Spectators’ Archives

Cahier de Geneviève Berthéas © Médiathèque du CN D
Cahier de Geneviève Berthéas © Médiathèque du CN D

21.01 > 22.02.20

CN D Pantin

While the archives of the choreographic field are rich with traces of shows and creation processes, far rarer are those who speak to us about the instants and the behaviours which define the action and the person of a dance spectator. Yet, here and there, in the archives of creators, specialists or structures, but also in the collections of balletomanes and fans of all kinds, there can be found astonishing testimonies of the singular views that all spectators have on a work unfolding before their eyes, and of the particular relationship they subsequently have with the work which they have just seen and which they will soon narrate, evoke, comment, criticise, or praise…
They may be amateurs or professionals, fans, regular or occasional spectators, succumbing to their emotions or distanced by an intellectual approach. But these publics can be distinguished as much by their narratives and discourses, or sometimes also by graphic inputs, generated by their experiences of the show, as well as by the actions which may result: protestations, a letter to the artist or a third party, compilations of documents, making scrapbooks, the elaboration of a second work, etc.
Through letters, private diaries, working notes, drawings, written reports, recorded speech, coming from a good thirty archives and private collections conserved in the media library of the CN D, over fifty individual figures are present in the Spectators’ Archives thus revealing, sometimes anonymously, through their experiences and reactions, what dance does for them and what they do for dance.