Galerie des Portraits

02 > 04.03.18


The CN D Portrait Collection is presented in half an hour through a montage of extracts from shows and the work of choreographers with a special focus on the profound richness of the subjects in dance.

Alain Buffard, les théâtres du moi

30 min.

Since Good Boy, his first solo work, or the first that counted, Alain Buffard has been exploring his own body, its strengths and weaknesses, its powers and frailties. Subsequently, he continually invented occasionally theatrical productions that would help him to reflect on what underpins and creates a troubled and perhaps trembling identity (the trembling figure is one that often recurs in his work). Masks, T-shirts, wigs, polystyrene costumes, high-heeled compensation shoes, fragmented bodies: the works of Buffard, of MORE et encore à Wall Dancin’ – Wall Fuckin’, invent a new grammar of identity: what is it that makes us resemble someone else, and how can we go from one genre to another, from one face to another, and how can these incessant movements find a community?

Alain Buffard (1960–2013) began dancing in 1978 with Alwin Nikolais at the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine d’Angers, where he returned in 1982 to study with Viola Farber. He became a performer for Brigitte Farges, Daniel Larrieu and Régine Chopinot, among others. While continuing his career as performer, he became assistant at the Galerie Anne de Villepoix; he was also a correspondent for two Norwegian dailies, for which he covered visual arts news in France (1990–1992). In 1996, he had two key encounters, with Yvonne Rainer during the updating of her work Continuous project-altered daily by the Quatuor Albrecht Knust, and Anna Halprin, with whom he worked as a laureate of the off-site Villa Médicis.

He presented Riposte and Pôle à pôle with Marie-Christine Georghiu accompanied by Rita Mitsouko (1982/84); Les Maîtres Chanteurs by Wagner directed by Claude Régy (1989); a sequence in the feature film Disparus by Gilles Bourdos (1998); Good Boy (1998); lNtime / EXtime, MORE et encore (1999); Dispositifs 3.1 (2001); Good for… (2001); Dé-marche (2002); Wall Dancin’ – Wall Fuckin’ (2003); Mauvais genre (2003); Les Inconsolés (2005); (Not) a Love Song (2007); EAT (video installation) (2008); Self&others (2008); S.E.S.A. (2009); Tout va bien (2010); and Baron Samedi (2012).He made the films Des faits et des gestes (2001) and My lunch with Anna (2005).

He presented the exhibition Umstellung-Umwandlung (2005) at the Tanzquartier in Vienna, a commission from the Siemens Art Program. He was guest artist / teacher at Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains, for the 2004/2005 season. He was associate artist at the Théâtre de Nîmes from 2010 to 2012. In March-April 2013, he created an original project in the Nîmes region – Histoires parallèles : pays mêlés – combining curating, programming live shows and lectures centred on questions of territory and representation.


Volmir Cordeiro, Panoplies

15 min.

There is always a moment in Volmir Cordeiro’s pieces – which are above all, for the moment in his young career, solos or quasi-solos – where clothing takes on its full significance. For example, he dances in a loose black tunic that hides nothing, he pulls down his tights and pulls them back on, he wraps himself in colourful fabrics or he sticks two pieces of black sticky tape over his eyes. What purpose does this panoply serve? It no doubt shows that perception follows conventions – social as well as with regard to clothing – and that what he is trying to dance, with his huge limbs that slice through and disrupt space, is a form of dance that deconstructs the gaze and accepted norms.

Noé Soulier, écriture sur écriture

15 min.

Writing is a recurring theme in Noé Soulier’s work, whether he is commenting on and explaining out loud his own dancing while he is doing it, or whether he is writing precise phrases that dancers appropriate in their own way, starting and ending them where they want. Each time he reflects on what writing can contribute to dance. It is no doubt Noé Soulier’s belief in the richness of choreography that makes the avenue he has started to explore so unique.


Solitude(s) de Mathilde Monnier

30 min.

Mathilde Monnier’s dance is imbued with the theme of solitude. Although there are many dancers on stage in her works, each dancer is detached through his individuality and the way he finds his place in the group or solo. In Tempo 76, a work given rhythm by unison, obeying the metronome of Ligeti’s music, each dancer is both a common body and a single body. In Déroute, the performers follow their paths on the same floor, meeting or passing each other by chance according to their progression. Les Lieux de là, also, in its way, recounts the story of the dispersal of a community that is endlessly reconfiguring itself.

Duos and trios—linking figures—are frequent in Mathilde Monnier’s grammar, but what dominates are solitary dancers, true solos or several solos (see the rock wanderings of Publique), where each man or woman allows themselves to be led by their own movement and their own waywardness.

Mathilde Monnier, who came to dance late, started dancing in the company of Viola Farber and Françoise Verret and became interested in choreography in 1984, alternating group works with solo works. From one piece to the next, she defies expectations by presenting a body of work that is endlessly being renewed. These artistic investigations are linked to the problematics of the writing of movement, which are linked to broader questions such as the communal, the relationship to music and memory. Her appointment as director of the Choréographique National de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon in 1994 marked the beginning of a period when she opened up to other artistic fields as well as a reflection on running an institution and sharing. Her performances such as Pour Antigone, Déroutes, Les lieux de là, Surrogate City, Soapéra and Twin Paradox have been performed internationally on the biggest stages and at festivals. She alternates projects that she creates on her own with collaborative works, encountering different personalities from the art world, including Katerine, Christine Angot, La Ribot and Heiner Goebbels. Since January 2014, she has been director of the CN D Centre National de la Danse. Under her impetus, the CN D has become established as an art centre for dance, reaffirming that dance is the realm of indiscipline par excellence by appropriating and inventing ever new relations with other artistic fields.


La Ribot, or the duration of the gesture

The frequent nudity in La Ribot’s work hides something. Something different, and something moreover that is well worth looking at. First of all, La Ribot loves to experiment with duration, which she stretches out as much as possible – sometimes for hours, as in Laughing Hole, where the female dancers exhaust themselves laughing. In addition, she is not afraid to return to the simplest gestures and repeat them endlessly, very often subverting classical grammar, as demonstrated by the almost comical and highly energetic chorus lines of PARAdistinguidas. Duration and repetition are part of a more general project based on hypnosis or fascination, of which the minimalist trio Another Distinguée is a magnificent example. The aim is to alter the viewer’s perception, to give them a chance to inhabit another time and another place, a space where expectations collapse, where there is nothing to generate other than the very naked feeling of being there.