Walk Talk Chalk
Walk Talk Chalk
Walk Talk Chalk rises from the ashes of what has been laid waste by an all-consuming passion. Written in a sepulchral and broken-hearted voice, the anonymous 17th-century Letters of a Portuguese Nun tell the story of an extraordinary, insane and impossible love – and of unbearable separation : "And I flatter myself that I have put you in a state in which you can enjoy but imperfect pleasures without me".
Walk Talk Chalk delves into the heart of our darkness – into those unfathomable, unknown chasms within us – to embark on a journey which (perhaps) will only come to an end when we allow ourselves the respite we really crave. In response to the Christian-tinged redemption contained in the nun's words is an holistic vision which puts hope in despair and good in evil from John Giorno's poem Eating the Sky, the second emblematic text on which the piece is balanced. Two intense and paradoxical visions exploring the confusion found in people and in existence itself. Confusion in the image of this journey we are invited to take by Pierre Droulers; at times full of searing intensity – lightning, fire and a residual haze – and at times lit by absurd projections, before being invaded by an awakening that becomes apparent along the way.
A stage version of a mise en abyme, Walk Talk Chalk oscillates endlessly between collapse and reconstruction. For after all, despite the catastrophes and chasms that have appeared, we end up recovering. And yet this strange cloud continues to glide above our heads.
Updating: May 2013
After three years of artistic training at Mudra, the multidisciplinary school founded by Maurice Béjart in Brussels, Pierre Droulers continued his training in Poland with Grotowski. He participated in Robert Wilson’s workshops in Paris. During a trip to New York in 1978, he discovered the work of the Judson Church, and returned to dance after seeing Steve Paxton at St Mark’s Church.
He created a solo in Brussels with Steve Lacy, saxophonist and composer (Hedges, 1979). After working on various projects as a choreographer (Tao, with Sherryl Sutton, 1980 - Tips, with the future Grand Magasin, 1982 - Pieces for Nothing, with Minimal Compact, 1983 - Miserere, with Winston Tong and Sussan Deihim, 1985 - Remains, with Steve Lacy, 1991, etc.) or as a performer (with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Michèle Anne De Mey from 1986 to 1989, among others), he created a work in two parts based on Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce, in which he performed in a variety of ways, incorporating acting, dance, talking and music (Comme si on était leurs Petits Poucets, 1991, and Jamais de l'Abîme, 1993).
The question of form and the construction of a work led to abstraction, disposing of the theatricality which hindered him. He settled the issue of objects with Michel François (Mountain/Fountain, 1995), and explored light and emptiness with Ann Veronica Janssens – artists aroused his interest in matter (De l’Air et du Vent, 1996). He alternated between small and large forms, feeling the necessity to be closer to the performer. Petites Formes, 1997, invited four performers – Stefan Dreher, Thomas Hauert, Tijen Lawton and Celia Hope-Simpson – each to create a small form alongside the one Pierre Droulers created for them. Multum in Parvo, at the KunstenFestivaldesarts,1998, questioned the notion of mass once again with its 26 dancers. In 2000, Pierre Droulers staged MA at the Festival d’Automne with Michel François, Ann Veronica Janssens and Yuji Oshima – a stroll through the architecture of modern cities. In 2001, he returned to the stage with Sames, a duo with Stefan Dreher about the question of doubles and the notions of same and different.
Simultaneously Pierre Droulers opened a venue in Marseille, the Bird Studio, for hosting artistic residencies and north-south migrations on the site of Cap 15, with its various studios for artistes.
In 2003 he was given a free hand for a production at the Balsamine in Brussels. Dealing with several venues, moments and artistes (Vélo and Scrub Color II by Ann Veronica Janssens ; Alu by Michel François ; La Maison de Jan Hoet by Koen Theys), this single, unified event presents an itinerary, a pathway between dance, the visual arts and sound that marks a return to small-scale form (Parades) and to group composition/improvisation (Appartement).
In 2004 he produced Inouï, which was presented in Belgium, France and Germany. In 2005 he took part in the Agora project presented in the grounds of the Parc Royal in Brussels as part of the Kunstenfestivaldesarts, on which he collaborated with the artist Simon Siegmann, the composer George Van Dam and the writer Jean-Michel Espitallier.
After Flowers, piece for 8 dancers created inside the Charleroi Danses Biennal and the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in 2007, and All in All, commissioned by the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon, Pierre Droulers presented his piece Walk Talk Chalk, at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in 2009. In 2010, he recreated de l’air et du vent he presented among others in May 2011 at the Théâtre de la Cité internationale in Paris. The piece is still touring.
Pierre Droulers is now associate artist at Charleroi Danses, the Choreographic Centre of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.
Soleils, Pierre Droulers’ last creation, has been created in May 2013 during the Kunstenfestivaldesarts.
Updating : July 2014
Walk Talk Chalk
Choreography : Pierre Droulers
Choreography assistance : Olivier Balzarini
Interpretation : Stefan Dreher, Thomas Hauert, Clémence Galliard, Hanna Ahti, Martin Roehrich
Artistic consultancy / Dramaturgy : Conseiller chorégraphique Johanne Saunier Conseiller dramaturgique Antoine Pickels Collaborations artistiques Michel François, Gwendoline Robin
Original music : Denis Mariotte
Video conception : Denis Mariotte
Lights : Yves Godin
Costumes : d'andt
Technical direction : Direction technique Nixon Fernandez Régie lumière Gwenaël Laroche Régie son Xavier Meeus Régie plateau Mathieu Adamski
Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Production Charleroi Danses, Centre chorégraphique de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles Co-production Kunstenfestivaldesarts / Festival de Marseille / Le Merlan, scène nationale à Marseille / marseille objectif dansE / La Bâtie-Festival de Genève