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12 ottobre 2021 Commenti disabilitati su RADAR |”Archipelago” by James Viveiros and Fabio Novembrini ENG/ITA Views: 247 In depth, Multimedia, News, Photo Gallery, Read, Reviews

RADAR |”Archipelago” by James Viveiros and Fabio Novembrini ENG/ITA

Small, smooth, worn-down stones, arranged on the black floor, snakes-out an extensive “S”. The bodies of the two dancers terminate each end. Then their fingers begin to gather up these pebbles, one after another, precipitating a white noise of rubbing rock, rumbling and burbling together like running water.

The sound that they hear is of time, of passage, and of passing away, whilst Fabio Novembrini places them upon the body of James Viveiros: on his forehead, on his eyes, on his sternum, on his lips. With a stifled gasp Viveiros seems to assimilate them, hunched over, his head thrown back. Then he spits them out onto the ground as if they were eschewed seeds, a hailstorm of silent emotions, or unearthed accounts of stories best left buried.

B Motion Danza 2021 | Fabio Novembrini and James Viveiros in Archipelago. Photo by Giancarlo Ceccon

The dancers continue in their frenetic work. Now we can clearly make out the liquid babbling of the stones, echoed in the lapping of movements and manipulations, presently being organised into mysterious heaps, along precise straight lines that seem to map out the coordinates of time itself. Formerly linear, elongated, stretched out like a rope ringed with rock; latterly disintegrating, dispersed, fragmented into a myriad of pebble archipelagos.

The dancers run races, changing direction, then running side by side, then as a pair. Bare footed, they re-encounter each other diagonally; in fights, reconciliations, holds, pursuits, clinches, surrenders. Their musical gestures are both concentrated and dispersed in a continuous building-up or taking-down of piles of pebbles, cast aside like pearls from a thread, or rosary beads, or scattered seeds, like smooth percussion instruments that bounce and resonate freely upon the floor’s surface or become blocked, entrapped between the fingers of the dancers. An oxymoronic apparition: a stream of stones forms before our eyes, conducted by the dancers’ bodies down blind trajectories, along arcane culverts, held in the natural silence of the surrounding space.

The performers fill their pockets with stones that could be specie, shrapnel, loose change from merchants. With synchronous leaps upwards, they leave the ground strewn with their pocketed swag, spread it and trace out new trajectories on the floor. Stone choreographies weave together indigenous and archaic intimations, both vulnerable and variable: a lithic spine, a dragon’s back or the stony bones of a human skeleton impetrating for interment.

Some in the audience don’t seem to register these messages and stare long and listlessly down the path of betrayed expectations. But the dance of bones, the dance of earth, the dance of the dead, the dance of time, the dance of nature continues its way, with or without us, through the bodies of the two performers who become the channel and conduit of an emergence, of a voice, a memory, an omen, a connection that diverges towards natural and archaic languages. A rain of stones stirs an invisible giant out of slumber, one who lives in an arrow, then a triangle, then a space that is world and home. Then, rising up and out of those bodies is an utterance of prayer, a grunt, an angry awakening, a threat, a song, a war cry, a yell. The bodies go through a bath of stones, stand under a petrified shower, dissolve in dry tears, teardrops which set hard, in an exhausted plea for ministrations.

B Motion Danza 2021 | James Viveiros and Fabio Novembrini in “Archipelago”. Photo by Abcdanceblog

What is the shape of memory? What form has time? These are the questions that the performers seem to ask to us by way of choreography. We introspect — well, what is an archipelago? For some just a collective noun. For others a reverie of exotic isles and faraway idylls. Others again may think of a cloud of thoughts aggregated together or a cluster of feelings hardened by time, like rock, like stones. For others still, a concentration of ghosts and ancestor spirits, exhaled by the past.

As in a children’s game, the dancers continually sew together and unravel forms and meanings, breaking them down, destroying them. Perhaps out of spite for those who don’t attempt to engage with their message or, perhaps, precisely in order not to allow the viewer time to grasp their enigmatic alphabet. This performance is a pure gift, alas one that few have invested the time to accept, unwrap and relish. For inside they might well have found a key that unlocks time for dance, music and poetry.

Anna Trevisan

English translation by Jim Sunderland

Cover image by Giancarlo Ceccon


TESTO ORIGINALE ITALIANO

Sassi piccoli, lisci, levigati, sdraiati per terra sulla superficie nera formano una lunga “S” ai capi della quale ci sono i corpi dei danzatori. Le loro mani iniziano a raccogliere i sassi uno ad uno, uno dopo l’altro, producendo un rumore bianco di pietruzze sfregate, arrotolate una contro l’altra come acqua che scorre.

Hanno il rumore del tempo, del trascorrere, del trapassare i sassi che Fabio Novembrini appoggia sul corpo di James Viveiros: sulla sua fronte, sugli occhi, sullo sterno, sulla bocca. Con un rantolio soffocato Viveiros li ingoia, curvo disteso, con la testa rovesciata all’indietro. Poi li sputa fuori come semi eradicati dal terreno, come pioggia di emozioni mute, come racconti materici di storie sepolte.

B Motion Danza 2021 | Fabio Novembrini and James Viveiros in Archipelago. Photo by Giancarlo Ceccon

I danzatori proseguono nel loro lavorio affaccendato. Distinguiamo il suono liquido dei sassi, coinvolti in uno sciabordio di movimenti e manipolazioni che li organizzano ora in misteriosi mucchietti ora lungo precise linee rette che sembrano disegnare le coordinate del tempo. Un tempo prima lineare, disteso, allungato come una fune inanellata di sassi e poi sbriciolato, disperso, frammentato in tanti arcipelaghi di pietra.

I danzatori corrono corse con cambi di direzione, poi affiancate, poi appaiate. A piedi nudi formano una diagonale di incontri, lotte, intese, prese, inseguimenti, abbracci, rese. I loro gesti musicali si concentrano e si disperdono in un continuo fare e disfare di cumuli di sassolini, sgranati come perle dal filo, come chicchi, come semi lanciati a terra, come percussioni levigate che rimbalzano e risuonano sulla superficie e che inciampano, snocciolati tra le dita. Un ossimorico ruscello di pietra si forma sotto i nostri occhi, condotto dai corpi dei danzatori lungo traiettorie cieche, lungo strade arcane, nel silenzio naturale dello spazio intorno.

Si riempiono le tasche di sassi che sono monete, grana, spiccioli di mercanti. Con salti sincroni verso l’alto sparpagliano a terra il malloppo intascato, lo disseminano e tracciano nuove traiettorie sulla terra. Coreografie di pietra ricamano segni indigeni e arcaici, vulnerabili e variabili: una spina dorsale di sassi, una schiena di drago oppure ossa pietrose di uno scheletro umano che chiede sepoltura.

Forse sono in molti tra il pubblico a non notare questi messaggi e ad annoiare lo sguardo lungo la via delle aspettative tradite. Ma la danza delle ossa, la danza della terra, la danza dei morti, la danza del tempo, la danza della natura continua ad esistere, con o senza di noi, attraverso i corpi dei due performer che si fanno canale e vettore di un’emersione, di una voce, di un ricordo, di un presagio, di una connessione che diverge verso linguaggi naturali e antichi. Una pioggia di sassi suscita il risveglio di un invisibile gigante che abita una freccia, poi triangolo, poi uno spazio che è mondo e casa. Sale dai corpi una preghiera, un grugnito, un rabbioso risveglio, una minaccia, un canto, un urlo di guerra, un richiamo. I corpi attraversano un bagno di sassi, stanno sotto una doccia impietrita, si sciolgono in lacrime asciutte, in pianto rappreso, in una richiesta spossata di aiuto.

B Motion Danza 2021 | James Viveiros and Fabio Novembrini in “Archipelago”. Photo by Abcdanceblog

Che forma ha la memoria? Che forma ha il tempo? Sembrano chiederci i performers con la loro coreografia. Che cos’è un arcipelago? Ci chiediamo noi. Per alcuni solo un nome collettivo. Per altri un immediato desiderio esotico di isole e paradiso. Per alcuni una nuvola di pensieri aggregati insieme o un grappolo di sentimenti induriti dal tempo, come pietre, come sassi. Per altri la concentrazione di fantasmi e di spiriti degli antenati, esalati dal passato.

Come in un gioco di bambini, i danzatori cuciono e scuciono continuamente forme e significati, scomponendoli, distruggendoli. Forse per dispetto a chi non vuole guardare il loro messaggio o, forse, proprio per non lasciare a chi guarda il tempo di afferrare quel loro alfabeto segreto. Una performance che è un regalo ma che forse in pochi hanno trovato il tempo di ricevere e di scartare. Dentro ci avrebbero trovato, appunto, il tempo. Il tempo della danza, della musica e della poesia.

Anna Trevisan

Foto di copertina: Giancarlo Ceccon

Grazie a Ginelle Chagnon 


EXTRA CONTENT

Here below some notes on the Archipelago’ s creative process excerpted from the diary of the mentor and dramaturg Ginelle Chagnon. Enjoy!

In retrospect

“The 2019 and last edition of the artistic exchange project Duetto a tre voci started in August as two contemporary dance artists from the Montreal and one from Italy, Fabio Novembrini, James Viveiros and Ginelle Chagnon, first met in Bassano del Grappa, as one does on a “blind date”. We did not choose each other but chose to dive into this artistic encounter together.

In Bassano, we met in a studio, dialoguing and trusting that the experience of spending time together in a collective practice would take us on a positive journey. We went for a walk along the Brenta River, which was to influence our path in an unsuspected way. […] After returning some of the local stones to the shore of the Brenta River, we parted and met again four weeks later as the encounter was continuing in Montreal.

On the first day in Montreal, we drove to Mont-Tremblant National Park to walk in the forest and gather stones as we had done previously in Bassano. It was decided to continue working on the duet that was initiated in Italy. For the next 9 days we met every afternoon in the downstairs studio at Circuit-Est’s main building on Sherbrooke Street and worked at stimulating our ability to listen to the stones and to each other, hoping to dig this communal practice in depth and to hunt for new trails to follow. As the gestation period of this creative process continued in its last week, we aimed to keep the curiosity stage of the creative process alive so to nurture and protect this project.

[…] Although we had the opportunity to spend time together in the studio without the obligation to create a product of any kind (which was such a blessing), we created a dance performance/practice that we are profoundly attached to because it is only possible when we are together. Is this not the major factor in the making of any meaningful dance project?

[…] The traces of this encounter may or may not be visible to the outside eye or fully understood by our own selves but still, at the end of this project, I have to admit (and I believe that my two colleagues would agree) that meeting in such a simple and natural way leaves in a different place. This has been a meaningful journey at the core of the human and artistic reality”.

Ginelle Chagnon, Montréal, Octobre 2019

  • Novembrini and Viveiros along the Brenta river
  • James Viveiros along Brenta River
  • Ginelle Chagnon along the Brenta river
  • Archipelago. Photo by Giancarlo Ceccon
  • Archipelago. Photo by Giancarlo Ceccon
  • Archipelago. Photo by Giancarlo Ceccon
  • Archipelago. Photo by Giancarlo Ceccon
  • Archipelago. Photo by Giancarlo Ceccon
  • Archipelago. Photo by Giancarlo Ceccon
  • Archipelago. Photo by Giancarlo Ceccon
  • Archipelago. Photo Abcdanceblog
  • Archipelago. Photo Abcdanceblog
  • Archipelago. Photo Abcdanceblog
  • Novembrini and Viveiros Photo Abcdanceblog
Operaestate Festival Veneto | B Motion Danza 2021
Cortile della Scuola Jacopo Vittorelli
19 agosto 2021 ore 16.00
Prima nazionale
Archipelago
Di e con: Fabio Novembrini, James Viveiros
Drammaturgia: Ginelle Chagnon
Coproduzione: Operaestate Festival Veneto,
CSC di Bassano del Grappa, Zebra


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