Mon corps jamais ne s’arrêtera de danser (2009)

Jean-François Laporte (Barbara Sarreau)

invented instruments, and dance

Mon corps jamais ne s’arrêtera de danser (My Body Will Never Stop Dancing), a piece for musician, dancer and lighting director, is the offspring of an artistic collaboration begun in 2002 between Jean-François Laporte, Barbara Sarreau and Jean Tartaroli. Each medium — music, dance and scenography — makes use of a minimum of materials: a large metal table for the dancer, a small, amplified table and resonating sheets for the musician, and only a few spotlights for the lighting director.

Presenting an environment seemingly existing in a type of perpetual motion — that which our own society, at times, resembles — Mon corps jamais ne s’arrêtera de danser depicts a transformation involving bodies which have become alienated by routine actions. Its inspiration came from a visit to a factory in Morocco, where choreographer Barbara Sarreau had been struck by the movements of the women workers. Their bodies moved rapidly, repeating the same motions over and over again without any periods of rest. What impact does this fast-paced activity have on our bodies? What about on our souls? Similarly to the Moroccan factory workers, the body of the dancer is committed to such a perpetual cadence and will never stop dancing.

The music of Mon corps jamais ne s’arrêtera de danser speaks with a voice of resonance and transcendence, as if questioning the relationship each of us has with our inevitable end. The dancer hears this external murmuring and lives it internally. Her body pulses to the beat of our time, scuffling, shuddering, capsizing, flaying and striking out, engaged with both the brutality of reality and the murmur of its most secretive rustling. Her body, strained and tensed by such a mingling of aggression and hope, absorbs the vibrations of our era and transcends the rituals of the daily grind. In this way, the dancer becomes perfectly wedded to the music. She traces the movement of the musical score with a freedom of expression proper to contemporary creation. She dances literally “inside” the music, which itself has become the material of dance.

The work strives to create a new contention around music and dance where their forces unite in an elevation of soul and body. The two art forms share an intimate and profound encounter on stage and undergo a complete osmosis. It is no longer the soul which receives the metallic song, rather it is the body which transforms it into movement.

[English translation: Gregory Millar, ii-11]

Performance