Думи мої – Dumy Moyi by François Chaignaud
as part of Queer Biennial II – www.queerbiennial.com
I dream about this piece as about an antidote. An antidote to western theatre rituals, its head-on approach, its frequency, its power struggle. Thus we will be in a confined space, without seat rows or a stage. Close to one another. Few people. At floor level. One can pick the time, as the show will be performed several times a day – like for film screenings or fairground theatre. And we will make the most of this intimacy, this proximity, this setting to enjoy subtlety and excess – like in theyyam rituals in the Malabar, during which the amazing imposing costumes of the dancers turned into gods single them out while bringing them closer to those who came to see them and call on them.
Performed to the rhythm of Ukrainian, Filipino or Sephardic spellbinding tunes, I see this multilingual recital entrapped in a sculpture-costume by Romain Brau as a winding dissemination of dances, songs… and liquors. – Francois Chaignaud
Designed and performed by: François Chaignaud
Costumes: Romain Brau.
Lighting: Philippe Gladieux.
Stage manager: Anthony Merlaud.
Music consultant: Jérôme Marin.
Adaptations/vocal coach: Antoine Bernollin.
Sound mix: Jean-Michel Olivares.
Administration/production: Garance Roggero / Leslie Perrin.
Distribution: Sarah de Ganck/Art Happens.
Acknowledgments: Viktor Ruban, Cecilia Bengolea, Christelle Hano, Philippe Laboual, Philippe Blanc, Pascal Quéneau.
Premiere in 2013 in Montpellier Danse festival.
Production: Vlovajob Pru.
Coproduction: Festival Montpellier Danse 2013, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Centre de Développement Chorégraphique Toulouse / Midi-Pyrénées, Gessnerallee Zü rich, deSingel Internationale Kunstcampus (Antwerp), Ménagerie de Verre (as part of Studiolab, research laboratory).
Vlovajob Pru is funded by DRAC Rhône-Alpes and Conseil Régional Rhône-Alpes and is supported by Institut Français and Institut Français – Ville de Lyon for its projects abroad. François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea are in long residency in l’échangeur – CDC Picardie (2014-2015-2016).
Show recommanded from 15 years old.
Born in Rennes, François Chaignaud has studied dance from the age of six. He earned a diploma in 2003 from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Danse de Paris, collaborating soon after with several choreographers, notably Boris Charmatz, Emmanuelle Huynh, Alain Buffard, and Gilles Jobin.
From He’s One that Goes to Sea for Nothing but to Make him sick (2004) to Думи мої (2013), he has created performances in which dance and singing intersect, in a wide variety of environments and at the meeting points of many inspirations. From this tension the possibility of a body takes shape, inhabiting the space between the sensual rigour of movement, the evocative power of singing, and the convergence of heterogeneous historical references – from erotic literature (Aussi Bien Que Ton Cœur Ouvre Moi Les Genoux, 2008) to sacred art.
He is also an historian, and has published L’Affaire Berger-Levrault: le féminisme à l’épreuve (1898-1905) with PUR (Presses Universitaires de Rennes). This curiosity for history has driven him to initiate various collaborations, notably with legendary drag queen Rumi Missabu of the Cockettes, cabaret performer Jérôme Marin (Sous l’ombrelle, 2011, which revives forgotten melodies from the beginning of the 20th century), artist Marie Caroline Hominal (Duchesses, 2009), fashion designers Romain Brau and Charlie Le Mindu, visual artist Theo Mercier, and photographer Donatien Veismann.
Since 2005, a sustained dialogue between François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea has given rise to a heteroclite body of work, presented the world over. In 2009, they received the Prix de la Révélation Chorégraphique from the Syndicat de la Critique. Together, they created Pâquerette (2005-2008), Sylphides (2009), and Castor et Pollux (2010). These first three pieces position the body in situations of extreme transformation (penetration, oxygen deprivation, suspension) and expand choreographic language through augmented realities. These circumstances exacerbate as much the strength of the bodies as their vulnerability, their sexual power, and their infinite capacity to mutate. In 2010, they met Suzanne Bodak and exhumed the Danses Libres, forgotten choreographies conceived by François Malkovsky in the interwar period.
This discovery honed their desire for a choreographic language as rigorous as it is playful, voluptuous, biting, and idealistic. This work continued with (M)IMOSA (co- authored and performed with Trajal Harrell and Marlene Monteiro Freitas), which undertook an exploration of the New York voguing scene. In 2012’s altered natives Say Yes To Another Excess – TWERK, different influences – urban, modern, classical – rub elbows with the sounds of DJs from the label Butterz, whose grime beats are mixes of equally diverse sources. The dub sounds of High Elements are the ground for Dublove (2013), a spiritual and choreographic crucible entirely en pointe, created with Ana Pi. A lecture-performance, Le Tour du Monde des Danses Urbaines en 10 villes, allows them to share their fascination for the richness, grammar, and creativity of urban dances with a young public.
They received the Emerging Artist Award at the Biennale de Gwangju in 2014 for the totality of their œuvre. Their work has been presented at, among others, the Festival d’Automne – Paris, the Centre Pompidou – Paris, Impulstanz – Vienna, The Kitchen and Abrons Art Center in New York, the Festival d’Avignon, London’s Tate Modern and Sadler’s Wells, Tanz im August – Berlin, the Quartz in Brest, the Ménagerie de Verre – Paris, the Lyon Biennale, and for the Festival Montpellier Danse. In September 2014 they created How Slow The Wind, a work for seven dancers from the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon, for the opening of the Biennale de la Danse de Lyon. In May 2015, they proposed Devoted, a choreography for 9 dancers of the Ballet de Lorraine, accompanied by the chorus of the Opéra de Nancy singing a work by Philip Glass. In september 2015, they created The Lighters’ Dancehall Polyphony at the Wuppertal Tanztheater. They will also create a piece for the Junior Ballet Classique of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse de Lyon in September 2015.
Born in Paris in 1983, Romain Brau goes to Antwerp, international capital of fashion art creation, age 19 to study at the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts. In 2009 together with his friend Anna Kushnerova, he opens in Antwerp his first artistic platform: RA. In May 2010, he launches his own costume and clothing lines for men and women. In 2012, RA Paris opens, while Romain Brau keeps rising in the international fashion world. Today, his line is presented for each season exclusively in one shop (Joyce in Hong Kong, Seikatsu in Japan, Assembly in New York…) and Romain collaborates with many renowned artists with a “haute couture” leaning (Chadd Curry, Little Dragons, Jérome Marin, Ali Mahdavi, François Chaignaud…).
Photo by Odile Bernard Schroede
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