We speak of "baroque dance" to evoke the court and theater dance of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as it is presented today, while most often forgetting to consider its way of belonging, fully, to the vast and contrasted field of contemporary dance. It is this contemporary anchoring that this book wants to bring to light, based on the choreographic work of Marie-Geneviève Massé and her company l'Éventail, which studies the making of the work in baroque dance and the rhetoric that underlies it. As a literate dance, Baroque dance is based on an active revitalization of fiction, which imposes itself as a necessity in a constant interplay between heritage and creation. Speculative dance, it develops a thought in act on the gestures which determine it, questioning the very notion of "baroque" and inviting by this way to redefine the meaning of "contemporary". To measure the aesthetic stakes of this choreographic practice, it is finally to resituate it in a vaster whole invented by the creators today, to whom the past addresses the haunting question of its enigma. In this, this book opens to a reflection on the relationship to time in any form of artistic creation.
Chantal Lapeyre is a professor of contemporary literature/literary and artistic creation at CY Cergy Paris Université. She is the author of numerous works on contemporary literature and dance.