The exhibition states its aims through six themes which offer as many keys to its interpretation and bring in each case a novel gaze to bear on modern dance.
The question of interpretation is also central to the exhibition with a circular area displaying eight versions of the Rite of Spring created by 8 great choreographers.
Then, visitors can participate in an experience on their own, through the masterful work of Danser Joe by Jean-Pierre Perreault.
In contemporary dance, virtuosity is very present: in the power of leaps and the speed and complexity of choreographically movements. During the seventies and eighties, instead of using a lexicon of codified steps, choreographers used gestures from everyday life, but pushed to their maximum extent. Today, the impressive movements of hip hop permeate contemporary dance, telescoping the styles, between aerobatics and over-voltage.
In a constant search to exceed himself through an extreme virtuosity, an exceptional physique and unlimited movement of astonishing rapidity made the Quebec dancer and choreographer Louise Lecavalier a star of contemporary dance during the eighties.
After the Shoah and Hiroshima, it was out of the question to display the triumphant bodies conveyed by totalitarian regimes. With the development of new aesthetic forms, other types of bodies that would never have been imagined would appear on the stage.
Raimund Hoghe, a German dancer and choreographer, ceaselessly exhibited his body deformed by a hump in his performances, forcing the views of the public to adjust themselves.
The ancestral separation between erudite and popular dance persists to the point where “to dance” and “to know how to dance” even today mean two different activities: popular dance practised by everyone and erudite dance reserved exclusively for professionals. Contemporary dance has picked up this divide, even if the contrast has diminished over time, with certain choreographers combining the erudite to the popular to invent a new form of dance.
This is the case of Cecilia Bengolea and François Chaignaud, who together do not hesitate to mix styles – Jamaican dub, dance en pointe, expressionist dance, twerk, house…
Offering strong images without words, dance has always been the ideal artistic vector of politics, as much as a tool for propaganda as for the denunciation of the horrors of war and economic crises.
In his most recent creations, the Canadian dancer and choreographer Daniel Léveillé poses the issue of intimacy – or what remains of it in a technological world. For him, “the body is itself political” as it transcribes a state of society that transits across it without realising.
At the dawn of the 20th century, “exotic” dance, linked to the colonial era, expressed racist stereotypes and with them, the myth of the dancer as “animal” or “erotic”. However, these dances reveal brand new gestures, which are sources of inspiration for avant-garde choreographers.
Thus, Raphaëlle Delaunay, a dancer with the Opéra de Paris who then joined the largest contemporary dance companies, reconsiders in her choreographies the black dances to “appropriate this memory and history”.
Crucible of contemporary French dance, in an eclectic spirit, Lyon has seen the birth of an impressive number of choreographers and personalities who have contributed to its national development. Lyon also gathers together a set of structures and events devoted to dance that are unique in France: The Maison de la Danse, the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon, the Dance Biennale and its parade which attracts amateurs from the entire metropolitan area of Lyon, as well as professional choreographers.
Mourad Merzouki, who originates from the suburbs of Lyon, has succeeded in transposing hip hop from the street to the stage. This leading choreographer, among other things, in 1998 created “Récital”, a leading show on the hip hop scene.
The Rite of Spring was created in 1913 by Nijinski to a composition by Stravinsky. The original choreography has completely disappeared. However, the Rite of Spring has since been the subject of over 250 reinterpretations. Around this same musical score, the visitor discovers here 8 versions, created by Vaslav Nijinski, Maurice Béjart, Pina Bausch, Marie Chouinard, Angelin Preljocaj, Régis Obadia, Heddy Maalem, Millicent Hodson and Jean-Claude Gallotta.
This dance workshop, created by Moment Factory, invites the public to participate in the dance piece “Joe” (1984), a major work by Jean-Pierre Perreault which suggests both the collective anonymity and the singularity of the individual. After putting on the costume of Joe that is (boots, felt hat and big raincoat), the visitor is guided by a voice-over. This experience makes it possible to give form to this intangible heritage and to understand the interpretation and the challenge of transmitting chorographical gestures.
In rotation, the studio will be occupied by professional choreographers and dancers for residencies programmed in collaboration with the Maison de la danse de Lyon and the Dance Biennial of Lyon.
An exhibition of the musée des Confluences based on a concept of the Musée de la civilisation de Québec, with the participation of Moment Factory.