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The Sylphides (Sylphs) are mythical creatures, symbols of beauty, intermediaries between the living and the dead whose diaphanous appearance has been a source of fascination to writers and choreographers, inspiring several ballets, including the one by Michel Fokine danced by Vaslav Nijinsky. This source serves to both dress up bodies and to make a radical break with its classical point of reference. Indeed, like Pâquerette, Sylphides is above all a choreography of the possibility of movement – of its revelation, its advent. A choreography in which movement is not a given but the result of a journey, an experience that gives rise to a new organism, new possibilities of inhabiting it and making it move. The metaphorical power of this work no doubt stems from the paradoxes that it reveals with regard to the very idea of dance: sealed in black latex sacks, where moving and breathing are restricted to a vital minimum, the performers display vulnerable, lethargic bodies; all that remains visible is the rhythmic breathing that shapes the latex like a second skin. Pure sculptural images, vitrified vanities in a sort of fictional eternity, they become surfaces upon which various images are projected: mortury mask, futuristic mummies evoking interstellar travellers, as well as a strange sado-masochistic ceremony.

The process to which they subject their bodies with their hypnotic plasticity symbolises a sloughing, a transmutation that is both physical and metaphysical. A ceremony of passage and parable of renewal, from inertia to movement, Sylphides marks a threshold in the work of Cecilia Bengolea and François Chaignaud: a zone of transit towards another form of dance, like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.

Bengolea, Cecilia

Born in Buenos-Aires, Cecilia Bengolea studied urban dance forms, before to pursue studies in anthropological dances with Eugenio Barba, as well as Philosophy and Art History at the University of Buenos Aires. In 2001, she moved to Paris and followed the training Ex.e.r.c.e. directed by Mathilde Monnier in Montpellier.
In dialogue with Levi Strauss’s œuvre Tristes tropiques, Cecilia Bengolea co-directed two videos in 2011: La Beauté (tôt) vouée à se défaire with Donatien Veisman and Cri de Pilaga with Juliette Bineau. As a dancer, choreographer and performance artist, Cecilia Bengolea perceives dance and performance as ‘animated sculpture’ and welcomes the fact that these forms allow her to become both ‘object and subject at the same time’.

In 2016, Bengolea was commissioned by the ICA for London Art Night 2016 to present a video installation into holographic mirrors at Covent Garden Market and perform an outdoor participatory dancehall practice in the historical West Piazza of Covent Garden with ballerina Erika Miyauichi and dancehall artist Damion BG Dancerz. Bengolea also works with artists Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Monika Gintersdorfer, Knut Klassen as well as Jamaican Dancehall artists such as Joan Mendy and Damion BG dancerz. In collaboration with Jeremy Deller (UK), she co-directed the film RythmAssPoetry (rap) commissioned by the Biennale de Lyon 2015. Their second film, Bombom’s Dream, shot in Jamaica in 2016, commissioned by Hayward Gallery London and Sao Paulo Biennial 2016.

Source: The company Vlovajob Pru 's website

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Chaignaud, François

Born in Rennes, François Chaignaud studied dance from the age of 6. In  2003 he earned his degree at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de  Danse in Paris, working with, among others, the choreographers Boris  Charmatz, Emmanuelle Huynh, Alain Buffard and Dominique Brun. Ranging  from He's One that Goes to Sea for Nothing but to Make him sick (2004) to Думи мої  (2013), he has created many performance pieces, using different forms  of dance and voice, in a variety of venues, showing inspiration from  many different inspirations. We see in his work the possibility of a  body stretched between sensual demand and the power of the voice, as  well as a convergence of multiple, heterogenous historical references –  from erotic literature (Aussi Bien Que Ton Cœur Ouvre Moi Les Genoux, 2008) to the more sacred arts.
He is also a historian and has published at PUR L’Affaire Berger- Levrault : le féminisme à l’épreuve  (1898-1905). His historical curiosity has led him to initiate a number  of interesting artistic collaborations, notably with the legendary drag  queen Rumi Missabu, of the Cockettes, with the cabaret artist Jérôme  Marin (Sous l'ombrelle, 2011, which resurrected some forgotten melodies from the early 20th century), with the artist Marie Caroline Hominal (Duchesses,  2009), with the fashion designers Romain Brau and Charlie Le Mindu, the  plastician Theo Mercier, and the photographer Donatien Veismann …
He is currently doing research on polyphonic repertory (Georgian, pre-Christian, and medieval).

Source : CCN - Ballet de Lorraine

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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.).


Cecilia Bengolea et François Chaignaud collaborent depuis 2005. Ensemble, ils créent Pâquerette (2005-2008), Sylphides (2009), Castor et Pollux (2010), Danses Libres (2010), (M)IMOSA (coécrit et interprété́ avec Trajal Harrell et Marlene Monteiro Freitas, 2011), Altered Natives’ Say Yes To Another Excess – TWERK (2012), Dub Love (2013) et DFS (2016). Ils créent en septembre 2014 en ouverture de la Biennale de la Danse de Lyon How Slow The Wind  pour sept danseurs du Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon et signent en 2015 deux  autres chorégraphies originales pour le Ballet de Lorraine (Devoted), sur une musique de Philip Glass et pour le Tanztheater Wuppertal (The Lighters’ Dancehall Polyphony).

Avec Sylphides, performance écrite  pour des corps évoluant dans des combinaisons de latex à air comprimé,  ils gagnent le Prix de la critique de Paris en 2009. Cinq ans plus tard,  François Chaignaud et Cecilia Bengolea reçoivent le prix Jeunes  Artistes à la Biennale de Gwangju pour l’ensemble de leur œuvre. Leurs  créations sont présentées entre autres au Festival d’Automne et au  Centre Pompidou à Paris, au festival Impulstanz à Vienne, à The Kitchen  et à l’Abrons Art Centre de New York, au Festival d’Avignon, à la Tate  Modern et l’ICA de Londres, au théâtre Sadler’s Wells de Londres, au  Tanz im August à Berlin, à la Biennale de Lyon, au festival Montpellier  Danse, au deSingel à Anvers, au Centre National de la Danse à Pantin, au  Teatro de la Ribera à Buenos Aires, au Panorama Festival à Rio de  Janeiro ou au SESC Sao Paulo et enfin plus récemment en octobre 2018 au  Festival international Kyoto Experiment, au Japon.

Source : Site de la Compagnie

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Artistic direction / Conception : Cecilia Bengolea et François Chaignaud

Interpretation : François Chaignaud, Erika Miyauchi, Elisa Yvelin et Valeria Lanzara

Artistic consultancy / Dramaturgy : Berno Odo Polzer

Lights : Erik Houllier

Costumes : Sothean Nhieim

Duration : 48 minutes

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