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Water Study, extrait de Sanctum [transmission 2022]

CN D - Centre national de la danse Danse en amateur et répertoire 2022 - Directors : Chaumeille, Ivan - Gubitsch, Rafaël

Choreographer(s) : Nikolaïs, Alwin (United States)

Present in collection(s): Danse en amateur et répertoire

Video producer : Centre national de la danse

Integral video available at CND de Pantin

en fr

Water Study, extrait de Sanctum [transmission 2022]

CN D - Centre national de la danse Danse en amateur et répertoire 2022 - Directors : Chaumeille, Ivan - Gubitsch, Rafaël

Choreographer(s) : Nikolaïs, Alwin (United States)

Present in collection(s): Danse en amateur et répertoire

Video producer : Centre national de la danse

Integral video available at CND de Pantin

en fr

Water Study, extrait de Sanctum [transmission 2022]

A choreographic extract remodelled by the group Mita Mita, collective coordination, as part of the “Danse en amateur et repertoire” programme 2020/2022 (a programme created to assist and promote amateur dancing). Transmission by Catherine Langlade

Presented on 18 June 2022, Maison de la danse in Lyon.

L’œuvre à la création

Water Study, extract from Sanctum 

Firstly produced 20 February 1964 at the Henry Street Playhouse in New York

Choreography: Alwin Nikolais

Piece for ten performers: Murray Louis, Phyllis Lamhut, Bill Frank, Susan Buirge, Mimi Garrard, Raymond Broussard, Roger Rowell, Raymond Johnson, Olga Zampas, Ann Carlton

Music: Alwin Nikolais

Original duration: 74 minutes

The group

Mita Mita is an organisation founded in 2006 in Athis-Mons, and chiefly composed of students from the Portes de l’Essonne conservatory. It was originally formed for the creation of a dance festival. The group has performed at the Lino Ventura cultural centre, in collaboration with various choreographers, including Catherine Langlade and Flavia Tapias, and also as part of theatre and clowning workshops. This is the first time that Mita Mita has attempted to learn a piece of repertoire, in this case, an extract from Water Study, created in 1964 by the great American choreographer Alwin Nikolais. 

The project

Tackling a piece by Alwin Nikolais, master of visual effect, also means exploring how costumes can sometimes radically transform the nature of movement. In Water Study, created in 1964, bags are placed on a bare stage on to which marine-life like shapes are projected. The dancers slip into these cloth envelopes which come to life with their movements live on stage. Under the guidance of multimedia choreographer Catherine Langlade, who studied under Nikolais at the Angers National centre for contemporary dance (CNDC) and at Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, the group wants to explore the multidisciplinary aspects of Nikolais’ rich and complex work, a work which approaches fine art. The technical aspects of Nikolais’ “total theatre” remain accessible, since he advocated for “dance for all and to each their dance”.  

Nikolaïs, Alwin

Alwin Nikolaïs was born in 1910 in Southington, Connecticut. He studied piano at an early age and began his performing career as an organist accompanying silent films. As a young artist he gained skills in scenic design, acting, puppetry and music composition. It was after attending a performance by the illustrious German dancer Mary Wigman that he was inspired to study dance. He received his early dance training at Bennington College from the great figures of the modern dance world: Hanya Holm, Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, Louis Horst, and others. In 1940, in collaboration with Truda Kaschmann, his first modern dance teacher Mr. Nikolais received a commission to create « Eight Column Line », his first ballet.  In 1948, Mr. Nikolais was appointed director of the Henry Street Playhouse, where he formed the Playhouse Dance Company, later renamed and known as the Nikolais Dance Theatre. It was at Henry Street that Mr. Nikolais began to develop his own world of abstract dance theatre, portraying man as part of a total environment. His unique choreographic works placed him in a realm previously untouched by other choreographers. Mr. Nikolais redefined dance, as “the art of motion which, left on its own merits, becomes the message as well as the medium.“

While developing his choreography, Mr. Nikolais' lifelong interest in music led him to create his own scores. Choreographer, composer, scenic and costume designer, has blended his many talents into a single aesthetic force. In a career that has spanned five decades, he has left his imprint on every theatrical medium, from Broadway to television. Whenever there is something new, his hand is evident. His lighting wonders, his sound scores, his choreography, and his costumes have influenced the contemporary stage and a generation of choreographers. Mr. Nikolais is the creator of the internationally acclaimed Nikolais Dance Theater and the genius responsible for dozens of visual masterpieces. As a uniquely original exponent of American contemporary dance he toured throughout Europe and subsequent tours to South America and the Far East. Mr. Nikolais is renowned as a master teacher, and his pedagogy is taught in schools and universities throughout the world. He passed away May 8, 1993 and is buried in Pere La Chaisse cemetery in Paris.


Source: Nikolais/Louis Foundation for dance Inc.


More information: nikolaislouis.org

Chaumeille, Ivan

Film director, Ivan Chaumeille, has worked with choreographer Dominique Brun a long time, most notably in the production of + One (2014), a creative documentary scheduled as part of the festival “Vidéodanse”, in the editing of which Rafaël Gubitsch participated; he filmed and edited two versions of Afternoon of a faun, choreographed by Vaslav Nijinski for the film Le Faune -un film ou la fabrique de l’archive. He also carried out interviews, and devised and formulated the ROM and video dimensions of the DVD (2007). He shot video sequences for the show Medea-Stimmen by Virginie Mirbeau, created at Festival Les Météores CNN du Havre (2008). With a background in philosophy, he produced a creative documentary entitled Avec François Châtelet, un voyage différentiel (2010) for the collection “À Contre-temps” in co-production with Groupe Galactica, Mosaïque films and Canal 15.

Gubitsch, Rafaël

Rafaël Gubitsch, who is a camera operator, film editor and photographer, produces documentaries and videos around plastic art, music and dance.

He recorded videos by the artist Elliott Causse “Fluctuations” in the context of his numerous installations and monumental frescoes. The film Propagations (2015) portrays the opening of the exhibition, which has the same name as his creation.

He made several documentary videos for Trio Talweg including the EPK of their album Trios avec piano (2018), the recording of which is shown at the Arsenal of Metz.

He has been assistant film editor with Ivan Chaumeille several times, including for + One (2014), a creative documentary scheduled as part of the festival “Vidéodanse”.

As a photographer, he planned the exhibition Urbanicités (2016) with Corentin Hervouët at the 39/93 in Romainville, which focuses on daily life and the city, the multitude of loneliness.

Rafaël has been the audiovisual operator of the exhibition hall of the Philharmonie de Paris since 2016.

Water Study, extrait de Sanctum [transmission 2022]

Choreography : Alwin Nikolais

Interpretation : Daphné Barbedette, Véronique Ciampini, Marion Colas, Marie Delyon, Patricia Doucelance, Hélène Gaillard, Éliane Lagree, Eider Nunes, Sophie Roy

Original music : Alwin Nikolais

Video conception : Ivan Chaumeille et Rafaël Gubitsch

Duration : 10 minutes

Danse en amateur et répertoire

Amateur Dance and Repertory is a companion program to amateur practice beyond the dance class and the technical learning phase. Intended for groups of amateur dancers, it opens a space of sharing for those who wish to deepen a practice and a knowledge of the dance in relation to its history.

Laurent Barré
Head of Research and Choreographic Directories
Anne-Christine Waibel
Research Assistant and Choreographic Directories
+33 (0)1 41 83 43 96
danse-amateur-repertoire@cnd.fr

Source: CN D

More information: https://www.cnd.fr/en/page/323-danse-en-amateur-et-repertoire-grant-programme

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