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Guide

September/October 2021


Guide

September/October 2021


ISADORA DUNCAN by Jerome Bell

Isadora Duncan is pioneer and trailblazer of the “free” dance, the “dance of the future”. With this piece devised for Elizabeth Schwartz, Jérôme Bel is continuing his series of portraits of dancers, which he embarked upon in 2004, focusing on the figure of one of her specialities, Isadora Duncan. Unlike “Véronique Doisneau”, “Cédric Andrieux” and “Pichet Klunchun and myself”, Jérôme Bel here, for the first time, draws the portrait of  a deceased choreographer, based on her autobiographical work, “Ma Vie [My Life]”. Jérôme Bel discovers, beneath the romantic figure, a visionary choreographer who, through her great freedom of expression, favouring spontaneity and naturalness, provided the bases of modern dance, which in turn lie at the root of contemporary dance. Mixing discursive and sensitive styles, spoken moments and danced solos, the performance brings to life the memory of free dance, by associating choreographic know-how with the spectacle experience. When linked with Jérôme Bel’s concerns about dance as a lever of emancipation, Isadora Duncan’s teaching, rekindled here, makes it possible to assert the topical nature of her critical potential.

 

“I didn’t relate to Isadora Duncan at all. Her art seemed outdated and not very serious to me. But then, by chance, I read her autobio-graphy. I was fascinated and began to research her. What I discovered there I found significant.” (Jérôme Bel, Tanz im August 2019)

 

With this piece devised for Elizabeth Schwartz, Jérôme Bel is continuing his series of portraits of dancers, which he embarked upon in 2004, focusing on the figure of one of her specialities, Isadora Duncan. Unlike Véronique Doisneau, Cédric Andrieux and Pichet Klunchun and myself, Jérôme Bel here, for the first time, draws the portrait of  a deceased choreographer, based on her autobiographical work, Ma Vie [My Life]. Jérôme Bel discovers, beneath the romantic figure, a visionary choreographer who, through her great freedom of expression, favouring spontaneity and naturalness, provided the bases of modern dance, which in turn lie at the root of contemporary dance. Mixing discursive and sensitive styles, spoken moments and danced solos, the performance brings to life the memory of free dance, by associating choreographic know-how with the spectacle experience. When linked with Jérôme Bel’s concerns about dance as a lever of emancipation, Isadora Duncan’s teaching, rekindled here, makes it possible to assert the topical nature of her critical potential. For ecological reasons, R.B/ Jérôme Bel company doesn’t travel by plane anymore. A version of the piece is  created in New York, by teleconference, with the dancer Catherine Gallant.

 

Florian Gaité, for the Festival d’Automne à Paris, 2019

 

 

Isadora Duncan

 

The American dancer and choreographer Isadora Duncan, uncompromising pioneer of modern dance, embodies a new freedom, not only for choreographic art, but also for the condition of condition. Indeed, her tumultuous life, which made her a heroine, fascinated her time, probably contributing to the extraordinary influence of her name and her legend in the world. With her bare feet, her thin « Greek » tunics and her « free » movements, that is to say freed from any known technique, she imposed a new idea of dance that relies on invention, improvisation, and harmony of the body and spirit. As the result, each choreographer will have to define his own personal « language ».

 

All images © RB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isadora Duncan by Arnold Genthe

 

 

 

Isadora Duncan

 

24th – 25th July

 

TANZWERKSTATT EUROPA

 

 

 

 

Production: R.B. Jérôme Bel
Coproduction: La Commune centre dramatique national d’Aubervilliers, Les Spectacles Vivants – Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Festival d’Automne à Paris, R.B. Jérôme Bel (Paris), Tanz im August/ HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen)
Support: CND Centre National de la Danse (Pantin) in the frame of its residency program, MC93 (Bobigny),  Ménagerie de Verre (Paris) in the framework of Studiolab, for providing studio spaces

This guest performance is kindly supported by Institut français and the French Ministry for Culture/ DGCA.