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 Post subject: Charleroi Danses/Plan K - 'Moving Target'
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2001 11:13 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Image <P>Here are the calendar details from the <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/menu.htm" TARGET=_blank><B>Dance Umbrella website</B></A>. Click on the coloured dates for programme information and on the venue name for theatre details. <P>The Company created a lot of press interest with their 2001 Edinburgh Festival presentation 'Metapolis'. Here is the <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum16/HTML/000078.html" TARGET=_blank><B>link to our thread</B></A> with all the coverage. <P>Here is the link to the <A HREF="http://www.charleroi-danses.be/" TARGET=_blank><B>Charleroi Danses website</B></A><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited September 23, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Charleroi Danses/Plan K - 'Moving Target'
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2001 3:16 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<B>'Moving Target'</B><P>If you enjoy strong visuals and video projection than this is a show for you. Saturday night is your last chance to see it though. There were plenty of empty seats last night so you should be able to get into the QEH. You'll find details above. <P>The work was inspired by the journals of Nijinski and starts with a witty short film about feet. Periodically we then see a series of spoof pharmaceutical adverts extolling 'a chemical way to a better life'.<P>The centrepiece of the dazzling visuals is a large reflectng surface which swings down from the ceiling to hang at an angle above the stage. This enables us to watch the dancers from above as well as directly and when the dancers lie on the floor they can perform impossible acrobatics, a bit like Decoufle one has to admit, but still fun. Later there are images projected onto the floor of the stage which can be seen in normal perspective in reflection. Sometimes we see in the mirror dancers live on stage, the projected images and dancers seen through the screen. All quite dizzying.<P>This surface brilliance, enhanced by clever changing use of lighting is combined with adequate, but not outstanding movement from the capable dancers. Themes of 'normalcy' and society's urge to control our behavious recur throughout, but I did find myself rather distracted by the torrent of visual effects.<P>Definitely worth a trip if, like me, you enjoy multi-media performances. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited November 11, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Charleroi Danses/Plan K - 'Moving Target'
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2001 10:52 pm 
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<B>FREDERIC FLAMAND: LIVING ART</B><P>"You make your own theatre," says Frederic Flamand, artistic director of the Belgian company Chareroi Danses/Plan K. "Very early, from six years old, I remember in the garden of my parents' house playing with a stick." He was, he says, "inventing a language. To be an artist, you keep that."<P>Flamand, 50, talks about his work and "the extraordinary impression to be on earth" with visible, even child-like delight. He's a shining example of someone in dance who wants to mix and match with other art forms and collaborate on ideas. Most recently he has sought the skills of architects, working with them and his 16 dancers to create sophisticated, groundbreaking multi-media performance.<P>The instigation behind the Umbrella offering Moving Target was the uncensored diaries of the Vaslav Nijinky, the legendary Russian dancer who slipped irretrievably into a state of paranoid schizophrenia. Initially Flamand considered the relation between creativity and schizophrenia. "It's like a kid inventing your own world," he says, "or like a mosaic - you can give another order to the elements. An artist controls that. A schizophrenic cannot." The next step was "using the artistic character as a metaphor to make connection with the contemporary world." One of the chief links was the body. "I talk a lot with young architects who are not obsessed with making buildings. For them it's what happens between one skin and another, rather than stone to stone."<P>"The story of Nijinsky's suffering was not the point," he continues, "but how do we bring a different dimension to performance? They [New York architects Diller + Scofidio, his chief collaborators on Moving Target] proposed interference." A giant mirror is lowered and tilted above the stage. Flamand describes it as "a double stage. What's really strange is that the double is more interesting than the real. A dancer might be moving on the ground, but in the mirror he looks like he's flying - like a dancer dreaming of being Icarus." Then, from time to time the action freezes and TV-style adverts are broadcast extolling the virtues of a range of pharmaceuticals (ConfiDerm, NuMoral, Libidophren) designed to render somebody systematically normal. "It's what you cannot do as an artist," Flamand says, clearly enjoying the satire involved. He mentions onstage games like electronic traps, giant letters passing on a screen like a moving architecture. Altogether it's a vision of a society contaminated by technological advances.<P>Flamand's goal is "an interrogation about living art and mediatisation." The titular target, he says, is man. "All the world is colonised. Everything is under control. You can go anywhere. The next step is to control the body. But we've lost the quality of trajectory from one point to another, the feeling of a journey. When you go so quickly, the mind cannot realise where it is. Consequently we're in a state of amnesia, what is called a new barbarism. It's the big thing of the 21st century, what you read in the paper every day. In this world, everybody is Nijinsky."<P>What Flamand terms 'the dream of ubiquity,' then, could also be a nightmare. Should we be frightened of this future that's already here? "Yes and no. The curiosity and sense of discovery inherent in new technology," he says, "can be jubilation, but perhaps it will destroy us." Although Flamand considers himself neither technophile nor technophobe (although he no longer flies in airplanes), he refers to what he and his company do as "working with the enemy. The role of art is to create a tension. Some regard technology as the saviour of humankind. It's at a very dangerous moment now. We use it from a critical point of view. Art has to be critical, or else it's only decoration. But," he concludes, "there is no message we impose. It's the kind of performance where everybody will have a different view."<P>Flamand wants his Target to be emotionally moving, too. "There's something spectacular about the production, but I hate that word. We go toward something much more intimate and human." How much of him, his personality or core being, is in his work? "If you make bread, you feel inside it. Everyone thinks it's big technology. But it's artisanship, what we do" In the past he worked with Polish theatre guru Jerzy Grotowski and American experimental writer William Burroughs. "Everything was very radical then. Perhaps it was easier to be an artist, like a choice you make: You close a door and you are in The Art Section. I was ready to go into that direction." Of course a major part of Flamand's rasion d'etre is to open the metaphorical doors of art. "We don't know our limit. That's the thing I keep from Grotowski. The dancers do a lot of exercises, but they choose how they do them. I push them: You must go further, you must not keep to the quickly beautiful!" Other elements he seeks are "atmosphere, quality of colour and movement dynamic, and meaning. I want it to be coming from them. If that happens, it's not dead movement that they are merely repeating." He also values a dancer's "quality of improvisation; how somebody gives of himself. It shows what they believe in, that it's not fake." It's certainly not a word you could apply to Flamand.<BR><P>------------------<BR>This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera.<P>Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.<P>This interview first appeared in either the Spring or Autumn 2001 editions of Dance Umbrella News. <BR> <BR>Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News. <BR>Call: 020 8741 5881 <BR>Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk <BR>Web: <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk" TARGET=_blank>www.danceumbrella.co.uk</A>

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This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera and first appeared in Dance Umbrella News.

Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.

Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News.
Call: 020 8741 5881
Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk
Web: www.danceumbrella.co.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Charleroi Danses/Plan K - 'Moving Target'
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2001 1:31 am 
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Scroll down and <B>John Percival for The Independent reviews Charleroi Danses, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London</B><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>See what you can make of this. Towards the end of Moving Target, several of the dancers wear straitjackets. They are not bound, however; instead, the sleeves are allowed to transform their arms into wings. So what's that about? Being crazy makes you free, maybe?<P>Crazy is about the mildest of the words that keep springing to mind during the show – or even beforehand if you read the programme note that (as a kind of warning) is in gobbledygook. A second warning comes when the lights go down and we have to sit through a five-minute illustrated lecture on the feet, full of pretentious twaddle about how they want to make us fly.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/dance/reviews/story.jsp?story=102306" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>


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 Post subject: Re: Charleroi Danses/Plan K - 'Moving Target'
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2001 1:34 am 
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<B>Donald Hutera reviews Charleroi Danses/Plan K, Queen Elizabeth Hall; Ricochet Dance Company, The Place, WC1 for The Times</B><BR> <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I KNEW that Moving Target, part of Dance Umbrella, had something to do with schizophrenia, a condition that sabotaged the career of Russian dance legend Vaslav Nijinsky. Although his febrile words were seen and heard, this performance by Charleroi Danses/Plan K was neither clinical nor biographical. Instead choreographer Frédéric Flamand and his collaborators, American architects Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, used technology, abstraction and metaphor to explore wider issues of conformity, psychological entrapment and loss of control. The 75-minute piece opened with a drily funny film lecture on the human foot. The first live “scene” was a ballet class, where dancers, manipulated by attendants, moved while attached to ballet barres by ankle, wrist and forehead. This was a neat, chillingly Soviet-style, reminder of how easily structure can become restrictive.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-2001375244,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><BR>


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