title : Jérôme Bel (1995)
a performance by : Jéröme Bel
creation : Brussels (Belgium), September 1st 1995, at the Bellones-Brigittines festival
with : Claire Haenni, Michèle Bargues, Eric Affergan, Yseult Roch and Frederic Seguette
production : R.B. Jérôme Bel (Paris)
thanks to : D.C.A.and la Ménagerie de Verre
duration : 50 minutes
R.B Jérôme Bel is supported by the Direction régionale des affaires culturelles d'Ile-de-France, French Ministry for Culture and Communication, by the Institut Français, French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, for its international tours and by ONDA - Office National de Diffusion Artistique - for its tours in France
R.B. Jérôme Bel :
artistic advice and executive direction : Rebecca Lee
production manager : Sandro Grando
website : www.jeromebel.fr
Not only does Jérôme Bel's work offer new prospects for perfoming, but it marks a real return to questions of anthropology. Jérôme Bel (performed in Paris, Théâtre de la Bastille, 1996 and Berlin , Sophiensäle, August 1997) deals with the body, light and music in their pure literal sense, like a minimalist manifesto applied to dance. This show presents the body in all its objective simplicity and functionality. It thus foils any attempt by the dancer and, likewise, the spectator, to interpret it emotionally. As a result, the subtle simplicity of this choreographic device allows for a critical reading of what is being done and undone in front of us. Which, it seems to me, opens up numerous ways of interpreting it, and makes of this piece a sort of emblematic banner of the nineteen nineties.
Alain Buffard, Berlin, April 22, 1999
In 1995, the choreographer Jérôme Bel put his name to Jérôme Bel, a radically pared-down work bringing the author one step closer to the hallmarks of his work, and dance to its enabling factors: lighting, music and the body. Eighteen years on, the same observation rings true: “a body cannot be overlooked”. With this “given that” as his starting point, Jérôme Bel sought to find out more. He wanted to pick up on the exchanges, and fluids running though the body. For want of making the body dance, he maps it out: what are its dates, what are its measurements, and what are the signifiers that orientate it? And what stage language can bring home its literal presence? With an economy of means reduced to what language has to say, he serves up a deconstruction of theatrical representation which has lost nothing of its vital impact.
Gilles Amalvi, June 2014
In unison, in the choreography Jérôme Bel by Jérôme Bel, they portray no less than the four basic principles of dance : light, music and the body inhabiting a space, which over the following fifty minutes of the piece illuminate and examine one another. Onstage, the bodies are what they are. And we learn just what they are through digits and names assigned to them in care of Jérôme Bel. (...) « What I tried with Jérôme Bel », he explains, « was to find a kind of « zero point of literature » for dance. I wanted to avoid two things : the erotic body and the perfectly muscular body, the body as warrior. Sex and power : in our entire culture (not only in dance) these stand for the two most dominating representations of the body, the primary instrument of dance, in a way that denies it its usual signs. » (...) Jérôme Bel concentrates on the smaller, almost invisible coded messages of the body that turn it into an art-body.
Gérald Siegmund, in Ballet international, Tanz aktuell, April 1997