title : Dances for an actress (Valérie Dréville) (2020)
concept : Jérôme Bel
with : Valérie Dréville
estimated duration : 80 minutes
language : French
production : R.B. Jérôme Bel
coproduction : Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, MC93 — Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis (Bobigny), La Commune centre dramatique national d’Aubervilliers, Festival d’Automne à Paris, R.B. Jérôme Bel (Paris)
with the help of : CND Centre National de la Danse (Pantin) in the frame of its residency program and Ménagerie de Verre (Paris) in the framework of Studiolab, for providing studio spaces
R.B Jérôme Bel is supported by the Direction régionale des affaires culturelles d'Ile-de-France, French Ministry for Culture, 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 Lasselin
production manager : Sandro Grando
website : www.jeromebel.fr
For this performance, the choreographer Jérôme Bel asked the actress Valérie Dréville to interpret, not the roles from the theatrical repertoire as she is used to, but rather certain dances from the choreographic modernity. Indeed, Jérôme Bel is convinced that certain 20th century choreographies are as eloquent and significant as the most accomplished pages of theatrical literature.
It is therefore at the intersection of the means and practice of theatre and dance, of language and choreography that the interpretation of these dances is played out.
Since Valérie Dréville is not a dancer, all the formalism that usually prevails in dance is cheerfully trampled on in favour of the power of the actress's imagination. Form then fades before meaning, appearance before interiority, representation before experience, performance before event.
Before using the techniques, you must consider the question of thought or mind, or life. When you are doing choreography, for example, if you consider techniques and apply them to dance, the most crucial part will disappear in the process. If technique comes first in dance, why should we bother dancing? We don't depend on technique for our livelihood. I myself have found that the more techniques we use, the more they take us away from the essential. I don't need techniques to live my life after death. I try to ignore techniques and structures and focus on the spiritual. This is what I try to achieve in my dance.