A wooden floor, tons of adhesive tape. A playful, poetic act of profound resonance, Fluid Grounds is a landscape where anything is possible.
The body embraces the floor, sketching traces of its movements in an idiosyncratic dance. Placing adhesive tape on varnished wood is a patient, meditative task that results in a web of gestures, glances and reflections. Fluid Grounds renders visible the tracks of a collective memory revealed by bends, curves, circles, shared points of contact. Benoît Lachambre and Sophie Corriveau bewitch the space in this fascinating performance.
Broken lines – caressed, plaited, suspended, stitched together. The adhesive tape on the floor and the walls slowly fuses the territory of bodies that are knitting together memories, catalysts of dance. Reshaped by welcome interactions with the audience, the path created solicits the imagination, creating a rainbow, a colourful sculpture, the souvenir of an encounter. A poetic, playful act with profound resonance, Fluid Grounds reveals a landscape where anything is possible.
Produced by Par B.L.eux + Sophie Corriveau
Direction and visual and kinesthetic conception Benoît Lachambre
Conceived by Sophie Corriveau + Benoît Lachambre + Nancy Tobin
Performed by and created with Marcio Canabarro + Sophie Corriveau + Benoît Lachambre + Anouk Thériault + Nancy Tobin
Sound Design Nancy Tobin
Lighting Design Jean Jauvin
Outside Eyes Martin Bélanger
Artistic Advisors Katya Montaignac + Angélique Willkie
Performers during creative process Simon Portigal + Seckin Cinar
Technical Director Samuel Thériault
Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques + Agora de la danse (Montreal) + Charleroi Danse
Codiffusion Agora de la danse
Written by Elsa Pépin
Translated by Neil Kroetsch
Premiered at Festival TransAmériques, Montreal, June 1, 2018
Benoît Lachambre (Montreal) Par B.L.eux
A leading dancer of his generation, the choreographer and performer Benoît Lachambre is renowned for his exploratory approach to movement based on a heightened awakening of the senses.
In 1996 he founded his company, Par B.L.eux, to stimulate dialogue between collaborators and choreographers, and went on to create works such as Délire défait (1999), 100 rencontres (FTA, 2005) and Is You Me (FTA, 2008).
Lachambre often collaborates with numerous internationally renowned choreographers, including Boris Charmatz, Sasha Waltz, Marie Chouinard, Louise Lecavalier and Meg Stuart, and has established a reputation as a very dynamic teacher. He has received several awards and distinctions, notably a Bessie Award in 2006 and the Grand Prix de la danse de Montréal in 2013.
His works presented at the FTA in recent years include Chutes incandescentes with Clara Furey (2012), Snakeskins (2014) and Hyperterrestres (2015) with Fabrice Ramalingom.
Pursuing his triptych that began with Lifeguard (FTA, 2017), Lachambre has created with Sophie Corriveau Fluid Grounds, a piece that questions movement memory and the traces of presence in interactions with spectators. The artists had previously worked together on 6.3 Évanouissements (2014), under the supervision of Catherine Tardif and Michel F. Côté.
Sophie Corriveau (Montreal) Par B.L.eux
A dancer, performer, choreographer and teacher, Sophie Corriveau shares with Lachambre an interest in a kinaesthetic, somatic approach to movement, and the pursuit of improvisation and stimulating an awakening of the senses and deep-rooted sensations when creating a dance piece.
The recipient of the 2016 Prix de la danse de Montréal, she has worked with choreographers like Danièle Desnoyers, Sylvain Émard, Jean-Sébastien Lourdais, Jean-Pierre Perreault, Manuel Roque and Catherine Tardif.
Fluid Grounds explores the relationship between movement and the space by making use of adhesive tape on the dance floor. How do choreographic traces affect memory?
Benoît Lachambre — We are trying to understand how to embody memory and to observe it through a new perception of time. When we place different pieces of coloured tape on the floor, the visual curves and undulations generate movement in our bodies. They merge into multiple relationships that the body maintains with its inner self and its environment. Those traces reflect the presence of the people around us who are creating resonance. The intervention of the public adds another layer to the material we have collected, bringing together and embodying all the various traces into a collective tale. We’re trying to recreate the cycles of memory by means of an encounter with our bodies
Sophie Corriveau — The tape calls for body postures close to the ground, below the audience, so that they become part of our ritual. Two worlds co-exist, the sacred plus a more playful aspect suggested by the colours and the rainbows on the walls. We find it important to work on a wooden floor, because it includes traces of the tree, with it knots and the grain that evoke another link to time beyond the present moment.
The visual dimension is central to the performance. How does it connect to the physical work and the manipulation of material?
B. L. — I imagine our performance space as an art gallery divided into two worlds: the rainbow on the periphery of the space, and the wooden floor in the center. The visual aspect of the tape interests me, as does tape as a material. When we pull on it there is a dexterity, a resistance, an adherence, a sensuality, like a second body applied to the floor. It is an industrial material but also very tactile, and we use it to revamp reflection and visual focus.
S. C. — The audience is encouraged to take photos of these traces, which offers new forms of observation and perception. Getting close to a detail changes our posture and how we look at something. The photos are then collected, like traces of the tape on the floor. We use a lot of tape, and we recycle the material. We also reuse the packaging, as though it were a costume. We give a second life to all that material. We’d like to make furniture with balls of used tape, chairs that the audience and the performers can sit on.
There is a lot that is unpredictable in a performance that relies on intervention from the spectators. How does that improvisation inspire you?
B. L. — The audience is invited to draw their own traces on top of ours, while respecting the ritual. We place ourselves in a meditative state with a sense awakening technique, and the traces themselves give rise to a dance. This is not a predefined piece, but one that is attentive to what is instinctively revealed, and that leads to new perceptions of what dance can be. Unlike traditional approaches to choreography, we rely on chaotic, unorganized points of reference, as we favour a fluid rapport with the space where we are sensitive to the presence of the other.
S. C. — Each line or curve transforms us. The fact that a line is thick or dense, or light and airy, creates spaces inside us. There is a resonance in our bodies that is visual, but that we also experience. The presence of others influences us and can create vertigo. We absorb everything that is happening around us. All those lines and traces, ours and those of the audience, create movement. I can feel traces of women, particularly those of my ancestors, but also those of the other performers and those of the spectators. I am aware of their traces but not on an intellectual level; it is sensory awareness. There is a lot of room for imagination in this performance. That simple, meticulous task of putting tape on the floor becomes captivating. Time stops, stretches out, resonates.
“If any dancer can find other dimensions, it is surely Lachambre.”
Victor Swoboda, Montreal Gazette, 2015-05-09, about Hyperterrestres
“Lachambre is stooped but resilient; a shape-shifter.”
Lucy M. May, Dance Current, 2014-05-30, about Snakeskins
“Any work by Benoît Lachambre commands attention.”
Victor Swoboda, Montreal Gazette, 2013-10-12, about Prismes
“Lachambre opens himself up as never before in a performance, making his own skin a surface of resistance to any formatted idea.”
Downtown Calgary, Getdown.com, 2016-02-25, about Snakeskins