Danser avec J. Weidt - La longue histoire de « Vieilles gens, vieux fers »
2006 - Director : Centre national de la danse, Réalisation
Video producer : Centre national de la danse
Integral video available at CND de Pantin
Vieilles gens, vieux fers
The long story of « Vieilles Gens, Vieux Fers »
In 1928 in Hamburg, the young 24 year-old dancer Jean Weidt presented the first piece from his suite “Vieilles Gens, Vieux Fers”. Traumatised by the aftermath of the Great War, he introduced a fascinating and provocative vision of Expressionist dance. Revived throughout his career, the piece is emblematic of his engagement as a “red dancer”, placing dance at the heart of politics and social issues.
In 1948 Françoise and Dominique Dupuy performed this piece with the Ballets des Arts. In 2006, the revival of the work went beyond questioning memory and reconstruction to investigate the very substance of this dance, its body states, its energy, etc.
During the performance, Françoise and Dominique Dupuy accompany the dance with images, words and demonstrations of movement in order to put it back into its historical, political and aesthetic context.
Updating: November 2010
German dancer, choreographer and teacher from a working-class background, Jean Weidt dedicated his art to the political dimension of the body and to the proletarian cause in particular.
In 1929, under the Weimar Republic, he created the ensemble “Die Roten Tänzer” (The Red Dancers), a group of politically-engaged dancers who took the initiative to tackle political and social questions on stage through the artistic means of expressionist dance. As a member of the communist party, he fled Germany in 1933 and lived between Paris, Moscow and Prague. At the start of the Second World War, he was deported to a stateless persons' refugee camp in Algeria before joining the British Army.
In 1946 he founded the Ballet des Arts and won the gold medal at the International Dance Archives Competition in Copenhagen with "La Cellule” in 1947. He returned to Berlin in 1949, where we worked for the Comic Opera in particular.
Last update : November 2010
Dominique Dupuy entered Jean Weidt's Ballets des arts at the age of 16, where he first performed solo roles such as that of the son in “La Cellule” by Jean Weidt, who was awarded first prize in the competition of the Archives internationales de la danse in Copenhagen in 1947. After several years dancing with Françoise Dupuy as “Françoise et Dominique”, the pair founded the Ballets modernes de Paris together, as part of which Dominique Dupuy would interpret several legendary roles: le Faune, le Mandarin merveilleux, le Piéton de l'air, l'Homme et son désir. Dominique Dupuy created six solos, the first of which came into being at the request of Amélie Grand and was conceived for the first week of the Avignon Dance Week, a precursor of the Hivernales Dance Festival: “Le Cercle dans tous ses états” (1979), “Trajectoires” (1980), “En vol” (1983), “Ballum circus” (1987), “L'homme debout, il…” (1995), “Opus 67-97” (1997). On more than one occasion, Dupuy expressed his opinion on the experience of making a solo, both at conferences and in publications. The project which would revive his solos came into being at the request of Luc Petton, for whom Dominique Dupuy recreated the cube sequence from “En vol” for the project “Passeur de danse”. He then recreated five other sequences for “Passeur de solitudes I”, presented in May 2000 at the Regard du cygnet centre in Paris and at the Avignon Hivernales Dance Festival.
From 1995 to 2007, he and Françoise Dupuy directed the Mas de la danse – the principal centre for the study and research of contemporary dance in France. Since then he has devoted his time to putting his archives in order.
This dancer and choreographer founded the Ballets modernes de Paris (1954-1979) with Dominique Dupuy (whom she met while working for Jean Weidt), and the International Contemporary Dance Encounters (1969). Appointed as Dance Inspector at the French Ministry of Culture in 1987, Françoise Dupuy worked to set up the State Diploma and initiate dance in schools. In 1990 she became director of the IFEDEM Danse, which in 1996 became the Paris teaching department of the APCND (Preliminary Association for the National Dance Centre). In 1997 she created and ran, with Dominique Dupuy, the Mas de la Danse, a study and research centre for contemporary dance which operated until 2008. Since then, they have concentrated on arranging their archives, while continuing with stage appearances and teaching.
Active on all fronts – as choreographer, animateur, director of a company, researcher and teacher – Françoise Dupuy has also performed, among others, Jean Weidt's “La Cellule” (1949), Deryk Mendel's “Epithalame” (1958), Dominique Dupuy's “La Femme et Son Ombre” (1968) and Jerome Andrews' “Capture Ephémère”. She has been an associated artist at the Ballet Atlantique Régine Chopinot and choreographed “Paso”, “Visage de Terre”, “Antigone”, “Ana non” and “Eclats”. Her dancing and teaching are marked by Hellerau-Luxembourg, her “choreographic cradle”.
Updated: November 2010
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.).
La longue histoire de Vieilles gens, vieux fers
Artistic direction / Conception : Françoise Dupuy, Dominique Dupuy
Choreography : Jean Weidt
Interpretation : Albane Bouvier, Amala Dianor, Isabelle Dufau, Dominique Dupuy, Fanny Maire, Fabrice Merlen, Florent Ottello, Stéphanie Pignon, Céline Roussel, Barbara Sarreau
Original music : Caix D'Hervelois
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