herses (une lente introduction)
Choreography: Boris Charmatz

Note of intention

herses (une lente introduction) is a piece about contact, specifically about the confrontation - direct, ironic, or interactive - with certain concepts of utopia:

  • A natural utopia, that of the body, liberated and released into a world of green, sucked-up by the so-called essential forces, trees and flowers
  • The utopia of the couple, the construction of one by the other (encompassing the durability of desire), a choreographic image both irritating and archetypal
  • The utopia of community, the body shared or intermingled, contacts that are impossible or shameful.

These three “utopias of union”, and certain of their corollaries (the melting of the individual for the good of nature, of the couple or of the ideal community - the dream of an absolute and blinding coming-together - team spirit, escape, fusion!) give birth to a work performed by two couples. This imply contrasting reactions, ranging from sarcasm to fascination, and may aproach dangerous stumbling blocks - choreography as an end in itself, parody and pornography. And just beneath the surface is the perennial myth of the relationship dance-music, via an out-of-joint confrontation with certain of Helmut Lachenmann’s compositions.

Concerning the music
herses (une lente introduction) uses the works of Helmut Lachenmann, notably certain pieces from his “concrete instrumental music” period.
I wanted to offer an attempt at an approach to music that places the entire project under the aegis of this one composer, but that installs a tension between the music and the dance, evoking the impossible fusion between my nascent work and compositions that already belong to history of music.
In reply to the interrogations that listening to these works suggested and to deal with in my own way with this musical and intellectual material, I have conceived of areas of friction. First between music and dance, and secondly between different ways of producing sound - recordings, live performances and other manipulations. This use of the music is therefore partially and voluntarily iconoclastic. There is a zone of perturbation that finds its justification in the live interpretation of Pression for solo cello and in the use of a recording of AIR for full orchestra and solo percussionist. I hope this attempt at an approach will form, from the first hesitations until the live performance, a path towards the music.

Running time: 60 min

Interprétation :

Boris Charmatz, Audrey Gaisan Doncel, Christophe Ives, Latifa Laâbissi, Alain Michard
Cello: Andreas Lindenbaum or Garik Anichenko
Original interpretation: Boris Charmatz, Julia Cima, Vincent Dupont, Myriam Lebreton, Sylvain Prunenec, and Jérôme Pernoo (cello)

Light: Yves Godin
Sound: Olivier Renouf
floor: Gilles Touyard
Stage manager: Frédéric Vannieuwenhuyse or Gilles Gentner
Sound material: Helmut Lachenmann Air, for full orchestra and solo percussionist (1968-69); Pression, for solo cellist (1969-70); Salut für Caudwell, music for two guitarists (1977); Wolken im eisigen Mondlicht; Schattentanz, Extract from Ein Kinderspiel, seven pieces for piano (1980); Toccatina, study for violin (1986); Guero, for piano (1970, rev. 1988)

Production: Association edna ; Musée de la danse / Centre Chorégraphique National de Rennes et de Bretagne – Direction: Boris Charmatz. Association supported by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles / Bretagne), the city of Rennes, the regional Council of Brittany and the General Council of Ille-et-Vilaine.
The Institut français contributes regularly to the international touring of the Musée de la danse
Coproduction: Le Quartz/Centre National Dramatique et Chorégraphique de Brest (Création-résidence), Festival d’Automne à Paris, Centre Chorégraphique National de Grenoble, Festival International Montpellier Danse, Dieppe Scène Nationale.
With the support of Springdance Festival/Utrecht/The Netherlands, Prix d’auteur du Conseil Général de la Seine Saint-Denis, France (Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales 1996) and Centre national de la Danse – Pantin (2005)
Thanks to: Le Fourneau-Brest, Centre de Développement Chorégraphique/Toulouse, Association pour la Danse Contemporaine/Genève, Cargo/Grenoble, Festival Artdanse Bourgogne, the Centre Chorégraphique National du Havre Haute-Normandie for the production of the film Une lente introduction after the piece herses, une lente introduction (forthcoming in 2007).

herses (une lente introduction) premiered at the Quartz / Centre National Dramatique et Chorégraphique de Brest the 27th of september 1997

Cover picture: © Jean-Michel Cima / herses (une lente introduction), Le Quartz, Brest, France, 1997

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