Research presentations

© Gabin Nuissier
© Gabin Nuissier

18.01 > 15.02.18

CN D Pantin

Eighteen research and notation projects have been supported with an ‘aide à la recherche et au patrimoine en danse’ grant. Researchers and notators come to talk about their work in progress. Exploring styles as diverse as butô, Baroque dance, hip-hop and German expression dance, some are deepening our knowledge of historical dances, from 17th-century English figure dances and Magri’s treatise (1779) to 19th-century ballroom dances, while others explore the profession of dancer – the desire to perform, what they think about when they dance the famous Rite of Spring (revisited by the choreographer Dominique Brun), their relationship to health, the legacy of their career.



Analysis of the content of The English Dancing Master, a book published by John Playford in 1651 and the development of a typology from 150 dances from the corpus
by Cécile Laye
This project offers a classification of the 150 dances of the first edition of The English Dancing Master published by the bookseller and publisher John Playford in 1651 in London. This repertoire of English figure dances was published in three other editions between 1652 and 1670. It was passed down through the centuries and played a key role in the renewal of ballroom dancing in the leading courts of Europe during the 18th century. Based on ‘measures’ found in the libraries of the Inns of Court, the project includes experimentation with dancers and musicians and a historical (re)contextualisation.

The ‘missing links’: the Trattato teorico-prattico di ballo by Gennaro Magri (1779) in the technical evolution of academic dance in the 18th and 19th centuries
by Natalie Van Parys, Marie-Françoise Bouchon, Mickaël Bouffard, Gloria Giordano, Jean Guizerix, Lena Cederwall Broberg
Regarded as a major document for reconstructing the evolutionary chain that stretches from the end of the Baroque to the beginnings of classicism, Gennaro Magri’s treatise is here studied mainly from the point of view of technique and style by focusing on the analysis of its first part, the serious half-character genres of theatrical dance, and in a comparison with earlier and later treatises (Feuillet, Rameau, Dufort, Blasis, Costa, Théleur). The project includes a critical iconographic study, a filmed document and accounts of current choreographic languages (Lancelot, Cramér, van Parys, Guizerix/Piollet).

From dance training to the theatricality of a choreographic variation in the notebooks of Michel Saint-Léon between 1829 and 1836
by Pierre-François Dollé and Irène Feste
Extending the work done on ballroom dancing between 1810 and 1823 following on from the treatises of Jean Henri Gourdoux-Daux, this project studies the interaction between ballroom dances and those danced on stage in theatres and opera houses in the first half of the 19th century, drawing on a meticulous analysis of the notebooks of Michel Saint-Léon (1777–1853), dance master and dancer in the corps de ballet at the Opéra de Paris. This coherent corpus combines precise description, practical exercises and choreographies of stage variations taken from the great ballets of the period.


Choreographic creations in the casinos from 1895 to 1929
by Florence Poudru
At the crossroads of phenomena of urbanism, thermalism and the economics of performance, this study looks at choreography in casino theatres during the 3rd Republic, when they were at their height. Drawing on the systematic inventory of French casinos from 1890 to the crisis of 1929, the study sets out a corpus of works listed with the Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques, explores the movements of artists and works, the proportion of women active in the field and focuses in particular on the establishments in Vichy and Aix-les-Bains.



Masks in dance during the Weimar period in Germany
by Ana Hopfer
This project, which draws on German dance archives, focuses on the use of masks in choreographies during the Weimar Republic (Mary Wigman, Jean Weidt, Kurt Jooss, Oda Schottmüller, Julia Markus, Lavinia Schulz, Werner Holdt, Wy Magito, Ursula Falke). It explores their artistic use and the existence of documents shedding light on choreographic and/or bodily approaches, as well as the making of these masks and the sculptors who made them. In so doing, the study lays the foundations for an inventory of masked dances and their typology.

Wigman/Waehner, correspondances (1949–1972)
by Guillaume Sintès and Mélanie Papin
This project, part of the ‘Karin Waehner, une artiste migrante. Archive, patrimoine et histoire transculturelle de la danse’ project led by the research group Histoire Contemporaine du Champ Chorégraphique en France, reveals the close and regular links between Karin Waehner and Mary Wigman revolving around their relationship by correspondence, from 1949 to 1972. In addition to collecting their correspondence, the project describes and analyses how exchanges between (and from) these figures of modern choreography occurred.

The impact of the Cold War on international developments in dance from 1945 to the 1960s
by Annie Suquet

During the first half of the 20th century, political events had a decisive impact on artistic developments in dance. After 1945, the emergence of the Cold War tightened the interaction between art and politics. Depending on whether they emerged in the Eastern bloc or the West, dance forms, by virtue of their genre (modern dance, ballet, folk dances, etc.), had very unequal chances of flourishing, or even surviving. Here the case of expression dance in Germany (RDA and RFA) is examined.

Gabin Nuissier, a pioneer of hip-hop, tells his story
by Gabin Nuissier
This study is an autobiography of a seminal artist of the hip-hop culture that emerged in the 1970s in the United States. He was a pioneer who experienced its various phases, helping to develop it in France. This study includes a written account of a personal nature and also a biography by written by several hands. Gabin Nuissier’s unusual experience makes it possible to document and enrich the history of this dance, while revealing the evolution of an original mind. The project will be one of the first autobiographies of a hip-hop dancer.

Engines – a consecration
by Enora Rivière
This project recounts a dance – Le Sacre du printemps by Vaslav Nijinsky, Igor Stravinsky and Nicolas Roerich – as it was recreated by choreographer Dominique Brun a century later, on 13 March 2014. Recount here means setting out the spatial, temporal and gestural reality of the dance, as well as recreating what each of the 30 dancers thinks when he or she dances this dance – all that is invisible, ungraspable, immaterial. Or, otherwise put: what does dancing the Sacre du printemps involve, conjure up, require?



Under the gaze of
by Olivier Normand
What motivates the desire to be on stage, the desire to perform before the gaze of others (supposed to be trusting, loving, desiring)? In what way is this leap, this performing on stage, a sign of emancipation? Under what conditions? The project analyses the tacit ‘contract’ entered into between performer and choreographer, calling into question their ‘co-dependence’, its motives, its partial asymmetry. In the process, he asks: does a performer create the work? What is a performer’s work? Does a personal composition bear the traces of performances in the works of others?


Archives enrobées, gestes dérobés
by Hervé Robbe, Ninon Steinhausser and Vincent Bosc

How can the documents that form a record and permit memory and the history of the activities that make up an artist’s career be preserved? Why keep them, and for whom? This project, which combines a survey of film archives and the creation of a factual chronological account, is an extension of archive work that examines the traces and the erasing of gestures and objects developed with each collaborator in the course of a choreographic oeuvre. The documents brought together here in the form of envelopes are thus passed to others who are free to reinvent their context, history and meaning.



Different views of key themes in the functional analysis of the body in dance movement
by Nicole Harbonnier-Topin, Catherine Ferri, Evelyne Allmendinger, Emmanuelle Lyon and Valentine Vuilleumier

This project consists in gathering, in the course of five round tables, various points of view on five key themes of the functional analysis of the body in dance movement (AFCMD). It was initiated in response to a need to train dance teachers, following the adoption of the law on the teaching of dance in France of 1989. These round tables involving AFCMD specialists, teachers and choreographers, explored how to make accessible a body of knowledge developed over years by practitioners in the field and forms material for a chapter in a collective book project.

Perception of the health issues and attitudes to injury among dancers. A preliminary survey in the Île-de-France
by Agathe Dumont
The project records dancers’ observations on health. The survey is based on questionnaires sent to a wide range of dancers from all disciplines and of all ages and on qualitative interviews with around 20 professional dancers. The study retraces their lives and analyses the way in which dancers incorporate the issue of health into their practice. The aim is to gather data on this still little explored subject and to enable the voices of those who dance every day to be heard.

Organon – W notation software
by Joris Lacoste, Jeanne Revel and Lou Forster
The project W is an attempt to explore in both a practical and theoretical way the relationship between language and action, between speech and gesture. It analyses how we can talk about movement and how to perform speech. This theory of action elaborated over a series of experiences, has been accompanied by a search for a graphic interface capable of recording a complex ensemble of parameters and formats: tested during sessions bringing together dancers, actors and performers, the Organon notation software ultimately aims to model performances and processes of all kinds.



Costume en face / A Primer of Darkness for Young Boys and Girls (1976), de Tatsumi Hijikata
by Yoko Sobue
This rare, seminal piece of ‘first butô’, Costume en face / A Primer of Darkness for Young Boys and Girls, was created in 1976 for Moé Yamamoto at a time when Tatsumi Hijikata was finalising his notation system (butô-fu). The task of notating two parts of the solo drew on work notes (annotations of the terms and phrases created by the choreographer, who defined more than 1,200 names of movements), the video capture of the piece, collections of texts and photographs, the performer’s recollections, and by learning the solo transmitted by Moé Yamamoto.

Afin qu’il n’y soit rien changé (1976), de Wilfride Piollet et Jean Guizerix
by Irénée Blin
This duo lasting 18 minutes was created in 1976 by Jean Guizerix and Wilfride Piollet in the Cour d’Honneur of the Palais des Papes during the Festival d’Avignon. On this occasion, choreographers and performers met the poet René Char, author of the poem central to this dense piece, taken from the collection Fureur et Mystère, which interlinks two ways of conceiving choreographic invention, the vibrant virtuosity and the complicity of partners giving rise here to a harmonious dialogue of techniques.

Notation de Newark (1987), de Trisha Brown (cinétographie Laban)
by Marie-Charlotte Chevalier
Newark is a 30-minute dance for seven dancers by Trisha Brown premiered in Angers. Part of the Valiant series, this work demands a more academic and more visible technique than the previous pieces. Its complex composition is structured around different notions defining dynamic processes (‘landscape’, ‘cause and effect’, ‘locus’). To date, few scores have been made of the repertoire of the American choreographer, who retired from creating choreographies in 2012.

Space and gesture
by Noëlle Simonet and Lise Daynac
In their two previous works, the authors studied space in two dimensions through the lens of four works by 20th-century American and French choreographers. This third pedagogical work tackles the question of spatiality in three dimensions by drawing on the repertoire of German dance: L’Après-midi d’un faune by one of its central figures, Kurt Jooss, two Études by the dancer and teacher Sigurd Leeder and the system of analysis created by the dance reformer Rudolf Laban.