2021 Thematik retrospective: Let’s Dance!
Since its beginnings, dance has had a light cast upon it by the seventh art, the pioneers of cinema having all used it (the Lumière brothers, Méliès, Alice Guy, Pathé). What could be more natural? Cinema and dance have the distinctiveness of questioning and constantly renewing our relationship to space and time through movement.
Dance also has the power to overcome the clichés that some may still have in mind.
These short films on the subject of dance offer surprising, personal, dramatic, funny, sometimes nervous or even explosive points of view. This retrospective provides an eclectic overview of all dance styles and their origins.
Many choreographers have been called upon for this retrospective because of their notable work with dance as well as their interest in cinema and the image (Yoann Bourgeois, Philippe Découflé, Oona Doherty, EN-KNAP, Jann Gallois, Mourad Merzouki, Mathilde Monnier, José Montalvo…).
Many types of dance are also represented: contemporary dance, classical dance, modern dance, ballroom dance, acrobatic dance, African dance, Korean dance, hip hop, break dance, krump, aerobics, tap dance, disco, electro, jazz, rock’n’roll, tango, sexxy dance. We dance for an artistic practice, to meet people, to talk, to get together, to have fun, to let off steam, to keep in shape. Everyone has their reasons to dance and they are all personal, different, intimate. But if we look at this retrospective, in the midst of all these motivations, there is an apparently persistent recurrence – these films and dances are ways to fight, protest, advocate, and demand.
We think of this Afghan exile in Greece, who uses dance as a means of social integration (Journey Without a Map by Jill Woodward).
We think of these three sisters, welded like the fingers of one hand against an evil authoritarianism (Sisters by Daphne Lucker).
We think of Rodney King, on March 3, 1991, in Los Angeles and all that it triggered, and which resonates strongly in the dance of these young people of Oakland, on this tune by Jean-Philippe Rameau (Les Indes galantes by Clément Cogitore).
We think of this Irish dancer, whose movements and body express an anger deeply rooted in her working class origins in Belfast (Welcome to a Bright White Limbo, a documentary by Cara Holmes about Oona Doherty).
We think of these Slovenian dancers, who, like a film by Ken Loach, find reason for the industrial history of another era and whose decline plunged many countries into recession (Vashava by Saso Podgorsek).
We think of those children in Bronx between the ages of 14 and 25 who were murdered (Never Twenty One by the collective Racine).
The ambition of this retrospective is to lead the viewer to the discovery of movement which, in its own way, will put our relationship to our body, to our emotions, and to the world around us into perspective.
Dance is a means of expression, a way of making the body speak, to express itself or even to release suffering, exorcise demons. Pina Bausch’s mantra, “Dance, dance or we are lost”, has never been so true, especially in these times when we have lived through confinement and rather peculiar social relations, to say the least.
So join us for an enchanted break in the heart of winter and let’s vibrate together to the rhythm of the films we have selected! As La Fontaine once said, “You sang? I’m delighted! Now off you go and dance!”