title : Dances for an actress (Valérie Dréville) (2020)
concept : Jérôme Bel
with : Valérie Dréville
estimated duration : 90 minutes
language : French with English live translation
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.
Valérie Dréville trained at the Théâtre national de Chaillot (with Antoine Vitez, Yannis Kokkos, Aurélien Recoing, Georges Aperghis) and at the Conservatoire national supérieur d'art dramatique de Paris (with Viviane Théophilides, Claude Régy, Gérard Desarthe, Daniel Mesguich).
Her theatre career was marked by her meeting Antoine Vitez, her teacher at Chaillot, who directed her in Électre, Le Soulier de satin, La Célestine, La Vie de Galilée (Comédie-Française). She joined the Comédie-Française in 1988, which she left in 1993. She has worked with many directors including Jean-Pierre Vincent, Alain Ollivier, Aurélien Recoing, Lluis Pasqual, Claudia Stavisky, Yannis Kokkos, Anastasia Vertinskaïa and Alexandre Kaliaguine, Alain Françon, Bruno Bayen, Luc Bondy. She plays under the direction of Claude Régy in Le Criminel by Leslie Kaplan, The Terrible Voice of Satan by Gregory Motton, Somebody is going to come by Jon Fosse, Knives in Hens by David Harrower, Death variations by Jon Fosse, Comme un chant de David, translation of the psalms by Henri Meschonnic, The death of Tintagiles by Maurice Maeterlinck.
She regularly travels to Russia to work alongside Anatoli Vassiliev and his troupe, with whom she plays Heiner Müller's Matériau-Médée, Thérèse philosophe and Anton Tchekhov's The Story of a Nobody. Valérie Dréville is associate artist of the Festival d'Avignon 2008.
Recently, she played in O'Neill's Long day’s journey into night, directed by Célie Pauthe; Et nous brûlerons unes à unes les villes endormies, text, images and staging by Sylvain Georges; Chic par accident, directed by Yves-Noël Genod ; Tristesse animal noir by Anja Hilling, directed by Stanislas Nordey; Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen, directed by Thomas Ostermeier; Perturbations from the novel by Thomas Bernhard, directed by Krystian Lupa; Schwanengesang D744 conceived and directed by Romeo Castelucci; Un Temps bis by Becket conceived by Georges Aperghis; La Bête dans la Jungle by Marguerite Duras directed by Célie Pauthe; The Seagull by Chekhov, directed by Thomas Ostermeier; Demons after Fedor Dostoesvski, directed by Sylvain Creuzevault and Freedom in Bremen by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, directed by Cédric Gourmelon.
On the silver screen, she notably shoots under the direction of Jean-Luc Godard, Philippe Garrel, Alain Resnais, Hugo Santiago, Arnaud Desplechin, Laetitia Masson, Michel Deville, Nicolas Klotz and recently Antoine Barraud, Pascale Breton and Jeanne Balibar.