‘Les Temps Tirailles’ by Myriam Gourfink
Myriam Gourfink’s choreography moves dancers with the flow of a slowly meandering stream; barely mobile – yet always fluid – her work focuses great attention on the slow development of tiny movements governed by the dancers’ breathing. It stands at a long distance removed from other modern choreography.
‘Les Temps Tiraillés’ means “time torn” (or pulled) and this premiere of Gourfink’s new work deconstructs conventional concepts of performance and time and emphasises the unique revitalising of dance at every staging. The work is ongoing when the audience arrives and it happens both live on stage and streamed onto screens elsewhere. It also continues Gourfink’s exploration of the complex relationship between music and choreography, entwining her imperceptible movement with the haunting, spectral score by Austrian composer, Georg Friedrich Haas that engages two violas, a bassoon and one movement of silence within a computer-generated electronic framework.
Elite yoga — specifically of the Tibetan tantric trend – is the key to the strength of her seven female dancers and their ability to unfold long complex body positions and balances. Many times in this hour-long performance, the development of the next pose or movement seemed an impossible stretch even for such muscular bodies and yet, of course, it always came and sometimes in the most unexpected way. The movement and music seemed somehow to interact with 23 flat computer screens suspended over the dancers’ heads, and clearly much of the movement was improvised between key choreographic points in the composition. The relentless, slow circulation of the ensemble around the small stage progressed through seamless transitions into the construction of remarkable architectural shapes from the seven human building blocks. The harmonised excellence of this unit deserves individual recognition and so I’ll name them – Clémence Coconnier, Céline Debyser, Carole Garriga, Déborah Lary, Julie Salgues, Cindy Van Acker and Véronique Weil.
Registered in January 2009 Paris, Centre Pompidou by Graham Watts
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Myriam Gourfink Review from Ballet.co 11/02/09 10:36
The respiratory techniques of yoga are at the source of Myriam Gourfink’s endeavors. The idea is to seek after the inner urge that leads to movement. Guided by breath, the organization of bases of support is extremely exact, while the consciousness of space is shaky. The dance becomes slow, tedious within continuous time. This knowledge of movement and space makes possible the conception of choreographies without studio rehearsal. Thanks to what it suggests of a dance situation, there is no need to move in order to feel dance : the senses and the intellect reconstitute it.
As do musicians, she uses a symbolic writing system to compose the geometrical universe and poetic evolution of dance. Having studied Labanotation with Jacqueline Challet Haas, she undertook a quest, using this system as a point of departure, for the formalizing of her own compositional language. Each choreography encourages the performer to be conscious of his acts and of whatever passes through him. The scores activate his participation : he makes choices, carries out operations, confronts the unexpected within the written text, to which he responds instantly.
For certain projects, the scores include computer programs for the scrambling and real-time re-generation of the pre-written composition : the program runs the score in its entirety and generates millions of possible compositional sequences. The performer, via captor systems, guide the process of modification of the choreographic score, which they read on LCD screens. The computer setup is thus at the core of the space-time relationship. As the piece proceeds, it makes possible the structuring of as yet untried contexts.
A leading figure in choreographic research in France, but also the guest of numerous international festivals (springdance in New York City, the Künsten Arts festival in Brussels, the Festival de la Bâtie in Geneva, the Danças Na Cidade festival in Lisbon etc.), Myriam Gourfink was artist in residence at the IRCAM in 2004-2005 and at the national Fresnoy-studio for contemporary arts in 2005-2006, Myriam Gourfink has since january 2008 been director of the Center for Choreographic Research and Composition (CRCC) at the Royaumont Foundation.
This work is shown here with as courtesy of the artists with educational purposes.
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