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 Post subject: Charleroi Danses/Plan K
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 8:42 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<img src="http://www.singaporeartsfest.com/events2000/dance/img/chalerois01.jpg" alt="" />

Charleroi Danses/Plan K

<img src="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/charleroi/details.gif" alt="" />

Metapolis Project 972

A welcome return following the success of last year's Moving Target as Frédéric Flamand, who began his career working with theatre guru Jerzy Grotowski and writer William Burroughs, continues his boundary-pushing exploration of real and virtual performance.

In Metapolis the choreographer has teamed up with award-winning architect Zaha Hadid to shine a light on a modern metropolis where technology allows the individual to be 'everywhere and nowhere' at the same time. Fourteen superb dancers, stunning sets, costumes and visual effects combine to present a futuristic vision of city living.

www.charleroi-danses.be/

Sun 27 Oct - Meet the Artist

Free to ticket holders after the performance.

Watch this space!
Frédéric Flamand will join the panel at this year's Dance UK discussion.


""a dizzying, dazzling vision of what lies beyond our urban sprawl" The Times
"a multi-media powerhouse which runs full throttle for 70 minutes" The List


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 Post subject: Re: Charleroi Danses/Plan K
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2002 11:17 pm 
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BREATHING FLESH, BREATHING ARCHITECTURE
by Donald Hutera


Earlier in his career Flemish choreographer Frédéric Flamand worked with Polish theatre guru Jerzy Grotowski and writer William Burroughs. In dance he has staged site-specific events in a swimming-pool, pavilion, refinery and museum. He is also exploring, with increasing frequency, the interface between live performance and new technology. This has led to projects with architects like Diller + Scofidio, with whom he made Moving Target (seen in Umbrella 2001), and Jean Nouvel, his co-creator on the recent Body/Work/Leisure. These are people who are as interested in the human body as they are in finished buildings.

Add to this list the name Zaha Hadid. Metapolis, her elaborate, high-concept collaboration with Flamand, is a dizzying, dazzling vision of what lies beyond our current urban sprawl and information overload. Lasting 70 minutes, it’s a fluid, many-layered kinetic conversation between real and virtual dancers, sound, light and scenography.

As a man with a multi-disciplinary vision, Flamand is less interested in collage than “an integration or contamination of languages.” In Hadid’s work, he says, “I am aware of that nearly utopian longing to release construction from the laws of gravity and to break away from the existing codes of her discipline, two imperatives that are behind my approach.” Their common goal was “to evoke a utopian city structured by a play of opposites: fluidity/rupture, private/public, individual/public, moving/unmoving, order/chaos.”

Their starting point was an interrogation of what Flamand cites as “the kind of city we know more and more, like Los Angeles, where there is no centre any more. An artificial city. I try to relate dance to the world in which we are living. If we were in the 16th century I would use perspectives. But we are not. We are in a new world, and also a crazy imitation of that world. We live in a bombardment of images, but we know they lie. The body cannot lie. But it is being replaced more and more by machines and technology. In this performance we can send an image inside the form of a t-shirt. The idea is to give a human form to the image. In this exchange, the body begins to be urban and the city corporal.”

“Our ambitions were very much together,’ Hadid adds. ‘The connection between movement, costumes and set is seamless. The idea of public space could become much more layered and fluid. The point was that the space itself could dance.”
The ever-shifting centrepiece of Hadid’s designs is an elegant trio of silver bridges. Costuming also plays a vital role, whether it’s a single-armed, one-legged suit or a skirt of cushions. Thanks to the “blue screen” technique, these odd surfaces function as screens. Film footage (cityscapes, milling pedestrians, fairground rides) is first projected onto bridges, clothing and swatches of free-wheeling fabric, and then blown up onto a huge screen backdrop.

Where is the human being in all of this? Absorbed and overwhelmed by a stream of busy, bewildering imagery. Flamand is genuinely concerned about the rhythms and qualities of contemporary life. His fourteen dancers rush and swoop along to an eclectic soundtrack that combines hums, throbs and whistles with, say, saucy shards of retro-techno Berlioz. The result is a work of technical sophistication containing much to look at and think about.

WHO: CHARLEROI DANSES/PLAN K
WHAT: METAPOLIS PROJECT 972
WHEN: SUN 27 - MON 28 OCT
WHERE: QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL
ON SALE: NOW! £11 - £17.50 (CONC £2 OFF)
BEST AVAILABLE SEATS JUST
£10 IF BOOKED & PAID FOR BEFORE 1 SEP
TICKETS: 020 7960 4203

<small>[ 09-09-2002, 01:18: Message edited by: Donald Hutera ]</small>

_________________
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
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2002 12:22 am 
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Charleroi Danses/Plan K brought Metapolis Project 972 to the Singapore Arts Festival in June this year. Here is an earlier thread in the Modern Dance forum:

Compagnie Charleroi/Danses-Plan K

<small>[ 09-09-2002, 02:24: Message edited by: Malcolm Tay ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Charleroi Danses/Plan K
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2002 1:02 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Many thanks Malcolm and here is the link to our coverage of the performances at the Edinburgh Festival 2001


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 Post subject: Re: Charleroi Danses/Plan K
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 6:23 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
”Metapolis Project 972”, QEH, 27th October – a few quick thoughts

I enjoyed this multi-media production greatly and it held my attention throughout the 70-minute running time, extended slightly when there was a pause and a small repeat due to sound problems.

The Artistic Director and choreographer Frederick Flamand has always worked closely with other artists and designers and here, it is the brilliantly imaginative UK architect Zaha Hadid who shares equal billing. This is an astonishingly rich production with sculptural walkways that are moved around the stage by the performers to produce a series of vistas; beautiful use of conventional front projection and state of the art digital projection which enables Flamand to have dancers dressed in green perform on the stage, while on the large screen at the back we see the same dancers with their costumes replaced by city images. The tatty one side of A4 programme note give credits and noting else so it would pat to read the interview above before going if you want some background. Foe me there was an alienation rather than a delight in the dancers interaction with their environment and the high energy levels suggested an over-stimulated nightmare, with some exceptions including the tranquil, final scene when the city of the future landscapes have been left behind.

The choreography is only one element in this prime example of Gesamtkunstwerk. It occurred to me that “Metapolis” would be a very worthy entry in the Turner prize and would turn a lot more people onto Art than the award show usually does. The dancers are terrific and apply themselves to Flamend’s steps with gusto. I suspect that a show made up of just his choreography would not be over-whelming, but it’s a wise man that knows his strengths and Flamand’s ability to stage such a complex, exciting and cross-art form piece is second to none.

The final night is tonight Monday and if multi-media is your thing, run don’t walk to the QEH. The Box Office advises that there are tickets left, but they expect to sell out. So telephone booking is strongly recommended – see the first post above for details.

Also Flamand is one of the speakers at the "Watch This Space" seminar, which takes place today, Monday.


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 Post subject: Re: Charleroi Danses/Plan K
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2002 11:27 pm 
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Location: London
Charleroi/Danses-Plan K
Metapolis Project 972
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Sunday 27th October, 2002

I did not think I would enjoy the evening. The scrappy piece of paper masquerading as a programme put me off. Not because it was a scrappy piece of paper but because it gave me no other information than a list of names: that the company is “Charleroi” but also “/Danses-Plan K”; the piece is called “Metapolis” (?) but it’s Project 972 of Metapolis, although I don’t even know what “Metapolis” is in the first place. “How techno!” I thought. (Which means “/how irritating” in our language.) To compound my reservations was rumour: that the evening would be more architecture than dance. I had no idea what something looked like when it was more architecture than dance. I had visions, though, of huge installations and a few dancers decorating the edges with something approximating to dance. I asked the usher how long the performance would last. Something close to claustrophobia came over me when the words “approximately 70 minutes” were uttered.

As the performance unfolded a sense of relief came over me as I realised that my prejudices were unfounded. Forget the technical glitch of a loss of sound – I didn’t even use the opportunity to escape to the bar when the lights lifted temporarily.

The opening is pure ‘techno’: the company enters and picks up some gauze that happens to be lying on the stage. As the dancers create walls from the stiff gauze, lights flicker though the material to produce the best “son et lumiere” I’ve ever seen. While I was inwardly cringing at the prospect of 70 minutes of ‘techno-tricks,’ two male dancers dashed on stage and blinded me with their energy and their dancing prowess. It’s such a sudden entrance that it makes a real statement which could almost have been directed at me personally: you thought this was pure techno, Emma, but you’re wrong – this IS about dance. Their athletic bodies tell you that they are real dancers and to compound the point, their images are projected on to the back of the stage on to a giant screen/receptor so that each movement can be analysed.

What happens on screen both complements and intensifies what it is happening on stage. It is used as a clever gimmick: two dancers back away from the audience but appear on screen to come forward through a doorway created by bright light and loom over us. At the same time their shadow on screen seems to belong to two people walking up a ramp towards the audience. Who do the shadows really belong to? At other points the screen is the main drama. A woman lies on one of the ramps and gyrates rhythmically. Her image is projected on to the screen and she is flying across cities at great speed. The music and techno sounds blend perfectly with the action – nothing is out of place.

There are so many wonderful and wondrous moments in the production that it is hard to single out any for special attention. There are poignant moments when, for example, a dancer covers her naked body with a green square and then looks down into her new dress to see a shanty town being rebuilt after an earthquake. It’s as if she can hardly bear what she is seeing as people furiously dig at the ground trying to find survivors - but curiosity gets the better of her. There are spectacular moments: the man wearing pointe shoes who moves on his hands and slides and drags his pointes along the stage as if he is ice-skating. The stage and screen are bathed in blue light to produce a vast frozen lake and the ramps are now white frosty mountains.

Choreographer, Frederic Flamand, and architect, Zaha Hadid, have produced something fascinating. Architecture and dance are perfectly balanced and use of screen is properly integrated so that it is not just a means of enlarging the action on stage, but rather it changes and mutates that action into something that can be arresting, shocking, or merely interesting.

Ultimately, however, the success of the piece depends upon the constant flow of new ideas. The choreography is solid and the dancing good, but neither would survive without the backdrop. By the end of sixty minutes, however, I was beginning to tire of the assault on my senses caused by so much originality and wanted the piece to settle down. It closes serenely with a solitary figure circling a metal spring around her body as if winding the audience down after the intensity of so much energy and originality.

<small>[ 11-02-2002, 00:47: Message edited by: Emma Pegler ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Charleroi Danses/Plan K
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2002 12:09 am 
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Thank you, all of you, for your input. This is the most interesting theatrical event I've read about in a long time. Would that I could actually see it for myself.


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