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Grand écart

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

Grand écart

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

Grand écart

The first piece with the Chopinot dance company, “Grand écart” was created in 1982, one year after the prize won at the Rencontres chorégraphiques de Bagnolet (Bagnolet choreography encounters) competition for “Appel d'air” (In-draught). In this new piece, Régine Chopinot endeavours to work particularly on the relationship which links the theatrical action and the danced action.

Eight dancers in smart casual clothes inhabit the stage, which is laid out in corridors: “The dancers seem, from the back of the stage, to go up the front of the stage as if to leave the performance space: they mount an attack on the audience in a brutal confrontation” [1]. Drawing their gestures from everyday life, the dancers combine them with more technical movements, resolutely inscribing the choreography with irony “and the re-classified assembling of references, dear to the postmodern era” [2]: “The choreographic images emerge in the course of their connections and their fleeting qualitative organisation” [1].

The sound and the light play a particular role here: the bodies speak by means of onomatopoeias, while on several occasions, “the light sweeps from the stage to the audience, crudely illuminating the audience who sometimes make the thundering noise of a plane taking off” [1].

[1] Annie Suquet, « Chopinot », Le Mans : éd. Cénomane, 2010, p. 25.
[2] Annie Suquet, op. cit., p. 14.

Press quotes

“With Régine Chopinot, it is no longer about seduction, it's about fascination. Indeed, “Grand Ecart” uses confrontation, not diversion. Two lines full of hanging clothes line the corridors which direct the comings and goings of the dancers. There is no way out of these comings and goings, of this ceaseless intermittence between the proximity and the distancing of the bodies. To stop, it is necessary to fall, as the dancers do in a very neutral manner, from very high to very low. The group of solitudes which stand alongside each other charge and withdraw with unstoppable gestures. A scratch, a touch, a rustle, a slap emerging from a pounding rhythm are all immediately inscribed in a kind of immediate memory. The dance fascinates, paralyses, but does not charm. One receives it like the sound “stimuli” marvellously staged in an anonymous and neutral space by Philippe Cachia's soundtrack.

However, “Grand Ecart”, which has the violence, not of the cry, but of the murmur in the night, does not abuse its audience. Régine Chopinot does not impose a new concept of dance which would be supposed to educate.”

M.-C. Vernay, Les Saisons de la danse, No. 142, March 1982, p. 18

Programme extract

“Eight dancers, smart shoes under their arm, bodies supple or moving into an everyday gesture, space voluntarily reduced to a corridor, jingles from the background music.”

Programme from the Théâtre Les Ateliers (Lyon, February 1982)

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 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.

More recently, he launched the series “scènes d'écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library's digital conversion and created the website numeridanse.tv, an international video library for dance online.

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

Grand écart

Choreography : Régine Chopinot

Interpretation : Véronique Cappelaere, Philippe Decouflé, Pascale Henrot, Daniel Larrieu, Dominique Petit, Michèle Prélonge, Véronique Ros de la Grange

Lights : Laurent Fachard

Costumes : Clémentine

Settings : Clémentine

Sound : Bande son Philippe Cachia, Régine Chopinot - Régie son Philippe Cachia

Other collaborations : Régie lumière Bernard Jamond

Duration : 75 minutes

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