texts and interviews > 02.2000 divers - adc geneva

In the articles we published in our last edition, there were regular references to your work. It could almost be said that you are one of the representative figures of a new choreographic form. What would be your analysis of that ?

First of all, I don't consider what I produce to be “a new choreographic form” and I consider even less so that I am one of its representative figures. The critics are interested in my pieces because they themselves carry their own critique in the sense that they “create a state of crisis”. I can't imagine a work of art worthy of the name that doesn't question its own legitimacy.

Concerning the question of whether new choreographic forms exist, there is a lot of talk in the texts we've received about conceptualisation. In your opinion, in what way is this phenomenon new in contemporary dance? More especially, in what particular way does your work stand fundamentally apart from more “conventional” choreographic form ?

In no way is this conceptualisation new. It's a phenomenon which is recurrent in the history of dance as soon as anyone tries to redefine it. In my case, I don't stand apart from convention; I create another sort which enables me to express what I want to say more explicitly. Such “conceptualisation” is only a means, not an end.

For some authors, you are part of a generation of dancer-choreographers who use the “strategy of quotation”, in other words of borrowing post-modern approaches to confront the issue of art so as to experiment with dance as a field of esthetic research. Do you agree with this sort of definition or do you situate your approach on another level ?

Using choreographic quotation is one of my discursive strategies ( Jérôme Bel : The Rite of Spring (1913 by Stravinsky for Nijinsky, The last performance : Wandlung (1978) by Susanne Linke and the Tanztheater). I'm interested in the ecological aspect of quotation (recycling). It allows me to put modern/contemporary dance into perspective (historicisation) and to determine an ontology of performance. I can use quotation to make up for my incapacity to produce dance. But from a broader viewpoint, dance remains a medium which makes it possible for me to indulge in (idle) esthetical, historical, social and philosophical speculations.

More generally, the detractors of what might be defined as a new generation of choreographers, which you belong to, sometimes consider you to be merely imitators of previous generations. Is there any possible answer to this opinion? If so, what is it ?

This notion of a “new generation” is the invention of a few lazy critics and irresponsible cultural managers for whom it's a very convenient term. For my part, I would prefer to talk about optional and sometimes stimulating affinities with some of these choreographers.
My relations with the “previous generations “ are otherwise more complex and intense. I consider their works to be a field from which I can borrow certain tools that they have brought to light. I consider them to be mine in the same way that I consider the whole history of art (and of humanity) as belonging to me. The history of art is a corpus with its solutions and dead-ends, from which I get my guidelines. My current work is only possible and above all, intelligible to many because theirs exist.

Finally, in relation to the texts published in the last edition of the ADC, where the idea was not to express a single way of thinking, but was more to compare ideas, was there any idea that seemed to you to be particularly relevant which you would like to pick up on, or on the contrary an opinion which seemed particularly uncalled-for ?

I would just like to tell André Lepecki that he has completely misinterpreted my work with his idea of “democracy of the dancing body”; on the contrary, such a concept has never been part of what I want to do artistically. As Pyrrhus said, “democracy is the least bad form of government.”