Phase of Passion
A spacious apartment. Maybe only because they can see nothing else but each other. Soft light. Probably only because they mounted the window blinds though shift continuously daylight and street lights. His whole attention is on her and hers on him. In a silence enhanced by some noises, they have nothing but movements.
Everything seems to slow down so that you, as spectator, can follow each movement in details, like watching a flower blossoming in slow motion. The beauty of love at the beginning. Then love repeats and « camera » becomes subjective. You feel like wearing a headphone and light turns up. When love becomes a habit, the attractiveness starts dropping. Intimacy still remains while separation is on its way.
« Willie Deadwilder and Rebecca… » Separated, he and she keeps moving in the same way, probably as they used to be. That is just their memory, like all the lyrics. Love songs resonate when love is ended. Memory stays in the brain as well as in the body. Alone or with someone else, memory is somewhere. That is why Cat Power keeps singing and lyrics projecting. At the beginning I did not know how the performance would evolve and this direction was surprisingly beautiful. In the video, we could not capture everything at the same time but in the theatre I did, till the light was shut in the end. Sweet and sour, the song and lyrics, along with Kimmy and Steven, created an ambiance of American independent movie. I tend to believe that the separation here is just choreographer’s imagination.
Sweat Baby Sweat
– September 19th, 2019 – Lafayette Anticipations, Paris
– March 28th, 2020 – GT Online of Grand Theatre Groningen
Phase of Relationship
Passion can be anonymous, not Relationship. Embrase-moi starts with a choice of role in a relationship: Kaori or Théo. In Noisiel, I chose Kaori. We walked in the library and sat in front of the stairs connecting with the first floor. We sat in a semi-circle, staring at the empty chair in the center with a lamp lit behind it. In May, daylight at 8p.m. thru the atrium was still relatively bright. So entered Kaori, sitting in the chair. It was an intimate sharing about her memory of love and sex before meeting Théo. When Kaori’s memory « writes » in mind, my memory functions like a search engine: where was I at the age of …? For this part, the interaction with Théo at La Scala Paris was more dynamic. The midnight effect or just a question of the audience mix.
Time to join Théo. And story continued in another room: we sat around the stage where lay a Cyr wheel. The wheel is symbolic during the next part starting with living under the same roof. Illustrated with drama and movement, a « Ito-Thouvet » relationship language has been established over time. When the wheel is involved, this is the moment when Kaori considers Théo as the person to maintain a longer relationship. Surprisingly, I felt like watching the whole performance « being » Kaori as I selected starting the piece with her. In La Scala Paris, it was the opposite. When the wheel circles faster and faster, like the reality of our daily life, the piece ended marvellously.
Simple, sincere, daring to some extent. This piece has my full admiration. Relationship makes them believe that this is the moment to create it and share it. If the relationship of Abramović and Ulay marks the contemporary art, Embrase-moi has its place in performing art.
– May 21st, 2019 – La Ferme du Buisson, Noisiel
– Feburary 15th, 2020 – La Scala Paris
Phase of Adieu
In the interview with Julien Bécourt, Steven mentioned that with Elu they never had discussed the situation when one of them died. And it happened just like that. At the Théâtre du Rond-Point, he described the scene with Elu in the bath; It made me immediately think that the slaughterhouse scene was sort of self-recovery and I shared my thought with him afterwards.
When I read about this piece in the program of Festival d’Automne, I booked it immediately. Matrix of ballerinas. Each ballerina is like a small piece of Elu. Does Steven transform one ballerina every time he misses Elu? When I see all the turntables, they must love listening to music together as well. However, it also becomes a burden when music fills the space like grief.
Funeral normally has spectators and we played the role here. A personal ritual in a theatre that Steven considers as temple. I was particularly touched by the scene of cremains though part of my brain was biased by questions such as: could it be allowed? He explained it in the same interview and I completely agree with his lawyer: « I know that you will do it, and you will do it just. » I am more concerned about its bad effects for his body.
The projection of Elu’s photo ended beautifully the ritual. I did not clap and Steven did not come back to stage either. The title of this performance is the best answer for such loss. Life continues, memory stays.
Put your heart under your feet… and walk!
– September 20th, 2019 – Centre Pompidou, Paris
Phase of Looking
This is Pina’s last work. Love is stil the main theme.
After watching this piece, I had the idea of writing together these performances above. Fernando sat alone and all female dancers walked by. He tried to flirt with them, one by one. This scene is simple but so real. You can look for love but may never find it. You just keep looking, looking… Imagine if Fernando has been in that chair since 2009, the world premier of this creation? His hair is grey now.
If you are stuck in the phase of looking, you may not have the occasion of experiencing passion, relationship or adieu. So is love worth looking for? Violeta Parra’s song gives a possible answer: « love, with the tenderest of touches / turns the old (wo)man into a child / and only the most loving care / turns bad into pure and sincere (translation by Heidi Fischbach). »
…como el musguito en la piedra, ay si, si, si…
– October 3rd & 4th, 2019 – Oper Wuppertal, Wuppertal