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Frédéric Gies

YOU HAVE MADE A PIECE, DANCE (PRATICABLE), THAT IS BASED ON A SCORE THAT CAN BE PERFORMED ALONE OR IN A GROUP. THE PREMIERE OF THE GROUP VERSION JUST HAPPENED. DO YOU THINK THAT THE SOLO VERSION AND THE GROUP VERSION ARE THE SAME PIECE?

They are not the same piece. There is just a very few adaptations contained in the score if you want to perform it in a group but it is not them that changes the work. To perform the score in a group makes a lot of things more visible than in the solo version. The effect of amplification created by the simultaneity of several interpretations of the score makes the structure of the piece more visible. It becomes very clear that the performers are following a plan and are sticking to it. It also appears in a clearer way that the structure of the piece is arbitrary in many aspects. In the solo, the focus is more on this ever-changing body that the piece proposes, on the changes in movement qualities. Somehow, the arbitrary aspect of the structure can be perceived in the solo as something similar to self-expression. What prevents from this is the particular kind of neutrality that the performance of the tasks asks to the performer. In the group version, the treatment of the space takes a very important place that is not visible in the solo. The spatial construction is extremely visible because it is repeated simultaneously by all the performers. The group version also raises questions around political organization, around community and individuality. It also makes visible in a very clear way the question of interpretation that is crossing the whole project. Though I propose a new interpretation of the score at each performance in solo, this question is not as visible as it is in the group version.

CAN YOU SPEAK MORE ABOUT INTERPRETATION?

The piece is based on a score that the performer has to interpret. With each performance, it is a new interpretation, and thus it produces something else, for the performer as well as for the spectator. What I became aware of while performing the group version, or after listening to feedbacks and looking at the film recording of the piece, is that this work also keeps open a space for interpretation for the spectator. The piece doesn’t impose one single reading and doesn’t manipulate the spectator. There is no imperative. In that sense, the spectator is directly involved in the work of interpretation.

WHAT IS YOUR RELATION TO COMPOSITION IN THIS PIECE?

Composition is one parameter that we don’t work with at all when performing the score. For example, when the score indicates that there is not a particular pattern to follow in the space and that we can circulate as we wish, we don’t try to compose in real time an interesting choreography in terms of space. The treatment of the space depends on the movement quality that we are in, and the relations between the performers are random. Though you can identify a clear structure, there is something extremely random about how we deal with movement, time and space. This participates to the totally unspectacular aspect of the piece but also produces quite interesting moments of coincidence, of contamination between the performers. It also creates a non-hierarchic relation between the performers. Each performer appears individually in a random way, not because of the composition. The spectator will maybe look at one of us for a while and for any kind of reason, or for an addition of several parameters, he will switch to someone else. And so on. Another spectator might follow only two or three persons within the group. It’s very open, nothing is made to guide the gaze of the viewer in the direction of one particular performer at a particular moment.

IS THE SCORE PRODUCING UNIFORMITY IN THE GROUP OF PERFORMERS?

No. It produces equivalence between people, but not uniformity. It creates community because it is based on a shared practice of BMC® . But as it is not about technique and shape, it doesn’t make us become uniform. I see also that the more we create community, the more the differences of interpretation are appearing. The work is conceived in a way that it shows that everybody can do it, whatever your body education background is. So it doesn’t hide the differences between people at this level but lets them be visible. It makes visible the body education history of each performer, without judging it. I think this is a consequence of the way of initiating movement that comes from BMC®. This visibility is a side effect of the activity. It is not something we focus on. It is just there and we accept it totally.

WHAT DOES THE PIECE STAGE?

It stages movement but not signs. Even the movements that can make us think of signs that we know don’t appear as signs. It is movement. It appears very clearly in the 4th section of the score, when the task is to hold for a few seconds a posture that crystallizes an endocrine gland (we do this for each endocrine gland). Sometimes, this activity can lead us to make appear images that recall well-known and symbolic images. But, even in this case, the way we produce the forms makes that it’s not about working with signs. So, the way we dance can remind some dance styles, but they are not these dance styles because we are not reproducing forms. One can recognize some signs but they are not these signs because we are not reproducing them. It’s all about movement.