About This Project

Alla Prima


creation 2005

Montpellier Danse Festival 2005


Freeing oneself of one’s individual emprisonment is to rid oneself of the narcissistic ego, the everyday experience in which the individual first isolates himself then utilises his personal freedom to move toward social anarchy, from private to public spaces, developing whimsical and absurd actions. The dancers start out as individuals but form into critical mass, grouped as one, subject only to the whims of the raging stream down which they ride, the organic anarchy and brute power of the elements. They become pure force, energy, a homogenous mass without identity.

Then, its energy calmed, its space parcelled out, the broken is rebuilt, the set becomes a framework for the emptiness, vibrating in a formalist, cerebral fashion welcoming the dancer who is now immobile, barely able to stand, to stand on his own. “It was then that he realised that the present condition of this earth was not a phenomenon occurring once in a decade, rather it was the intervening years during which the earth tolerated in its quiet, sleepy core the frail mechanism of man’s vulgar inventions this constitutes the interesting phenomenon, that the normal state was the current state, that the river would flow wherever it wanted after waiting around for ten years, as a mule might work ten years for you in order to have the right to give you one well-placed kick in the rear. “William Faulkner”if I forget thee, Jerusalem ” excerpt from “Old Man” This piece will not be about man surpassing himself in order to win, to survive the violence of the raging river as Faulkner described it, but will instead be a way for the dancers to be the essential elements of that mud-choked river. From its cloistered interior it becomes organicity, a component in the great melting pot of energy, abstracted from the unformed, focusing this energy into what will become the dance. Emptiness is fuller than the noise of this world.”Ettore Sciarino

The inspiration for Catherine Diverrès’ new work comes from a book by William Faulkner, “If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem which deals with the narcissistic retreat of modern man and the disintegrating social ties linking him to his world. How to defeat egotistical sedimentation and the romantic exaltation of so-called singularity so that we can still reach out to others? Catherine Diverrès says, “We experience loss of identity in this organic, bleak chaos, until we find again the precarious balance of dance working itself out in the space in abstract, specific shapes.”In her work L’ombre du ciel (Shadow of the sky) the choreographer was inspired by the war in Yugoslavia. There was a physical correlation onstage between the dancing and what was happening in the political turmoil. In this work, alla prima looks primarily at social relationships. <br>In this piece, ten dancers and a musician will be onstage continuously, and at the heart of the work will be “a different kind of temporal design embodying a full range of energies, among them a certain clumsiness, deliberately coarsened movements and gestures, in which the lack of psychological or mental investment of the dancers will be noticeably different from that evidenced in my previous works. Far from a Promethean vision of man, has chosen to work on a smaller scale, one in which an interlinked fragility is engendered, a new and different way of meeting and being together in this time of frailty.

Excerpts from an interview between Catherine Diverrès and Patricia Allio


piece for 10 dancers and 1 musician

choreography Catherine Diverrès

stage design Laurent Peduzzi

dancers Julien Fouché, Carole Gomes, Fabrice Dasse Marta Izquierdo Munoz, Sung-Im Kweon, Thierry Micouin, Kathleen Reynolds, Isabelle Kurzi, Emilio Urbina, Rafaël Pardillo

musical composer Seijiro Murayama

soundscore composer Eiji Nakazawa

scoring engineer Denis Gambiez

lightings Marie-Christine Soma

Costumes Cidalia Da Costa

produced Centre Chorégraphique National de Rennes et de Bretagne, Théâtre National de Bretagne ; Festival Montpellier Danse 05

Supported by the Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs dramatiques.