The Val-de-Marne 2023 Dance Biennale, a beautiful transmission belt between plays and generations


There are ‘ohs’ of amazement, ‘ahs’ of admiration, gasps and sighs, silence and the serene gurgling of a fountain. This innate way of circulating bubbles of life to let his dance breathe marks the gesture of Dominique Bagouet (1951-1992), a figure on the contemporary scene of the 1980s. Necesito, piece for Granada, premiered in 1991, a year before the artist’s death, a dreamy inefficiency spreads among the nine dancers. It replenishes the batteries of the band of tourists lost in the Alhambra who suddenly transform into cartoon characters escaped from the ancient walls.

On the wire of this “holiday room”, as Bagouet baptized it, we can see “a queen in ecstasy, a crying emir, a dreaming infanta, a cowardly bullfighter…” But, quite simply, burlesque silhouettes sketched in two slips by the mischievous choreographer who knew how to combine gravity and lightness without twisting his feet.

This show with changing moods opened, on Friday March 10, at Perreux-sur-Marne, the Val-de-Marne Dance Biennale, which takes place until April 6 in twenty-five halls and partner cities in the department. His presentation is an event. It was revived in 2022 for the first time, as part of the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris. It will be broadcast in different theaters, highlighting the historical aspect of the 22e edition of the event led by Sandra Neuveut. “Bagouet’s writing, with its attention to detail in the multiplicity of bodies, is no longer found on stage today and is missing, she confides. His disappearance marked an aesthetic break, because it occurred at the time of the AIDS carnage. It was also one of my first emotions when I was a student in Montpellier, and it remains unforgettable. »


In a varied program where diversity bears the names of Portuguese artists, such as Tania Carvalho and Marco da Silva Ferreira, or the Brazilian Volmir Cordeiro, the question of the handover plays on different eras and aesthetics. parallel to Necesito, piece for Granadathe irreducible best-seller dancing, designed in 1979 by American star Lucinda Childs, partner of Bob Wilson, is on view.

In another, more performative register, the South African Robyn Orlin gave the keys to her first solo, created in 1994, in New York, In a Corner the Sky Surrenders… to the Ivorian choreographer Nadia Beugré, who transmitted part of her show, Legacy (2014), to a dozen amateur women. “I like the idea that the biennale links the pieces and the different generations of artists, spectators and amateurs, adds Sandra Neuveut. It is our responsibility to share great works to keep them alive. »

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