And we, the bones, become ashes and powder
Simone Dompeyre Artistic Director
In the darkness of the early night, many people were standing around waiting for a ceremony? no noise, when a young woman in a plastic skirt with bubbles and lace made of hung paper, wearing big ranger shoes, started to distribute the same small folded papers with her open hands. They hid words that were soon heard in two voices, those of the two artists ? in photography, sound, video, installation ? Fabrice Leroux and ? in dance ? Cedranna, some of which were read on the wall, which had become a large screen. They say "universal" and "memory", "face" and "wick", "vital" and "erasure", "distant" and "dull" but also "heat" and "coldness", "reversal" and "birth", "blossoming" and "decomposition". The words come back in the last movement; they list the values recognised in the ashes, without refusing the antinomy, or accepting it: "fall, loss, abandonment" but "embrace, love, awakening".
Having scattered the last of her messages on the floor, she joins a wooden platform covered with grey dust, the ash that Villon's verse relates to our body after life? now in a simple tunic whose draperies connote those of statues of young women / sleeping goddesses or recumbents, she dances. The image is repeated in different dimensions, two monitors off stage and on stage enclose the body in their small screen, the large dimension on the wall exalts its delicacy, sometimes in the superposition of its remanence and gives it back the space and on the wood, the body is in the middle of the stage.On the wood, the body moves forward, turns slowly, decomposes its step, glissando? the body stands up more strongly and throws, projects, propels or lets fall back the ashes that the hands pick up when it does not mix them? then on the wall, a zenithal dive discovers the figures thus drawn.
Certainly, some of the gestures bring us back to rituals of mourning and penitence, and to the biblical background; for example, it is the offended woman who is judged guilty, in the Second Book of Samuel Tamar, daughter of David, poured ashes on her head and tore her princess tunic because her brother Ammon had raped her. The performance does not breathe such cruelties, it raises a dust that has lost all heaviness and ugliness. She keeps in her gait the fire that smoulders under the ashes.
The dance is not sad, it represents this passage towards a light, harmonious state? a floating moment; it takes the pace of other EMBERS ERRANT? and Barber's score is in tune with this moment of grace, this full moment, this moment of beauty. An elegy to a death that is not macabre,
nor horrific, which evokes funeral practices of mixing ashes with food for the living ? in South America ? making Buddha statues by mixing it with clay ? in Tibet ? fertilising the fields with it.
If the title is Villon's poetry, very far from his hanged men whose "magpies, crows (have) gouged out their eyes / And plucked out their beards and eyebrows", the tone of the work opens up a new Orpheus testament, where the poet would have become a dancer, where, like the phoenix, he comes back to life through his own combustion. The
The poet walks through the mirror, the dancer is attracted by the reflection.
This ash flows like water when she rubs it on her body, fills her face with it; it floats like air when she blows it, throws it away; it bears witness to the fire when the dancer approaches this column of light so narrow that it becomes an echo of doors to another world. The dancer moves forward, backward, and back again, caught by the light that makes her illumination? that makes her diaphanous. The ash keeps the trace of what was once the life of the human being? what the rose on the screen foretold, ahead of Cedranna.
Rose and Eros, rose and memory, traces of life; they scatter in the wind and spread over the earth or dissolve in the water, ephemeral like the flower, ephemeral like this performance in the half-light of the night "the sweet night that walks".
Simone Dompeyre Artistic Director of the TRAVERSE VIDEO festival
The performance takes place on a 4m by 3m rectangle covered with a layer of ash.
A single source of light as a door (A vertical double neon)
Dancing with this element, taming it, without fear, just a moment when the body abandons itself to offer its last dance.
Between strength and fragility, the body?s life force, beauty and fatality.
Performance (duration 9-13min)
Music Samuel Barber Adagio For Strings
St Sulpice Chapel. Istres. 2015