TO DA BONE
(LA)HORDE gathers together young jumpers from 9 countries to overcome the exhaustion of lost utopian momentum and vigour. A rallying cry on the margins of now listless revolts.
The rebellious gaze of punks in workers’ jackets and rubber soled street shoes — the uprisings of the past compressed in the body. Edgy and volatile, the 10 dancers of TO DA BONE crank up the tension as a hard, proud, martial dance unfolds. These young jumpers from nine different countries struggle valiantly to overcome the exhaustion of lost utopian momentum and vigour.
The French collective (LA)HORDE calls on the crazy speed of jumpstyle, a post-Internet dance, and then takes pleasure in deconstructing codes: neat, precise steps, running on the spot, quarter turns. It mobilizes on the stage dancers whose previous experience had been dancing alone in front of a camera. Together they form a fleeting, very palpable battalion. A few of the bravest break away from the platoon, prodigiously scoffing at gravity and defying endurance. With heads held high, insubordination is re-imagined on the margins of now listless revolts.
Produced by (LA)HORDE
Direction and concept Marine Brutti + Jonathan Debrouwer + Arthur Harel
Performed by Valentin Basset aka Bassardo + + Mathieu Douay aka Magii’x + Camille Dubé Bouchard aka Dubz + László Holoda aka Leslee + Kevin Martinelli aka MrCovin + Viktor Pershko aka Belir + Nick Reisinger aka Neon + Edgar Scassa aka Edx + Andrii Shkapoid aka Shkap + Damian Kamil Szczegielniak aka Leito + Michal Adam Zybura aka Zyto
Music design Aamourocean
Lighting design Patrick Riou
Lighting Assistant and stage manager Claire Dereeper
Costume design Lily Sato
Production Manager Clémence Sormani
Touring Agents Tristan Barani + Clémence Sormani
Outside eye Jean Christophe Lanquetin
Co-produced by Charleroi Danses – Centre Chorégraphique de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles + Théâtre de la Ville de Paris + MAC – Maison des Arts et de la Culture de Créteil + Manège de Reims – Scène Nationale de Reims + Théâtre Municipal de Porto + Pôle Sud – CDC Strasbourg + La Gaîté lyrique (Paris) + Fondation BNP Paribas + DICRéAM – Dispositif pour la Création Artistique Multimédia et Numérique (Paris) + Spedimam + Institut français – Covention Ville de Paris
With the support of Institut Français + Mairie de Paris + SACD – Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques + Cité internationale des arts (Paris) + Liberté Living Lab (Paris) + Institut français + CCN2 – Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble (Rachid Ouramdane – Yoann Bourgeois) + DGCA – Direction générale de la création artistique
Residencies Charleroi Danses – Centre Chorégraphique de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles + MAC – Maison des Arts et de la culture de Créteil + Théâtre Municipal de Porto + Manège de Reims – Scène Nationale de Reims – CCN2 – Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble
Presented with the support of Institut Français + Service de coopération et d’action culturelle du Consulat général de France à Québec
Written by Mylène Joly
Translated by Neil Kroetsch
Premiered at Festival TransAmériques, Montreal, on May 31, 2017
(LA) HORDE (Paris)
Dance, performance art, installations, cinema: (LA)HORDE is on the offensive on several fronts.
Initially friends and now artistic colleagues, Marine Brutti, Jonathan Debrouwer and Arthur Harel form a young trio who stand out in the current artistic landscape. Active since 2011, they function as a multilevel structure that refuses any form of hierarchy within the group. For example, all stage works bear the single, collective, autonomous signature (LA)HORDE. The first to proudly assert a post-Internet dance that takes into account how electronic networks now intermingle bodies and archive movements and gestures, they perform movements that take shape at the points of contact between interfaces.
The collective made an initial strong impression in Quebec when the members created Avant les gens mouraient with graduating students at the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal in 2014. That powerful, hypnotic work was very well received both here and in France. Their next presentation was a series of projects based on jumpstyle movement, notably the 2015 film Novaciéries and also the short dance piece TO DA BONE, which won an award at the Danse Élargie competition at Théâtre de la Ville in Paris in 2016. With this second visit to Montreal, (LA)HORDE will be presenting to FTA audiences a long version of TO DA BONE, a piece that promises to conjoin the rigour of a military march with the aesthetics of revolt.
You are currently developing a project on post-Internet dance, a term borrowed from contemporary art, in order to describe your approach. Is that where jumpstyle comes from?
When we became interested in jumpstyle, we realized that it was dance that employed the back-and-forth process between the real and the virtual, which for us really characterizes post-Internet dance. What interested us was not just the aesthetics of it but the process employed by these self-taught dancers, always learning with the same motif, which is first of all dancing in front of a camera in their bedrooms. They move on to filming in the living room and later the street, in public places, always seeking to share with their peers online. What’s intriguing are these new ways of transmitting and appropriating stylistics beyond the range of existing institutional dance networks.
At first our borrowing of the term was somewhat naive, because we thought others had probably talked about the fact that dance might have changed since the arrival of new tools like YouTube, where you can very quickly exchange dance ideas and videos. The fact remains that we were the first to be referenced with this post-Internet dance terminology, but we would be delighted if other artists adopt the vocabulary and question that notion.
You initially reached out to a scattered virtual community that, thanks to your work, evolved into a small, cohesive community of performers. How did the dancers experience that process?
The first step was a lot of time spent on casting. We contacted them via their YouTube channel, or by e-mail or Facebook. That led to a conversation with some 200 jumpers and then to extensive discussion. Given that they are self-taught and are not professionals, they found the nature of the project incredibly bizarre.
We met with about 15 jumpers from all over Europe. It was important for us to physically encounter them in real time, to explain what the project was and let them know that our intention was certainly not cultural appropriation. Putting it onstage was a great experience for both parties, because they collaborated in the work we were doing with them. Both parties thus created a work of fiction. We were the specialists, almost researchers, studying their community.
The collaboration was straightforward, because they realized that what we were doing wasn’t really jumpstyle, since we completely deconstructed the codes of representation, and they also grasped the multilevel, non-hierarchical principle. A community exists and we’re putting together a show with that community, but that doesn’t mean that the show represents that community, not at all. What we’re aiming for is narration and fiction. It’s a matter of noticing that precise moment when they understand that they’re performing something different, that they aren’t merely miming a representation of their movements.
Your show appears to convey a sort of confusion and turmoil that reflects the social and political context in France and Europe. Do you think the watchword in art is still “engagement” or is it now “revolt”?
Rebelling against a particular situation nowadays is quite complicated. There are sporadic outbursts, but when all is said and done we are a disappointed, dispossessed generation, brushed aside. Look what happened with the Nuit debout protests in Paris last spring, for example, and its revolutionary call for change. The French system has completely shunted the issue aside, as though it never happened. There have also been big revolutions in Poland and Ukraine, where millions expressed their outrage, yet now all those protests have been crushed and forgotten. It’s the same in Spain, Greece and Italy. There are uprisings and revolts, but also a sort of profound fatigue, as though the revolution had almost arrived but that in the end nothing changed, all that effort was for naught.
We talk about that in this piece, that exasperation that we’re able to expunge from time to time, but that never really leads to any noticeable change. We also want to explore how we’re going to perhaps reinvent another counterculture, a new “no future” movement, a new way of refusing to participate in the society on offer — not trying to dismantle it, because obviously that’s impossible with to do the tools used in the past.
That being said, this piece is a good reflection of our engagement, our involvement in the world. We’re not trying to send any confrontational political messages. By bringing together performers from different countries, by emphasizing the liberation that the Internet offers, by choosing this dance with its special history, of course we are very much involved! The whole show we are presenting is by nature political.
« Il y a chez ce collectif un parfum de radicalité et d’expérience. »
Amelie Blaustein, Toutelaculture.com, 2015-05-05
« Ils sont jeunes, ils sont brillants, et ils importent l’énergie de la rue — façon « jumpstyle » — sur sur les scènes de la danse contemporaine. »
Virginie Aohouah, L’œil de l’extrême, 2016-09-01
« Un collectif à suivre, qui déplace les frontières, et les limites d’une certaine danse contemporaine. »
Louise Dutertre, The Artchemists, 2015-05-21
« Un collectif d’artistes qui risque de ne pas rester longtemps inconnu. »
Rosita Boisseau, Télérama.fr, 2015-05-07