Wild Card workshop participation Maria Balabas with Vincent Dupond et Mathieu Bouvier

Wild Card workshop participation Maria Balabas with Vincent Dupond et Mathieu Bouvier

In the frame of the Wild Card exchange program ICI-CCN de Montpellier offered a workshop slot to its partner 4Culture, who selected the artist Maria Balabas (RO).



“Your knowledge requires new impetus

Your experience is useless and obsolete

Your vocabulary needs renewing

Finally, and without regrets, you can choose

No more “re”, “ex”, “because” or “if’s”

The only thing left is your body, for rebuilding,

A living body, your sole belief

We are on the threshold.

When the body escapes, when the body finds a place which takes it out of the flow, providing just a few moments to let go, then we see opening in front of us (and our dumbstruck eyes) a certain perspective of space, a vanishing line, with unsuspected depth of field, where nothing is physically premeditated, and where, in an instant, the body plays on what is beyond its scope, pursuing it, preceding it.

This physical state, where movement and breathing (audible or not) intertwine, without one dominating the other, allowing the artist to interpret his/her own unique traits and the audience to approach a vision.”

Vincent Dupont


Mathieu Bouvier: “Composing with, and in resonance to the vocal and performance practices of Vincent Dupont, I suggest a circuit of theoretical curiosity, crisscrossing knowledge of art philosophy, clinical concepts and anthropology, and tending towards a curious and critical approach to notions of image, ritual, figure and the figural.

A figural approach to movement blurs the semiotic disconnection between figuration and abstraction, thus favouring the working and understanding of bodily “figurability”: this is manifest when dance renders visible more than it shows.

In this way, far from figurative references, the word figure conjures up the sensitive epiphany which, at the sight of movement, rises in the form, intrudes into the body, awakening remnants and memories, and sending a strange excess of vision to the eye: a virtual image bursts forth through movement, rhythm in image, strength in form, a slip of the eye, a mirage in the similarity.

Just like dance spilling over the contours of the body, the figure hiding from the image, this is “clairvoyance” caught in movement, a trap or perceptive intrigue, the guile of a certain “demon of analogy”. Yet, if a dancing body has such high levels of figurability, it is because its expressivity draws on a deep, perceptive chiasmus: described by Michel Bernard3 as “trans-vocalisation”, a physiognomic matrix through which movement and word combine patterns of articulation and enunciation, rhythmic and melodious profiles, introducing perception to its own charade, the imaginary.

Movement and voice have the same essential vocation for the expressive body: formulation and incantation. Yet for me, this is where the immense strength of Vincent Dupont’s work lies: a voice uttering a genetic call to dance, causing the figures to rise within the body.“


Report Maria Balabas

Workshop Vincent Dupont & Mathieu Bouvier, April 2018

« The experience to work with Vincent Dupont and Mathieu Bouvier was extremely good for my developing projects. During the weeks we spent together, they encouraged me to continue with my work and go deeper into discovering the possibilities to merge the body and voice techniques.

One of the most important things for me was the inclusion of both theory and practice – and our tutors found a very good balance between them. It wasn’t a fix program, but a very organic way of working, with inspiration flowing from theory to exercises and viceversa. This workshop was a solid base for a larger understanding of the relationship between the possibilities of the dancing body and the vocal presence. For Mathieu and for Vincent, a priority was to give us a real experience of working together; this wish meant a lot of concentration and care from them. I appreciated their work, the quality of the exercises and insights, the input about our personal work.

I was the only foreign participant, which means, sometimes, a difficult position. But my colleagues, the students of ICI-CCN, gave me the feeling that I am part of the group and, with their support, I was able to experiment with my artistic ideas.

I work in the field of improvised music, performance, field recordings, sound art and this workshop made me understand how can I combine all those techniques in order to create a scenic figure, a scenic object that is both authentic and expressive. In the next months, I will create with WASP, in Bucharest, a vocal performance and my participation in this workshop helped me clarify some of the ideas I will use for my own work. I want to create a group performance, a choral piece that builds naturally out of the experience of singing together; for this idea there’s no need for professional choir singers and Vincent and Mathieu helped me see the possibilities to work with normal people and their abilities.

I appreciated also the work of the ICI-CCN team and their engagement towards their guests.

I am very grateful for this working experience. »

18.04.18 - 24.04.18

Montpellier (FR)

supported/organized by CCN Montpellier