Finding meaning in dance with Histoires Vraies

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Dances do not exist and evolve in a vacuum – the movements of a dancer’s body can often be traced back to distinct stylistic lineages. These are rooted in specific contexts which have shaped different dance forms as we know them today. Contemporary dancers often highlight these linkages through an exploration of rhythms, movements and expressions. The 44-year old French choreographer Cécile Loyer recently investigated the commonalities between contemporary dance forms and Bharatnayam through a piece entitled Histoires Vraies. Thanks to a series of performances piloted by Alliance Française de Madras, the piece was brought to life on stage in Chennai (June 27), Calcutta (June 29), Bangalore (July 1), Hyderabad (July 4), and Delhi (July 6).

The dancers on stage with the French composer Sylvian Chauveau who provided the music for the piece

The dancers on stage with the French composer Sylvian Chauveau who provided the music for the piece

Cécile is a name to be reckoned with in the world of contemporary dance. Active in her profession since 1994, she honed her talent under the tutelage of Joëlle Bouvier and Régis Obadia. Ever since her first on-stage solo performance, the choreographer has continued to enamour audiences with her innovations. The seeds of the piece Histoires Vraies were laid back in 2014 when Cécile took part in a residency at Alliance Française de Madras. This residency had been organised in collaboration with the prestigious Scène Nationale d’Orléans (France) and Cie Cécile Loyer. The theatre had asked her to work on a project with India within the framework of the its affiliations with Tamil Nadu. A chance meeting allowed her to become acquainted with Renjith Babu and Vijna Vasudevan – two practitioners of Bharatnatyam. An impromptu three-hour practice session with the contemporary dancers Steven Hervouet (France) and Mai Ishiwata (Japan) culminated in the formation of the quartet which would infuse life into the project.

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Renjith Babu and Vijna Vasudevan during the performance

Histoires Vraies primarily questions the origin of movement and its transmission. Cécile added that it is about “…[t]he story of the meeting between French, Indian and Japanese people and how they are able to reinvent dance together, while at the same time bringing their own piece of history into it”. The piece entailed the conscious establishment of a balance between Cécile’s style, those of the four dancers, and the French composer Sylvian Chauveau who provides the music for the piece. Despite the divergent styles, the show highlights each dancer’s potential. It marks the true confluence of a diverse soundscape with hypnotic movements!

A brief clip about the performance can be found here :

Siddharth Bhatt

Rédaction, AF Magazine Inde-Népal

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Rédaction

Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...