PREMIERE Co-production "ob.scène" by Enora Rivière
Concept and execution: Enora Rivière
Artistic co-operation: Cécile Tonizzo
Interviewed dancers / Editorial Project: Christine Bombal, Herman Diephuis, Chiara Gallerani, Sophie Gérard, Thiago Granato, I-Fang Lin, Frédéric Seguette
Dancers / Choreographic project: Sophie Gérard, Aina Alegre
Light designer: Séverine Rième
Sound designer: Cristián Sotomayor
enora.riviere(at)gmail.com / production alice encore /
- DRAC Ile -de-France (Aide au projet)
- CCN de Montpellier (R.E.R.C)
- Ménagerie de Verre
- Centre National de la Danse (Aide à la recherche et au patrimoine + Publication d'"ob.scène, récit fictif d'une vie de danseur", collection Parcours d'Artistes)
- Fondation Beaumarchais (Aide à l'écriture)
Prêt de Studio:
- Ménagerie de verre (studiolab)
- Studio Daniel Larrieu
- La Chartreuse, Centre national des écritures du spectacles ( résidence d'écriture et résidence technique)
- Studio du CND
- Format, La Jetée, Nerac
With the support of Montpellier danse, in the frame of a residency at Agora, cité internationale de la danse
ob.scène: an editorial and choreographic biographical fiction
ob.scène is a biographical fiction of dancers as much editorial as choreographic.
It’s a cross-disciplinary project with two different aims.
An observation: the lack of the dancer’s speech related to his own practice.
An issue: opening a space for the dancers, in order to exchange views on their experiences and much more. Going over the question of the dance practice to think about a dancing life. Hence the biography.
A wish: a two parts work. First phase - writing an invented biography, second phase, staging a choreographic translation of this biography.
The political issue of this work pushed me to design and create it.
In arts field, who do we write the biographies about, apart from authors, creators, artists? If there are very few life stories about dancers, does it mean that the dancer can’t aspire to the status of an author, a contributor in the creation of the piece?
Reviving today an unfashionable literary type, as well as writing, staging a dancer’s biography, is a way to emphasize the dancer’s role as a creator.
Writing a biographical fiction: an editorial project
ob.scène answers these two questions :
- what is a dancer’s life ?
- how to tell it? How to express it?
A reflection as much about the dancer’s experience (as a job) as the biographical subject with a starting principle such as : the biography as a fiction, related to the equation : remembering = recreating, reinventing.
A biography in which we can find the idea of playing, acting, where we don’t tell the truth because it plainly doesn’t exist.
The work process: group interviews
ob.scène starts in a dance studio with a group of contemporary dancers (from different generations, backgrounds, training and culture), around a long questionnaire about their life. Each working day group interviews are based on two different ways of working: responding to questions and recounting experiences.
Questions about training, learning, desire to dance, having pleasure or not in dancing, the relationship to someone else, the imaginary, the politics, teaching method, creation, the audience, the performance, the speech, the social status.
Objectives - in turns - factual, fictional, sensorial, aesthetical, fantasized, imagined stories. Dancers as dance storytellers.
I decided to work with a group of dancers because I wanted to represent the collective dimension of this practice, emphasise the different identity layers that make us and also represent some dance history through the stories of the dancers experiences.
The writing of the text
Once I recorded interviews, I then transcribed them, and wrote a text based on this material. This text results from an editing of the many exchanges, discussions, stories and forms an anonymous dancer’s imaginary life.
This text is non chronological, doesn’t name anyone, doesn’t refer to any dates.
This text is a story of “the body”. Il talks about experiences and nothing else. It starts with a bow.
The staging of ob.scène : the choreographic project
As I tried to find what would « specifically » be a dancer’s biography, I try to find what would « specifically » be the staging of this biography as a fiction, looking for the dancing body, the physicality, the dance’s issues, the choreographic writing specific to ob.scène.
From the literal writing to the choreographic writing = an extension
ob.scène (choreographic project) starts where ob.scène (editorial project) stops, with the last sentence of the book as a starting point :
”If you have always wanted to dance? You can’t say. No. But also yes.”
Take the question of the desire of dance as a core question, and, in that sense, go back to what was a driving force, feed this desire and the fact you go on and still go on today. How to foster a desire to dance? How to show it? How to share it and make it collective?
Starting from each of the two dancers « biography », of what their experiences have been? What has influenced their career? We ask ourselves what makes us move, has moved us or will move us, through these kinds of situations for example:
- Return to a childlike state, these states where you enjoy every situation, every moment, in a fragmentary way. Get drunk with movements.
- Perform again dances, movements that you know you really enjoyed and that got pleasure from. Delightful dances on a lightning way, slivers of virtuosity.
Stick to what we would consider as the most important part of the dancer’s work when they perform, which means, beyond the question of a desire as a play construction, being closer to the acting awareness, to the distance, to the present time, here and now.
From the literal writing to the choreographic writing: a choreograpic translation’s process
The fact that the choregraphic material is directly inspired by the book doesn’t mean that the audience will hear the text. It’s not a traditional text staging. I am interested in thinking about how we go from this text (which talks about body and dance) to dance, without being literal. I want to think of the writing as a material, whether it’s literature or dance, as a way to think about space, time, dynamic, flow and weight.
I am looking for connections between the writing of the book and the writing on stage, in order to see what does the text does to the dance