GONFLES/Vehicles - LA GRANDE PHRASE
Creation 2013 ZAT Montpellier
Recieved the Grand Prize of Setouchi Triennale 2013
A few words about the three dance pieces of GONFLES/Vehicles, and their resonance in public space.
The figures of the piece GONFLES / Vehicles are inflated with air. The air in these structures made of latex is the motor of this creation: it is the air which generates forms and deformations, energy and dynamics. The air is also the creator of a new link between the dancer, space, the audience, architecture, the city, the roads passed through, life in the public space is stirred and animated by it. The air turns the dancer into a sign, into a symbol, never unequivocal as I explain further on in these notes. The game played between the air and the “augmented” dancer confers a cosmic value to these figures, which are” beyond – norm”, accessible to everyone as universal symbols.
With this process as a starting point, the three different choreographies color the project in three different ways.
The pieces AIR (Kawai pink Japan) and the SACRE (Solemn black) are choreographed and written pieces needing performance spaces which Didier Theron chooses with the help of pictures or videos. These two choreographies confer a new perception to the inflated figures, who –despite their “beyond-norm” aspect- can be grave, solemn and serious, with a precision and lightness contrasting with their volume. Their presence is perhaps evocative of sacred characters of a another age. This reference is present in the very concept of the project and the inflated structures (Donald Becker and Didier Théron), with their explicit reference to Oskar Schlemmer and his interest in ancient cultures and their symbolic and universal importance.
The inflated forms look a lot like the “Paléolithic Venus” of the Quaternary period, as well as well as resembling the engraved figures on the menhirs of the Rodez “Fenaille” museum. But the forms also remind us of Totoro, Miyazaki’s figure: obviously, GONFLES / Vehicles has to do with the sacred.
These multiple link are felt by varied audiences, surprised and dumbfounded by the vision and the progression of these figures: one experiences a general empathy, and each one of us can find his own reference and link to these visions.
“La Grande Phrase” (The Big Phrase) begins as a written choreography and unfolds in the City. On the day of the performance, Didier Théron, the dancers and the Festival’s team decide upon which route and space the dance will take. The “GONFLES dancers become like signs in the city : various spatial situations are exposed, and spaces involving height are privileged. Our team is expert at performing in high situated spaces, as well as in very large spaces (500 meters and more) –we take into account all possibilities and occupy all possible architectural and city spaces. Thus, we use and occupy space in a “beyond-norm” fashion.
We also develop interactions within the space “belonging” to the audience : the GONFLES allow themselves to occupy all sorts of private or public spaces – intrusions into the audience’s space, getting very close to the audience etc. allow new ways of playing and performing. But actions also take place in stores, cars, accessible balconies, cafes etc. These spaces become the theatres of micro -choreographic events. Here we find ways of occupying small constrained spaces.
Here again we discover a game with space and proximity and these “beyond-norm” creatures. A playful and strange “upsetting” takes place, thus re-questioning the acting and dancing body.
We hope these elements will help you better understand the GONFLES / Vehicle, as well as its starting point.
Artistic director & Choregraphe
Concept of structure
Donald Becker & Didier Theron
Realisation of structure
Sami Blond, Filipa Correia Lescuyer, Thomas Esnoult-Martinelli, Roméo Bron-Bi, Joan Vercoutere