The heart of the project, which continues until the end of 2017, is the creation of three performances by Vera Tussing (London/Brussels), Volmir Cordeiro (Paris) and Anne Juren (Vienna).
The choreographer’s approaches are very divers, what they have in common though, is the fact that blind and partially sighted people are invited to accompany the process as experts right from the start of the creation and the intention to facilitate an equal performance experience to visually impaired and seeing audiences alike.
While Volmir Cordeiro includes an introductory touch tour as well as audio describtion as an artistic means in his piece L’œil la bouche et le reste, Vera Tussing conveys her choreography in The Palm of Your Hand #2 by a most of all tactile handling of the audience by the performers, by “moving yourself” and “being moved”. In Anne Juren’s Blind Spot again, the audience, guided mainly by voice and sound, is taken onto a meditative choreography through their own bodies.
Look out, open your eyes! With this new work for four dancers, the Brazilian choreographer who sees everything invites you to see the question of ‘seeing’ differently. Starting from the eye and embracing all that is globular, like the sun, the egg, the moon or the arena, Volmir Cordeiro has created a dance that expresses the functions of the eye and then evokes its physicality and actions – crying, staring, winking, spying, etc. The eye is a tool for exploring interiority, latency, the pre-human, the tactile, the animal, the excitement of thought, and darkness and intensity.
With this new work, Volmir Cordeiro is seeking to make ‘the eye that searches dance, the one that will look for the invisible, deep, hidden, mysterious mass of the world. That’s what I call the rest; the thing without a name, which cannot be looked at, subterranean, lost and unattainable; this matter capable of making us close our eyes and then cry out inside, and open our sight towards what we dare not look at. Dancing a dance that is embodied by the eye, dancing what the eye is unable to retain when it is in the process of looking, dancing what is left over in us, forgotten, rejected, set aside, dancing the obsessive fear of what one sees.’ Like Volmir Cordeiro’s previous works, L’œil la bouche et le reste is a flight into abstraction, life and the world, a dense, almost obsessive search during which nothing is ever left to chance.
Choreography: Volmir Cordeiro
Performance: Volmir Cordeiro, Calixto Neto, Isabela Santana et Marcela Santander Corvalán
Light: Abigail Fowler
Sound design: Cristián Sotomayor
External eye: Carolina Mendonça and Ana Paula Kamozaki
Audio description: Sabine Macher
Production Margelles / Margot Videcoq.
Co-produced by CN D Centre national de la danse, Le Quartz Scène nationale de Brest, Centre chorégraphique national de Caen en Normandie dans le cadre de l’accueil studio, the Ministery of Culture and Communication, Arcadi Île-de-France, Le Département de la Seine-Saint-Denis.
Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
The Palm of Your Hand #2 is a dance that takes place in the active, engaged, tactile negotiation between performer and audience – in their tacit agreement and understanding. Arranged in their ellipse, the audience themselves form the bounds of the theatrical space. The fourth wall becomes the skin. This is a journey that, by definition, performer and audience discover and create together.
The very homogeneous and organic choreographic works of Londoner Vera Tussing are an invitation to joint engagement and reflection.
With The Palm of Your Hand, a work dating from 2015, the choreographer continues in a vein she began exploring many years earlier centred around the question of movement and tactility. Dancers and audience share an elliptical space, a half-moon, with the people around the performers embodying the limits of the theatrical space, their skin forming a fourth wall. For tactility in the choreographer’s work is not an empty word, but a social act that comes into play, for example in the simple act of shaking hands. The simplicity of the relationship manifests itself in more classical choreographic motifs, the layout of the ellipsis creating a dynamic between the centre and the periphery, intimacy and distance, nearness and distance. This distance between dancer and spectator ends up disappearing, the latter being invited to take part, discovering and shaping the space homogeneously. It’s like a beautiful conversation between friends, skilfully and delicately balanced between listening and speaking, without one position winning out over the other.
There will be a touch tour happening, 30 min prior to the start of the show. The performance is addressing seeing, visually impaired and blind people alike.
Duration: 50 min + 30 min touch tour
Direction: Vera Tussing
Recreation Team: Solene Weinachter, Vera Tussing, Zoltan Vakulya, Gorka Gurrutxaga Arruti, Wei Wei Lee
Research/ Creation Performer Team: Ben McEwen, Erik Nevin, Meri Pajunpää, Camille Prieux, Solene Weinachter, Vera Tussing, Zoltan Vakulya, Esse Vanderbruggen
Contextual Research/ Dramaturgical advice: Lucie Beauvert, Michael Picknett, JS Rafaeli, Alexander Vantournhout
Sound/Video/Photography during Research: Emanuele Costantini, Alessandra Rocchetti, Benjamin Sommabère, Zoilly Molnar, Vinicius Salles
Design research in collaboration with Lucie Beauvert
Thanks to: Kate Goodwin and The Royal Academy of Arts & The Work Place at The Place
Co-produced by STUK Leuven
Research Supported: using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Commissioned by The Place with additional support from Klein Verzet, Dance East, Pavilion Dance South West and Royal Academy
Residencies: STUK Leuven, WILD CARD RESIDENCY, Ultima Vez & CND Montpellier
The Place ( London), workspacebrussels, PianoFabriek Brussels, BUDA Kortrijk, Graner Barcelona, Kaai Studios
Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
How can a choreography be conveyed through kinesthetic sensation only? With Blind Spot Anne Juren creates a choreography of your organs and body-functions. While the audience will be lying on mats with their eyes closed, Juren provides a setting open for everybody: a guiding voice and sounds will invite on a trip through body and mind. In the research phase the French choreographer will work with partially sighted and blind people in several private choreographic sessions, relating to the notion of blind spot and the premise that the body is a fiction and does not “exist”. Their experiences will influence Juren’s “choreography inside the body”.
Juren will conduct interviews with the participants and collect their feedback, physical impressions, kinesthetic reactions and created visual images, especially emphasizing on the notion of “pleasure” and “desire”.
Blind Spot will premiere late July in the course of the ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival.
The Centre national de la danse (CND), founded in 1998, is situated in Pantin on the outskirts of Paris.
Contemporary Dance Trust (The Place) is the UK’s premier contemporary dance centre, based in London.
Kaaitheater is a major performing arts house (theatre, dance, performance, music theatre) in Brussels that, as one of the central actors, operates within an extensive network of European theaters and festivals.
Each year, the association Wiener Tanzwochen (WTW) organizes ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Contemporary Dance festival.