Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui / Yabin Studio & Eastman

Genesi

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui : Yabin Studio & Eastman   Genesi

source: sadlerswells
Two renowned dance makers, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Yabin Wang, come together to present this new work about the origins of things. The result is a show of mesmerising beauty.

Genesis 生长interweaves philosophical ideas about a person’s place in society with clinical and almost dystopian imagery, set to the sounds of live music drawn from global roots.

Leading Chinese dance artist Wang, also known for her incredible dancing in the film House of Flying Daggers, makes her London stage debut in this evocative work she created with Cherkaoui. Cherkaoui’s celebrated curiosity for other international dance forms has been behind acclaimed works including sutra (monks of the Shaolin Temple) and m¡longa (tango)..
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
source: east-manbe
Figures in white coats wearing masks over their mouths, observing and conducting tests on other people. Between them stand glass cages suggestive of gigantic test tubes. GENESIS生长, as the title suggests, is a show about the origins of things. We are born and then we die, and in the meantime we undergo constant testing and increasing estrangement from the natural world.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, working with the Chinese dance star Yabin Wang – remember her spectacular dancing between the drums in the Echo Game sequence of the film “House of Flying Daggers” – explores our origins and our destination. To use his own words, “It is about growth, whether global, personal or artistic”. To the sounds of live music with roots in Africa, India, Japan, China and Poland he translates philosophical ideas about life, the pressures imposed on us by our society to perform and conform, into beautiful sequences of movement in which East and West, life and death, come together.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
source: east-manbe
Des personnages en blouse blanche, un masque chirurgical devant la bouche, observent d’autres personnes et leur font subir des tests. Parmi eux sont disposées des cages de verre, telles de gigantesques éprouvettes. Comme l’indique le titre, GENESIS生长 – la genèse – le sujet du spectacle est l’origine de toutes choses. Nous naissons et nous mourons, et entre les deux nous sommes sans cesse mis à l’épreuve et nous nous éloignons toujours davantage de la nature.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui recherche en compagnie de la danseuse chinoise Yabin Wang – que vous avez pu voir danser entre des tambours dans une séquence spectaculaire du film Le Secret des poignards volants – d’où nous venons et où nous allons. Difficile de s’imaginer des questions plus fondamentales. Le chorégraphe l’exprime ainsi : « C’est un spectacle sur la croissance, tant dans le monde en général que des points de vue personnel et artistique. » Au son de musiques interprétées en live, aux origines africaines, indiennes, chinoises et polonaises, il transpose des pensées philosophiques sur la vie, la pression à produire et le compartimentage dans notre société en de superbes séquences gestuelles où se rencontrent l’Orient et l’Occident, la vie et la mort.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
source: east-manbe
Figuren in witte stofjassen, maskertje voor de mond. Ze observeren en testen andere mensen. Tussen hen in: glazen kooien, als gigantische proefbuizen. GENESIS生长 is – de titel zegt het al – een voorstelling over de oorsprong van alle dingen. We worden geboren en we gaan dood. En in de tussentijd worden we voortdurend getest en raken we alsmaar meer verwijderd van de natuur.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui onderzoekt samen met de Chinese danseres Yabin Wang – u zag haar op spectaculaire wijze dansen tussen trommels in de film ‘House of Flying Daggers’ – waar we vandaan komen en waar we heen gaan. Een fundamentelere vraagstelling kun je je amper inbeelden. In zijn eigen woorden: “Het is een voorsteling over groei, op globaal, persoonlijk en artistiek vlak.” Op de klanken van live muziek met roots in Afrika, India, Japan, China én Polen vertaalt hij filosofische gedachten over het leven, de prestatiedruk en het hokjesdenken van onze maatschappij naar prachtige bewegingssequenties waarin oost en west, leven en dood elkaar ontmoeten.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
source: east-manbe
Eastman werd opgericht in januari 2010 om het werk van artistiek leider/choreograaf Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui te produceren en te touren. Cherkaoui’s werk voorziet het publiek van een groot scala aan projecten en samenwerkingen; gaande van hedendaagse dans tot theater, ballet, opera, musical en andere performance-vormen. Een non-hiërarchisch denken over beweging, lichaamstaal en cultuur is de basis van de artistieke aanpak van Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Eastman is het centrale punt voor al Cherkaoui’s werk en opereert vanuit Antwerpen. Eastman is in residentie bij deSingel Internationale Kunstcampus (Antwerpen). Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is associated artist bij Sadler’s Wells (London).
Sinds de oprichting in 2010, maakte Cherkaoui o.a. Babel(words), Play, Rein, TeZukA, Puz/zle, 4D en 生长genesis onder de vleugels van Eastman. Eastman coördineert ook alle werk dat Cherkaoui voor andere organisaties maakt.
Internationale partners van Eastman zijn onder andere Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Grande Halle de La Villette Parijs, Theaterfestival Boulevard ‘s Hertogenbosch, Festspielhaus Sankt-Pölten, Fondazione Musica per Roma, Sadler’s Wells Londen, De Munt Brussel.
Eastman wordt ondersteund door de Vlaamse Gemeenschap en de stichting BNP Paribas. Eastman is Europees Cultureel Ambassadeur 2013.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
source: dancetabs
I wonder if there might be more than one Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. The extraordinarily diverse work of this uber-talented Belgian-Moroccan choreographer (although not so much, any longer, performed by himself) is a regular feature at theatres and opera houses around the globe, not least here at Sadler’s Wells, which has already seen M¡longa, his unique take on argentine tango, and his production of Frame[d] for the UK’s National Youth Dance Company, within the past five months.

Although not matching the extreme frequency of a different production every two months, recent years have seen a regular stream of Cherkaoui events (albeit badged in different ways) passing through London. He has recently taken on the artistic directorship of Royal Ballet Flanders and so it will be interesting to see if this global creative whirlwind will be more settled upon Belgium for the future.

Part of the formula for Cherkaoui’s prolific output is based on personal inquiry associated with the desire to learn and collaborate, stamping his indelible mark on different cultures and dance styles. In addition to tango, he has taken on the martial arts of Shaolin monks in Sutra, flamenco (with María Pagés) in Dunas, the classical Indian art of Kuchipudi in Play (with Shantala Shivalingappa), the action-packed graphics of manga art in TeZuka and classical ballet with his own production of The Firebird for Stuttgart Ballet. In addition to Pagés and Shivalingappa, he has created work with Akram Khan, Antony Gormley and Damien Jalet amongst other artists across many genres.

Made in 2013, Genesis is another in this sequence of largely one-to-one collaborations, bringing Cherkaoui together with the Beijing-based actress and dancer, Yabin Wang, and uniting their respective corporate entities, Eastman and Yabin Studios, in this co-production, which also brings together dancers from both companies. Demarcation lines were, however, clearly defined with Cherkaoui credited as sole choreographer and Yabin as producer.

While other Cherkaoui collaborations have generally crossed boundaries to link contemporary movement with the borrowed style, in Genesis there appears to be a multiplicity of influences. This is most evident in the bespoke musical content, largely composed by Olga Wojciechowsa (a regular Cherkaoui collaborator) but influenced by the contributions of a Congolese singer (Kaspy N’dia), plus an Indian mridangist (a drummer with a special drum) and a Polish pianist, respectively Manju B Chanramouli and Basia Drazkowska . Thus, the over-arching, reflective, often melancholic Chinese flavour of the music was interwoven with Indian, European and African content. The score was consistently enjoyable.

The set construct bore some architectural similarity to the concepts in Sutra and Babel (two former Cherkaoui works) but with the spatial flexibility of wooden boxes and metal frames being replaced by Perspex telephone-box-shaped structures that could be easily moved. Each box appeared to contain a performer, with those at the rear being larger to accommodate the musicians and their instruments. But, there was an optical illusion since these transparent boxes were missing a side (or perhaps two), which meant that, when joined together in different permutations, the dancers could cross over from one unit to another, perhaps to provide a constant circular motion around four boxes linked in the shape of a cross, or to create a long corridor of movement. This visual trickery was enhanced by the Perspex creating reflections of the dancers, such that it was initially impossible to tell how many there really were. From the opening, the performers seemed like mannequins enclosed in a glass jar and when they moved it was a peculiar Beijing take on A Night at the Museum.

Eventually, one by one, dancers left the boxes and, in so doing, their free movement became the most extraordinary element of the show with mesmerising, slithering, body-popping solos by Tsuki Kozuki and Elias Lazaridis and a long absorbing final dance by Yabin herself, which was performed to a collective, concentrated silence in Sadler’s Wells of the type that could register a pin drop.

The whole affair appears to be concerned with the points of entry and departure for human life with the Perspex boxes perhaps representing the ascetic conditions of modern, institutional-based places of birth and death, while the dancers’ white coats and facial masks indicate the medical profession who largely control the circumstances of those events.

My main – and only – criticism comes perhaps in a lack of varying pace and changing dynamic to the work’s ebb and flow. At the end – the piece lasts around 80 minutes with no interval – I felt as if I had been the recipient of a prolonged bout of relaxing therapy, during which I fought hard not to succumb to the soporific temptation. The changing fluctuations of the journey in human growth and development seemed to be overlooked in a work that, whilst beautiful to look at and listen to, was generally conducted at much the same tempo. There was just not enough variety to keep me consistently entertained over the whole span. But, then again, I guess that’s life!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
source: east-manbe
Founded in January 2010, Eastman was set up to produce and spread the work of artistic director/choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Cherkaoui’s work provides the audience with a vast array of projects and collaborations; ranging from con- temporary dance, theatre, ballet, opera, musical and other forms of performance. His non-hierarchical thinking on movement, body language and culture is the basis of his artistical approach. Set in his native harbor city of Antwerp (Belgium), Eastman forms the central point for all of Cherkaoui’s work. Eastman is resident at deSingel International Art Campus (Antwerp). Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is associate artist at Sadler’s Wells (London, UK).
Since the foundation in 2010, Cherkaoui created amongst others Babel (words), Play, Rein, TeZukA, Puz/zle, 4D, and 生长genesis under the wings of Eastman. Eastman also coordinates all the work of Cherkaoui for other organizations.
International partners of Eastman include Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Grande Halle de La Villette Paris, Theaterfestival Boulevard ‘s Hertogenbosch, Festspielhaus Sankt-Pölten, Fondazione Musica per Roma, Sadler’s Wells London, De Munt Brussels.
Eastman is supported by the Flemish authorities and BNP Paribas Foundation. Eastman is European Cultural Ambassador 2013.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
source: east-manbe
Fondée en janvier 2010, Eastman a pour mission de produire et de diffuser les œuvres du directeur artistique et chorégraphe Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Ses créations offrent au public un large éventail de projets et de collaborations, allant de la danse contemporaine, du théâtre, du ballet, de l’opéra et de la comédie musicale à d’autres formes de spectacle vivant et de performance. Sa pensée non hiérarchique sur le mouvement, le langage corporel et la culture constitue le fondement de son approche artistique. Installée dans la ville portuaire d’Anvers, où est né Cherkaoui, Eastman forme le noyau de toute son œuvre. La compagnie est en résidence à deSingel – Campus des Arts international (Anvers). Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui est en outre artiste associé au Sadler’s Wells Theater (Londres).
Depuis sa fondation en 2010, Cherkaoui a créé, entre autres, Babel(words), Play, Rein, TeZukA, Puz/zle, 4D et 生长genesis sous l’égide de sa compagnie. Celle-ci coordonne également les créations de Cherkaoui pour d’autres organisations.
Parmi les partenaires internationaux d’Eastman, on peut citer Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, la Grande Halle de La Villette (Paris), Theaterfestival Boulevard (‘s Hertogenbosch), Festspielhaus Sankt-Pölten, Fondazione Musica per Roma, Sadler’s Wells (Londres), La Monnaie (Bruxelles).
Eastman reçoit le soutien des Autorités flamandes et de la Fondation BNP Paribas. Eastman est Ambassadeur Culturel Européen 2013.