S T I L | 2017

Klimt and Schiele: Yin and Yang of the Austrian Soul

At the beginning of the 20th century, Jugendstil brought the cornerstones of delicacy, refine-ment, and imagination to Vienna, captivating the Viennese. The now ubiquitous paintings of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele – found not only in museums and galleries but so mass-produced for consumption in tourism, leisure, and lifestyle industries that we can now categorize them as popular iconography – are encompassed within this movement.  Comparing the two artists Elisabeth Léopold (widow of the art collector Rudolf Léopold) noted, “Klimt was far more popular…he was handsome, charming, a real ladies’ man. But his works weren’t Austria: they lacked the melancholy and death so present in those of Schiele.” Furthermore, she continues, “though they adored one another, Klimt and Schiele chose divergent paths. When an art dealer requested that Schiele refer to Klimt to alter one of his self-portraits (under the pretext that his canvas was impossible to sell as-is), Schiele replied, “This painting was born from the depth of my soul and I will change nothing.’”

A Difference of Stil

Though radically different in form and content, the human body is often at the heart of the mat-ter in both Klimt’s and Schiele’s oeuvres. Studying this trove – their two styles so rich in nuances of expression – will give us the raw material to craft postures, poses, and movements that will embody the very substance of CUBe’s new opus Stil. By exploring motion and creating tension using the past versus the contemporary, our goal is to experiment with new shapes, sensations, and expressions to invent a unique way of filling the stage through dance.

Renowned Pioneers

In the dance world, American Loïe Fuller (1862-1928) was one of the first artists to bring “Art Nouveau dance” to life. At the time, her notions of movement and costumes revol utionized dance. Her style contributed to bridging the gap between variety shows, performance, and modern dance. Striving to separate dance from classicism, breaking down barriers, and shattering established conventions, her creations were unusual and personal.

At the dawn of the 20th century, Jugendstil also transformed the never-ending debate between conservative supporters of tradition and progressive champions of modernity. Shared ideas and ideals gave birth to the desire to create a style that expressed itself through diversity rather than uniformity. This movement was characterized by inventive applications of organic rhythms, colors, and ornamentation inspired by trees, flowers, insects, and animals; this combination enabled the movement to reinsert the sensory world into everyday life. Using all available space and creating a universe where modern man could flourish, it was also considered a complete art form.

Simplify the work but maintain the complexity of the process that created it : this is the hallmark of the Jugendstil movement. As for Stil – a piece for six performers, a musician, and an electron-ic music composer – I intend to liberally take inspiration from this philosophy so as to reveal the conventions and lines of questioning hidden inside. In a sparse environment this new opus could evoke a new struggle to overcome, literally and figuratively : that in which aesthetics too often govern the real and the virtual universe. Can we find a parallel between the tumultuous Jugendstil era and our own, which is hollow and dysfunc-tional, restrictive and prohibitive, dominated by prejudice ? In the future, will the performing arts still be freethinking or will they have inevitably disintegrated into a sort of mass entertainment and culture ? How and where can a new language take shape today ?

I believe that today, we are living in a time similar to that of Jugendstil. The meaning and usefulness of art, and a certain liberty of expression within it, are under discussion. The control of desires not to mention censorship) is becoming an increasingly important phenomenon in our societies. I am affected by this as an artist and as a citizen. Schiele was haunted by the control of desires. That is why I consider it relevant to revisit the heritage of this troubling and unsettling artistic trend, which during this short but rich era also revolutionised the performing arts with Loïe Fuller, creating parallels between the past and present. I want to express these connections between the present day and a century ago, to show the friction between the two periods, making the connections readable and bringing them to life through the bodies on stage.  The “golden” life blanket will have an aesthetic and symbolic role in the performance.

I hope to raise the spectator’s awareness and spark their curiosity to encourage them to question their boundaries and prejudices with regards to choreographic writing of the past and theatrical writing of the present. By calling on a body trained in the art of dance with all its codes of contemporary dance (modern techniques and improvisation techniques), choreography presents our eyes and our senses with a honed and sophisticated body that contrasts with everyday bodies or performative bodies in new stage writing. This project will put these two kind of bodies or representations of the body to the test and bring them into opposition on the same stage.

Although I feel that belonging to a group or a movement plays an important role in enabling artists to find their own path and individual identities, I also see openness to others, to what is foreign and different, as a strength to be treasured. This open-mindedness and multiplicity of expressions lay at the heart of the Jugendstil movement. Jugendstil served as a crossroads for all types of artistic expression, a place where different artistic approaches could reflect and confront one another, and work together to invent new expressions, forms, or creative techniques.

New forms of writing inevitably take us into uncharted waters and demand deconstruction. They lead us into undefined territory where our expectations and codes of reception are shaken.

What is a free body and what is free thought in art today?

 

The free body becomes an absolute desire in STIL, with the aplomb to transmit a reinvented freedom or a new writing, which must be felt and seen on stage. My autonomy as a creator is fuelled by the urge to covet the unknown and the unexpected, generating a poetry of desires. I also have another reason for exploring these depths: I want to question our expectations of live performance and create new sensitivity and reactions in the receiver/audience.

Avant-prémière

23 JANUARY 2017
KLAP Maison pour la Danse à Marseille

For professionnals

17 FEBRUARY 2017
CDC la Briqueterie  – artiste associé

Creation

02 MARCH 2017
répétition générale ouverte au Pavillon Noir à Aix-en-Provence
03 MARCH 2017
création au Pavillon Noir à Aix-en-Provence
04 MARCH 2017
Pavillon Noir à Aix-en-Provence
07 MARCH 2017
Théâtre Châtillon /Biennale du Val-de-Marne / CDC la Briqueterie
16 MARCH 2017
SN LUX à Valence
07 NOVEMBER 2017
SN Hexagone à Meylan
08 NOVEMBER 2017
SN Hexagone à Meylan

Choreography & conception | Christian Ubl
Dancers | Séverine Bauvais/AnneEmmanuelle Deroo, Aniol Busquets/Martin Mauriès, Marianne Descamps, Bastien Lefèvre, Joachim Lorca, Marion Peuta
Costumes | Pierre Canitrot
Musics | Fabrice Cattalano & Hélène Breschand
Dramaturgy| Fabienne Gras
Vocal work | Dalila Kathir
Lighting design | Jean-Bastien Nehr
Production | Laurence Larcher

Production

CUBe association (FR)

Partener : Leopold Musem in Vienne collection & archives of Schiele & Klimt

Co-production 

Ballet Preljocaj / Pavillon Noir, CCN Aix-en-Provence – Klap Maison pour la danse de Marseille La Briqueterie/  du Val de Marne, Vitry-sur-Seine – Chorège / Relais culturel régional du Pays de Falaise – Fondation ECART- POMARET – 3bisf d’Aix-en-Provence – Soutien du Centre Chorégraphique National d’Aquitaine en Pyrénées-Atlantiques – Malandain Ballet Biarritz ­– CDC Le Pacifique de Grenoble – Fonds SACD Musique de scène – LA SPEDIDAM – ADAMI

Residency 

Théâtre Paul Eluard de Choisy-le-Roi – La Garance,SN de Cavaillon – CN D, Centre national de la danse – CDC Le Pacifique de Grenoble – Théâtre de Châtillon – 3bisf lieu d’arts contemporains _ – KLAP Maison pour la Danse – CDC La Briqueterie

 

Support 

DRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d’azur – Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’azur (CAC danse) – Conseil départemental des Bouches-du-Rhône – Ville de Marseille

Direction régionale des affaires culturelles Provence – Alpes – Côte d’Azur
CG13 Marseille
Région Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur
Adami
la copie privée
SACD
SPEDIDAM
Forum Culturel Autrichien Paris
LabriquetterieCDNC
CDCN la Briqueterie Val-du-Marne