Shihya Peng and Marco Di Nardo in Wang-Ramirez’s “We are Monchichi.” Fred Fouché photograph courtesy Maison de la Danse.
Copyright 2018 Anne-Charlotte Schoepfer
(First paragraph of English version follows first paragraph of French version below.)
LYON (Rhône-Alpes), France — Un propos fort couplé d’une mise en scène douce et enfantine : c’est le pari réussi des chorégraphes Honji Wang et Sébastien Ramirez de la compagnie éponyme. “We are Monchichi” c’est l’histoire de la rencontre entre deux danseurs étrangers, deux nationalités différentes qui doivent cohabiter et où vont se nouer et se dénouer les corps. C’est aussi l’histoire de deux immigrés débarquant en France qui doivent s’habituer aux clichés liés à leur pays d’origine. Cette pièce de 55 minutes, vue à la Maison de la danse le 22 Octobre — et reprise pour le Théâtre de La Ville le 21-25 novembre (Espace Cardin) et le 5-9 mars (aux Abbesses) — est adaptée à un jeune public. D’ailleurs la salle était remplie d’enfants et de familles ce soir-là….
LYON (Rhône-Alpes), France — A complex idea treated with a subtle and child-like direction: Such is the gamble in which the choreographers Honji Wang and Sébastien Ramirez and their eponymous company have emerged triumphant. “We are Monchichi” is the story of an encounter between two dancers foreign to France, two distinct nationalities which must cohabit and which tangle and untangle their bodies over the course of the 55-minute work. It’s also the story of two immigrants disembarked in France who must habituate themselves to the clichés associated with their birth countries. The piece, seen at the Maison de la Danse October 22 — and reprised at the Theatre de la Ville November 21-25 (Espace Cardin) and March 5-9 (Abbesses) — is perfect for a young audience. And indeed, the audience for the performance I caught was packed with children and their families….
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Compagnie Burn Out in Jann Gallois’s “Quintette.” Photo by and copyright Laurent Philippe and courtesy Maison de la Danse.
Par /by Anne-Charlotte Schoepfer
Copyright 2018 Anne-Charlotte Schoepfer
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BRON (Rhône-Alpes), France — “Quintette”, vu le 1er mars, c’est l’histoire de cinq personnes, de cinq êtres humains qui se rapprochent, se décrochent ; s’entendent et se déchirent… Dans cette pièce de 50 minutes présentée à Pôle en Scène (Bron) dans le cadre du festival Sens Dessus Dessous de la Maison de la danse de Lyon, la jeune chorégraphe Jann Gallois a exploré toutes les facettes de l’accrochage et du décrochage par le mouvement. En fait, elle traverse le fait de laisser son égo de côté et de s’entendre ensemble ou alors bien au contraire de se mettre en avant et de tomber dans la dispute et la cacophonie totale. On passe alors par des moments très fluides et très doux à des moments très saccadés dans le corps et très bruyants par la voix….
BRON (Rhône-Alpes), France — “Quintette,” seen March 1, is the story of five people who come together, break apart, sympathize with each other and rend each other asunder. In the 50-minute piece, presented at the Pôle en Scène as part of the Sens Dessus Dessous festival organized by the Maison de la Danse in nearby Lyon, the emerging choreographer Jann Gallois explores every facet of connecting and disconnecting (in French, ‘accrochage’ and ‘décrochage’) with movement. As the dance develops, Gallois explores what happens when one abandons the ego, or, by contrast, elbows everyone else out of the way, leaving the ensemble to collapse into disaccord and complete cacophony. We thus careen between fluid and gentle passages and staccato jumps and starts punctuated with explosive vocal eruptions….
Emilie Sudre in Anthony Egea’s “Soli 2.” Photo © & courtesy Jean-Jacques Mahé.
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2009, 2016 Paul Ben-Itzak
(Originally published May 27, 2009.)
PANTIN (Seine-Saint-Denis), France — Apparently to goose his party’s standing for the June 7 European Parliamentary elections, French president Nicolas Sarkozy just announced he’s going to send a couple hundred more police over here to this department (as French counties are called) on the outskirts of Paris to take back several areas which in his view have been over-run by gangs. I have a better idea: Instead of simply squashing all that youthful energy, how about re-channelling it into constructive, creative activities and ends? I propose sending those young citizens over to the Centre National de la Danse. Even if, when one enters its newish, somewhat cold concrete building on the banks of the Ourcq canal just outside the Paris perimeter, it may seem more like a library or hushed sanctuary than a place where dance students flock to get their technique pushed and dance fans to seek inspiring performances.
Justement, as the French say, it occurs to me that the audience at the CND May 27 for the opening of Anthony Egea’s putatively hip-hop solo “Soli 2” was predominantly white (the youth in Seine-Saint-Denis are predominantly colored, French of North African or other African descent) and, except for the kid two seats over from me who finally stopped squirming when the dancer Emilie Sudre took off her top (tastefully — her back was to us for most of this segment, and more about that beautiful back in a minute), predominantly older. And considering that this was a hip-hop solo and the lady was busting to move, markedly sedate. (Sometimes at the CND, I feel more like I’m in a science laboratory than in what is theoretically in part a national hub of experimentation for an art vivant; no hubbub here, bub!) But what if a bunch of those excitable youth from all over Seine-Saint-Denis were bussed over to the CND?
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