Re-enacting historical or traditional dance-music pieces and repertoires has become a major trend in contemporary dance as much as the recognition of the stage as a site for archiving dance and music in a performative way, and the body as an archive of practices and visions of dance-music. Re-enactments make us also aware of the constructive character of performing arts historiography by breaking the temporalities and the structures implicit in what has been (and still is) perceived as a unified chronological history following a linear progression and transmitted in a “neutral” narrative. In my essay, I’ll present and discuss D’après une histoire vraie, a dance-music piece by the French choreographer Christian Rizzo in 2013 for the Festival d’Avignon and still intensively touring. Rizzo (recently appointed as director of the Centre Chorégraphique National at Montpellier) in the past has been a member of a rock group and a fashion designer, and is also responsible for the stage design and the costumes. Didier Ambact and King Q4 are the composers/musicians who perform onstage for the entire duration of the show together with eight male dancers. I point out that D’après une histoire vraie is the result of a complex interplay of a conscious attempt to represent a different approach to the history (and memory) of dance and music, and an unconscious replication of the very cultural model it aims at questioning. In the programme Rizzo reports that while attending a contemporary dance festival in Istanbul in 2004 and feeling bored by the performances, he has been suddenly mesmerized by a Turkish folk dance that he defines “archaic” and “poignant”. Later he has observed folk dances and music repertoires in the Middle East, the Maghreb, France and Spain finding proofs of the affinities between all these traditions. Together with the Turkish dancer Kerem Gelebek, Rizzo has then selected a series of movement sequences to create a new folk dance that belongs only to the community of dancers involved in the show and described as a “indistinct Mediterranean tradition” mixed with contemporary dance patterns and performance strategies. On their side, Ambact and King Q4 have mixed sounds and rhythms drawn from several musical genres that they name “ethnic”, “folk”, “traditional” and even “telluric”, with psychedelic rock, metal and dub. Their aim has been to create what they present as a “purely rhythmic soundscape” able to reinforce the idea of “a folklore without culture”, and they have chosen a rock music envelope as a style that can combine the popular with what they have qualified as avant-garde. I’ll demonstrate how D’après une histoire vraie deconstructs the meaning of tradition as opposed to change, and folk dances and musics as repertoire of a local memory frozen in time, proposing their reworking as a way to experience them in a contemporary world. At the same time I’ll argue that Rizzo’s memory is related to a specific event (the irruption of an “authentic” expression of Turkish culture), and that the piece seems to be the outcome of a rather colonialist perception of folk and music dance assumed as foundational myths of (national) discourses about cultural identity, and of a latent quest of authenticity.
|Titolo:||Remembering Folklore, Staging Contemporary Dance. Conceptual and Methodological Issues About D’après une histoire vraie (2013) by Christian Rizzo|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||3.1 Articolo su libro|
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