixepe SIHAZE, Epiätre WAWINE et Régine CHOPINOT

Additionnal music : Maria CALLAS (in Appel d'air, 1981), André SERRÉ (in KOK, 1988), Knud VIKTOR (in Végétal, 1995), Richard MAXWELL (I'm Feeling so Emotional, 2004). Bande sonore réalisée à partir d'entretiens avec Umuissi HNAMANO

Lights : Maryse GAUTIER

Settings : Tapis de sol de Végétal Andy GOLDSWORTHY, tapis prêté gracieusement par le Musée Gassendi de Digne

Sound : Nicolas BARILLOT

Duration : 72 minutes

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