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Chalet 1

Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2015 - Director : Plasson, Fabien

Choreographer(s) : Plassard, Denis (France)

Video producer : Maison de la Danse

Chalet 1

Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2015 - Director : Plasson, Fabien

Choreographer(s) : Plassard, Denis (France)

Video producer : Maison de la Danse

Chalet 1

Chalet 1, by the writer André Baillon, owes its title to the little chalets of Salpêtrière Hospital. It was written after a time spent on the ward of the petits mentaux, or those with 'milder' mental illnesses. 'Chalet 1' is a mosaic of short scenes describing daily life in the hospital, with portraits of patients and doctors whose humour lightens the darkness. Jean Martin (a sort of double of André Baillon) is the narrator of the tale made up of short chapters with a restrained, pithy and very spoken style. 

A choreographed choir

The three performers each sit on a stool, as though for a psychiatric consultation or to give evidence. They talk together in unison, or share Baillon's incisive text through an often musical form of dialogue. The three voices are complementary and contradictory. They give us the impression of listening to the chaotic thoughts of the patient Jean Martin. We follow his racing thoughts, his interminable misgivings and his contradictory points of view on the nurses, his companions or himself. The set is rudimentary: three performers and three stools. The bodies are both the sounding boards of the remarks and the staging of the mental film that is projected. The movement is organised into a demented choreography that is as precise and original as the text. Little by little, the bodies take up more and more space, they upset, contradict or reinforce their words without ever falling into a stereotypical or hysterical gestural representation of madness; on the contrary, they reinforce the humanity and humour of the author. The movements are the music of the text, complementary but never decorative or illustrative. Gestures and words are synchronised with obsessive meticulousness to the point of making the contortions and convulsions seem perfectly natural. With total scenographic sobriety and strictly limited effects, the body and voice of the sick Jean Martin are augmented. At the heart of all this is the notion of ambiguity, of the multiplicity and complexity of the individual. 

The text

I have been haunted by the ghost of a choir of actors, minutely choreographed, for over ten years. Without any idea of the text, the vision of a choral score for both voice and body imposed itself upon me. With this project I am therefore returning to an old love for a text and a choreographed stage play ('Le Terrier', 'Jours'). That said, I am taking a new approach that places the group at the heart of the writing. The discovery of this text by André Baillon was the trigger. It clearly represents an ideal crossover between a long-standing formal desire and my current preoccupation with rift, turmoil and ambiguity. Here, in a limited space, between the walls of the Salpêtrière (or the 'pétète' as it was known on the inside), is a little play that is madly human – simply human.

Plassard, Denis

Denis Plassard started to dance on a misunderstanding : wrapped up in crepe paper for the "End of the Year Show" in primary school, he was convinced that the steps meant something and that putting them together was just like writing sentences to tell a story... Since then, a question (a bit odd for a dancer/choreographer) haunts him: what does the movement mean? What do we say when we move?

He then decided to study dance and entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Lyon. After he graduated, he danced for 2 seasons with Josette Baïz's company in Aix-en-Provence.

In 1991, at the age of 23, he set up his own company named after his first solo, “Propos”, which was created the year before. Very early in his choreographic career, he tried to create dynamic links between speech and movement and his work focused on the connection between "Dance and Text". His choreographic writing is precise, sharp and very theatrical, and his style is quirky and full of humour and derision. Prolific choreographer and eager dancer, he enjoys being confronted with new universes and is continually looking for artistic meetings and crossroads between different aesthetics.

From Kafka to Mermet, from Bizet to Labiche, from the stage to the circus ring, he keeps having new ideas that mix hip-hop, circus, music, theatre and dance.

Source : The company Propos 's website

More information :

Plasson, Fabien

Born in 1977, Fabien Plasson is a video director specialized in the field of performing arts (dance , music, etc).

During his studies at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon (joined in 1995) Fabien discovered video art. He was trained by various video artists (Joel Bartoloméo Pascal Nottoli , Eric Duyckaerts , etc) .
He first experimented with the creation of installations and cinematic objects.

From 2001 to 2011, he was in charge of Ginger & Fred video Bar’s programming at La Maison de la Danse in Lyon. He discovered the choreographic field and the importance of this medium in the dissemination, mediation and pedagogical approach to dance alongside Charles Picq, who was a brilliant video director and the director of the video department at that time.

Today, Fabien Plasson is the video director at La Maison de la Danse and in charge of the video section of, an online international  video library, and continues his creative activities, making videos of concerts, performances and also creating video sets for live performances.

Sources: Maison de la Danse ; Fabien Plasson website

More information:

Chalet 1

Choreography : Pierre-Jean Étienne, Denis Plassard, Jean-Philippe Salério

Stage direction : Denis Plassard

Text : Chalet 1 d’André Baillon - première publication : 1926 - Ed. Rieder (Paris) réédité en 2009 aux Éditions Cambourakis (Paris)

Lights : Dominique Ryo

Costumes : Béatrice Vermande, Julie Lascoumes

Settings : Yves Perey (Tabourets)

Other collaborations : Cie Propos et Éric Dutriévoz (régie générale)

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Coproduction Théâtre Jean Vilar / Bourgoin-Jallieu, Compagnie Propos - Spectacle créé en résidence au Toboggan /Décines

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Maison de la Danse - 2015

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