New breath : 21st century youth enters the world of dance
- Co-construct in collectives
- Appropriate the issues of our time
- Free ourselves from defined formats and registers, mix genres and shake up the rules
- Youth as creative material
For the 2021 Dance Biennial, the Usines Fagor present inclusive works mounted by creators who set out to meet young people in order to explore new sensory experiences, frequently multi-disciplinary and in collectives. The publics will navigate in each of their worlds, carried by teenagers, students or young amateurs. This is an opportunity to reflect on the place of young people in dance today: Who are these artists who create in collectives, who think society and bring it to the stage, who redraw the borders of the performing arts and invite young people to enter the world of dance? We offer an answer in this exhibition by producing an overview of the artists present for the 2021 Dance Biennial.
Co-construct in collectives
To work in a collective is in some respect to redefine the rules of creation: Traditional relationships between interpreter, author, choreographer and spectator are transformed. Talents are pooled, resources are pooled, the signature is joint. Two collectives, included in the Biennial’s programming and currently at the head of National Choreographic Centres, explain in their own words what this means for them.
a. (LA)HORDE, a collective of three artists at the head of the Ballet de Marseille
(LA)HORDE is a collective of three artists: Marine Brutti, Jonathan Debrouwer and Arthur Harel. Why a Horde? “We wanted to find something that truly symbolises the group, something incisive and easy to remember” they said in answer to Rosita Boisseau. They only speak in the name of the group. On the site, no individual biography, no “pack leader”.
Their creative process? “A continuous discussion between the three of us. We constantly share our personal references, go to see the same shows, films and exhibitions, and read the same books so as to build a common memory of the collective. »
“It’s about time! Finally something new in the world of dance! Something that talks about this 21st century” #Le Point – Brigitte Hernandez
b. In Rennes, the collective Fair(e) gets the CCNRB on the dance floor
Bouside Ait Atmane, Iffra Dia, Johanna Faye, Linda Hayford, Saïdo Lehlouh: the choreographers in the collective are self-taught, originating from urban dances. They reflect a new generation of creators. Each brings to the collective their own approach to dance, their technique and their history.
The collective includes, in addition to these five artists, two recognised professionals: Céline Gallet and Marion Poupinet. They are the creators of the mutualised production structure, Garde-Robe, an innovative tool that concentrates the activities of producer, presenter and event organiser.
Joined together, enriched by their artistic individualities and differences, they sweep the spectrum of the writing modes specific to their aesthetic fields.
“Nurtured by aesthetic contrasts and their divergences, the rich diversity of their profiles, their curiosity and interest for all artistic approaches, they link the institution and the underground, research and the pleasure of dancing” #Press release of the nomination of the Collective FAIR[E] at the head of the CCNRB
Appropriate the issues of our time
a. Topicality as leitmotiv
In Room with a view, “The choreography meets with music to recount the suffering and legitimate anger of today’s generations who seek to federate to find meaning, in communities of festivity and struggle, overwhelmed by the infinite violences of the world, which they play over and over again, in their flesh, as though to exorcise them” #Rone & (la)Horde for 20 minutes
For Noé Soulier, the new director of the Angers CNDC, the issues we encounter today and the impact of our lifestyles on the environment were addressed by artists long before they became key themes of society: “The major problems we will have to face tomorrow are probably in the process of definition in artists’ works throughout the world, although we are unable to fully identify them. Seen from this viewpoint, I think we need to remain aware that it is impossible to fully determine which themes are the most urgent, as this could blind us to ongoing transformations. What is playing out in front of us will always partially escape us”. (Interviewed by Philippe Noisette – www.sceneweb.fr)
b. Post-internet dance
2015, at the Centre Pompidou de Paris: (La) Horde proposed Tout commence par une gavotte, a choreographic laboratory on popular dance (from the gavotte to jumpstyle!), based on on-line tutorials. The collective is indeed part of the “post-internet” artists’ movement.
Today’s generation lives and learns by means of flows of images and information from the world over on the web Therefore, it is quite natural for the creation of their piece To Da Bone, in which they showcase the jumpstyle – a practice created and disseminated on and via Youtube, that (la)Horde recruits its dancers via Facebook.
What is interesting in Hard dance is that its dancers do not have a bottom-up relationship to learning dance, but rather a highly “heterarchical” one: they learn unaided on internet, in front of their screen, and share what they learn with their community.
c. Reincarnate the past, the work of Memory
Qudus Onikeku is a young Nigerian dancer and choreographer. For the creation of his show Re:Incarnation, he writes in his manifesto: “Then, when we think back on all the violence that black African peoples have had to endure in time and space; all the lynchings, the absurd cruelty (…), we can ask ourselves: who, in this concept of reincarnation, has come back here and now, in this new body that carries within it a certain number of ancient memories? (…) How then can we not dance? What is the value of such a dance by mindful bodies? How not to use performance as a means to seize it? »
Free ourselves from defined formats and registers, mix genres and shake up the rules
a. Do not claim to belong to a specific style of dance
“We are not at the CCN to promote any specific aesthetics but to talk about dance, or rather, dances, without partitions” #Ousmane Sy – Collective Fair(e)
“I have understood that a performance is a truly strange experience, and when it is well done, a performance is an experience that has no clear-cut designation or label. What we, as artists, experience during a representation is always something profound, and sometimes neither ourselves nor the public are able to grasp the mysteries of what is said, done or felt, because that goes far beyond what we understand or what is understandable.” Qudus Onikeku
"For many artists today, the idea is no longer to place a label on the movement to which they belong or the type of dance they practice, but “to dialogue in transversality with the other aesthetics, to be grounded in reality.” (Ousmane Sy).
b. Noé Soulier: ”The boundaries between roles are increasingly porous”
“The aim for me is to understand and show what has been playing out in recent years in the approach to movement. We are no longer in an opposition between conceptual dance and choreographic writing."
“The goal is no longer only to master a wide range of techniques but to develop a unique profile.”
Youth as creative material
a. Participatory pieces with young people in the Usines Fagor
“Give young people the possibility to be authors of their projects while accompanied by artists, who will allow them to live personal artistic experiences” #Biennal 2021's program
Ever since the awareness-raising and creation project that his company LA ZOUZE carried out at the Hôpital Salvator with delinquent teenagers, followed by the creation of the solo Retour sur terre centred on adolescence, Christophe Haleb has paid special attention to young people and to the place granted them in society.
With Entropic Now, Christophe Haleb has created a cinechoreographic installation that questions the place of young people in the public space: the spectator wanders through a maze made up of visual narratives, words, documentaries. The piece presents “young people” according to what makes them act: angers, desires, loves, social frustrations, living conditions, realities, territories, but also struggles and grievances.
Apaches, by Saïdo Lehlouh, offers a genuine space where tens of dancers, professional and amateur alike, can express themselves. Experienced in the practice of street performance, the choreographer offers a participatory form focused on b-boying, mixed with other styles (classical, jazz, etc.). In each city where he shares this ephemeral experience, he offers a new distribution, in order to enrich it and enhance it with different publics.
Since 2016, Irvin Anneix has invited teenagers to confide in their “future me”. A small video capsule that transcends time, where they recount and recall their desires, fears and thoughts of the moment, to the adult that they will become in the next decade. In these videos, Irvin Anneix, a multimedia artist and videographer, offers a pure and raw documentation on adolescence, far removed from the stereotypes we have of that age group.