National ping pong champions play the game not to beat the opponent, but to play. For the beauty of the game. An intriguing ballet where everyone wins.
A table, a net. A game of ping pong. Two young professional players hit the ball back and forth in strong consistent volleys The artists Simon Grenier-Poirier and Dorian Nuskind-Oder reinvent the rules and invite national ping pong champions to play, the goal being not to beat the opponent but to play. For the beauty of the game.
What if the sport once again became playful, full of amazing prowess and rhythmic and spatial variations? What if the purpose was not to recreate a competitive model that is aimed, ever faster and faster, at eliminating the other? The two artists call into question the omnipresent capitalist mindset in our society, the persistent idea that every exchange requires a winner and a loser. In this choreography between two high level players, a transformation takes place. The spectator, freed of competitive expectations, savours an intriguing ballet by seasoned pros. Everyone wins.
Produced by Simon Grenier-Poirier + Dorian Nuskind-Oder
Executive Producer Je suis Julio
Conceived and directed by Simon Grenier-Poirier + Dorian Nuskind-Oder
Performed by Antoine Bernadet + Edward Ly
Lighting and Set Design Jean Jauvin
Rehearsal Director Pierre-Luc Thériault
Technical Director Paul Chambers
Performers during creative process Jeff Sylvestre Décary + Sophie Gauthier + Miikka O’Connor + Otto Tenillä + Pierre-Luc Thériault + Wenbin Zhang
Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques
Creative residencies fabrik Potsdam + Centre de création O Vertigo + Ly Table Tennis Academy
Presented in association with La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines
Written by Diane Jean
Translated by Neil Kroetsch
Premiered at Festival TransAmériques, Montreal, on June 1, 2019
Simon Grenier-Poirier (Montreal)
Simon Grenier-Poirier is an interdisciplinary artist who completed his studies in photography at Concordia University in 2013. From 2012 to 2016 he was part of the musical duo Automelodi, which described its music as « impossible folk » and toured Europe.
His field of artistic and conceptual research includes relational art, the concept of hospitality, systems, the cold war period and the role of culture in power structures.
Together, the work of these two thirty-something artists combines dance, the visual arts and performance art. It focuses on social dynamics, as well as value and exchange systems. In 2016 they presented Memory Palace at Fonderie Darling and at various cultural centres. That same year, they were in an artistic residency at Fabrik in Potsdam, Germany, where they developed the Speed Glue concept, named after the glue used to re-fix the rubber surface to the ping pong paddle, which increases the elasticity of the racket and adds speed and spin to the ball. The piece was developed in stages, which were presented in Quebec, New York and the UK. As part of the Françoise Sullivan exhibit in 2018, their Hasards préparés performance was presented at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.
Dorian Nuskind-Oder (Montreal)
A Montrealer since 2009, the New York-trained choreographer Dorian Nuskind-Oder has presented performances in diverse venues across Quebec, notably at Tangente, Studio 303 and La Rotonde.
Actively involved in the dance milieu, she is a member of the production company Je suis Julio, and co-director with Katie Ward of Itinérant, a monthly get-together based on artistic exchange.