Press clips :"With Are friends electric? the director of CCN de Rillieux-la-Pape, moves into an entirely new realm of dance, creating a powerful, unusual piece about the elasticity of space and the body, as well as the experience of living together."
Danser Canal Historique - Sophie Lesort - Dec 15
"Mission accomplished: Kraftwerk's music becomes tangible through these experts in the electricity of muscles. Our hearts beat with theirs. Bravo."
491 - Florence Roux - Dec 15
On this project I wanted to work with a piece of pre-existing music, with a pop dimension, which would awaken our collective memories. I chose to explore the sound and the universe of the German group Kraftwerk, in particular the period from 1974 to 1981, during which they released Autobahn, Radioactivität, Trans Europa Express and Computerwelt. These albums had a mostly analog sound and repetitive rhythms which remind me of heartbeats, breathing, walking, a trance state, a musical gesture on a human scale.
I saw this part of their journey as the beginning of a new European romanticism, which offers a different perspective of Man’s relationship to his environment. The nineteenth century ideal of Man and nature was replaced by a new affirmation positing the survival of Man in an urbanized, mechanized environment.
While exploring Kraftwerk’s “black box,” I found a number of intriguing elements I wanted to integrate into my research. There is a reference to Franz Schubert in Trans Europa Express, which led me to explore his lieder, with their romantic, traditional imagery.
And for my choreographic research, I chose to explore a specific physical action: torsion, which is both an organic and an essential action involving bone marrow, the skeleton, and physical memory. It was a significant part of the development of the work’s movement with the dancers.
The driving rhythm of Kraftwerk’s music was also a way inside the choreographic material. The sound loops, their cyclical composition and the variations in amplification helped us to reveal their deeper intentions. I also wove into my research the spatial trajectories of traditional European dances such as the minuet, which implements a codified way of meeting with its formally ordered series of approaches and separations. While working with these elements, I created frictions which then allowed me to create a complex, polarized space, structured by tensions.
Are friends electric? reflects my preoccupation with the ambiguity which pervades the idea of the communal. Hyper-individualities, a deep need for collective belonging – how do we survive in a contemporary, polarized space?