DANCE — Through the creation of altered natives' Say Yes To Another Excess - TWERK in September 2012, we met DJs Elijah and Skilliam from Label Butterz, references in British Grime musical scene. This unusual musical style is a complex dancehall, hip hop and garage hybridization. Like all electronic musical styles, it also derives from Jamaican sound systems - these surrounding walls which have played since the 1950s a major role in the evolution of various Jamaican musical styles and helped develop ska, reggae, ragga, dub...
For this new project, we have met HIGH ELEMENTS, Dubplates DJ from the Reunion island, who draws from dub roots in order to create an upbeat solar music, defined by a tension between deep bass sounds characteristic of dub and bright melodies. Dub is performed for massive social gatherings (Nothing Hill Carnival, One Love Rave Festival) with powerful sound systems. Their intense vibrations, their physical impact and their unifying power turned these musical styles into spiritual or even religious events, going way beyond mere entertainment.
On stage, HIGH ELEMENTS will play Dub sets Dubplates mixes through a sound system.
Along with this musical investigation, we are carrying out a hybrid choreographic research, from humble bouncing that some early reggae tunes trigger to the most extreme physical constructions that ballet on pointe allows.
Pointe shoes, as western classical dance fetish, have been used to challenge gravity and invent an ethereal and celestial body. Outside classical technique, it is also a fascinating tool, generating speed, height, balance, unbalance, lines. Confronting on pointe to Jamaican music, very motivated by a need to go back to basics, to the earth, to peaceful and brotherly intentions, creates potential tension, a fiction, to get away from stereotypes related to those cultures. Far from resurrecting a classical body, we combine on pointe practice with soft religious dances (like candomblé) or vivid and urban (like dance hall). Through the sound system vibrations, our three bodies thus draw an abstract and detailed writing. A repertoire of reggae and Dancehall songs will be performed by three performers, Ana Pi, François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea together with High Éléments' mix.
Our intention to convey the cosmic wrapping aspect of sound systems leads us to think about a dance configuration that would not entail front view but multiple side views as well as the placement of viewers taken away by vibrations, invited to move around the space, and possibly dance.
Cecilia Bengolea, François Chaignaud