At Royaumont Abbey, the room So Schnell by Dominique Bagouet (1951-1992) revisited by Catherine Legrand – one of her most faithful interpreters -, opened the Dance program of the Festival. In an exceptional setting, twelve dancers of different ages and backgrounds revived the ultimate masterpiece of one of the most important choreographers of contemporary dance.
The magic is immediate in this outdoor setting. It was Hervé Robbe, the director of the Pôle Chorégraphique de Royaumont, and Catherine Legrand, who chose this unique location for the Festival: the remains of the abbey church – the corner turret of the North transept 40 meters high – and the Factory which housed a cotton mill after the French Revolution.
So fast !
The subject of the piece is a meditation on time, its title So Schnell means “so fast!” and comes from Cantata BWV 26 by Bach (1724) with magnificent words: “How vain, uncertain, is human life! Born like fog, soon dissipating, such is our life! (…)” As the dancers enter the stage-lawn, the soundscape is made up of an astonishing sound effect. The arms respond faster and faster in the form of propellers. Laurent Gachet recorded machinery from the family textile business that juxtaposed Bagouet’s childhood home. Remixed, these sounds formed the composition jack art song which is at the origin of the frameworks of the choreographic construction. This industrial polyphony also refers to the Abbey Factory. The musical accompaniment directed by Thomas Poli alternates between sound games and Bach’s score. We hear the crackles of the vinyl recorded in 1967 with conductor Karl Richter. Bagouet liked this tonic, playful version which contrasts with the dark and intense lyrics. So Schnell is the reflection of the existence which spins in ample or sequenced movements. Dominique Bagouet knows he is condemned to the creation of this abundant piece. From his story, he explores a universal theme, the passage of time that has passed too quickly.
In line with Bagouet
The play of hands on the face marks the expressiveness of feelings: joy, seriousness, melancholy… During moments of silence, the dancers remain pensive. The gaze is focused on the horizon or is anchored in the ground. Humor and a certain strangeness emerge in duets or groups on a stage that stretches along the lawn, with dynamic and light crossings. The performers aged 21 to 61 complement each other with rich bodily aesthetics. A creative vitality is associated with perfectionist gestures inspired by neo-classical dance. The writing of the 1990s is extremely contemporary.
In line with Bagouet, Catherine Legrand places great trust in the performers whom she puts at the heart of the piece, in particular by highlighting the movements. She listens to form and intentions. Since 2020, she has kept the same dancers who enjoy being part of a constructive collective – they are not from the same company – but she is very much in demand by a number of dancers who absolutely wish to interpret this timeless piece which she has kept. choreography and musical accompaniment.
For the first day of the Royaumont Festival, the rain was announced but it only appeared in the morning during the rehearsals in the presence of the visitors of the abbey – in this period, the rehearsals are open to all and it is pleasant to hear the musicians in front of the ruins of the church or to attend the rehearsals of So Schnell. This piece with the only representation was able to be offered as planned, in the open air, facing a majestic setting. Revisited with elegance and sobriety, it is a moving tribute to a talented choreographer recognized by new generations of performers.
Other dates for the Dance program of the Royaumont Festival until October 2, 2022
Saturday 10/09 at 5:30 p.m. vaca – Anna Chirescu; Sunday 11/09 at 2 p.m. vaca – Anna Chirescu
Saturday 17/09 at 2:30 p.m. Joule, in situ – Doria Belanger; Saturday 17/09 at 4 p.m. Portraits – Rebecca Journo; Sunday 18/09 at 11:30 a.m. Together – Affari Esteri Company; Sunday 18/09 at 2 p.m. Portraits – Rebecca Journo
Saturday 24/09 at 3 p.m. Metropolis –Volmir Cordeiro
In parallel from September 10 to 18 Joule facility by Doria Belanger
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“So Schnell” inaugurates Dance at the Royaumont Festival – Artistikrezo
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