"ECCE (H)OMO - Black and White" by Paula Pi

"ECCE (H)OMO - Black and White" by Paula Pi

a project by and with: Paula Pi
with the collaboration of Pauline Brun (co-direction and scenography) and Thierry Cabrera (light designing)
choreography: Dore Hoyer
dance reconstruction: Martin Nachbar and Paula Pi

This project proposes a reconstruction of the dance cycle "Affectos Humanos", created in 1962 by the german choreographer and dancer Dore Hoyer (1911-1967). This cycle is made of 5 solo dances - Vanity (Eitelkeit) Desire/Lust (Begierde), Hatred (Hass), Fear (Angst) and Love (Liebe) - accompanied by the original music of Dimitri Wiatowistch (piano and percussion). Dore Hoyer is considered artistically as part of the second wave of the ausdrucktanz, german expressionist dance, having studied with Gret Palucca and danced in some pieces by Mary Wigman, including playing the role of the elected in her "Rite of Spring". Inspired by Wigman, Hoyer also started very soon to compose her own solo dance programs, with which she toured in Germany and Europe, as well in as South America and Asia, before the Second World War and especially after. Despite her recognition amongst the critics, Hoyer met throughout her life significant financial problems and lack of support for her art, living in a post war context that no longer valued the expressionist dance. Difficult to define, one could say that Dore Hoyer's "Affectos Humanos" cycle is marked by an energetic and expressive performativity, as well as by an abstract and highly technical dimension.

Paula Pi encountered the "Affectos Humanos" by Dore Hoyer for the first time at a seminar around the ausdrucktanz led by Prof. Sayonara Lopes at the University of São Paulo. Coming from a musical and theatrical background and at the time only beginning to discover the world of dance, Paula Pi was very strongly affected by the encounter with this work - or to quote André Lepecki, one could say Hoyer's dance made an "irresistible call": without knowing why or even how, Paula Pi immediately had the intuition that one day she should come to embody them.

The second encounter she had with these dances was already in France, within the masters program "exerce - choreographic studies", at the CCN of Montpellier. The theme of the whole first year of studies was coincidently the copy, the reconstruction, the re-enactment, and she felt that this was the right time and place to venture in deciphering this work physically, intellectually and affectively. During this masters program Paula could begin to learn 3 of the 5 solos, working with the video document and with the supervision of Martin Nachbar, whom she had the chance to meet for 2 working periods dedicated to the reconstruction of the 3 dances she had learned on her own (Nachbar is today, together with Susanne Linke, one of the choreographers authorized by Köln's Tanzarchiv to transmit the cycle). From this first experience in learning some of the dances and thinking and testing possible approaches to the work of Hoyer, several questions arose, and through them concreter paths to propose a reconstruction of the "Affectos Humanos" were unveiled: anachronism, the lack within the archive, questioning the authority of the author, zooming in - zooming out, repetition.

All these questions that mobilise us to propose a reconstruction of the "Affectos Humanos" certainly do not belong only to us, but to all those who decide to adventure themselves in working with archives, especially in the performative field. But it is nevertheless a question of, starting from “what is already there”, to paraphrase John Cage, finding performative, dramaturgical and scenographic strategies able to unveil these questions with which archives defy us, whilst seeking to make them even more powerful and disturbing.


27.04.18 - 27.04.18

Charerloi Danse, La Raffinerie Brussels (BE)



21.03.17 - 23.03.17

CND Paris



24.05.16 - 24.05.16

Honolulu - Nantes


08.04.16 - 10.04.16

Palais de Tokyo Paris


20.03.16 - 20.03.16

Musée Unterlinden, Colmar


Work in Progress Presentation

04.03.16 - 04.03.16



06.11.15 - 08.11.15

CND Paris, France

supported/organized by CCN Montpellier