Ah to breathe! What a feeling of relief, to slide into the soft, calm gestures of Fresque, femmes regardant à gauche, Paco Dècina’s most recent piece. Running since January 19 at the Théâtre de la Cité internationale in Paris, this seven-dancer piece unfolds slowly on the stage to a pace as steady as sand in the hourglass. It gives the feeling of both a physical and ocular massage, very rare in today’s setting, is striking by its originality, and makes you feel good. But the eye never stops fluttering. With the dancers positioned from the back of the stage to the audience’s feet, the stage is like a layer cake that one surfs in and out of in order to evaluate its thickness. Each of the dancer’s movements is echoed and deferred by the gesture of another, spreading out a prism, and constantly shifting. The lines of the arms are overlaid with those of the legs in surprising visual harmony.
A BARE CHESTED QUARTET.
The pictorial and sculptural tendency in Paco Dècina’s work takes on here a stronger tone than usual. The texture is multiplied. There is more flesh and muscles shimmering in the silvery lights created by Laurent Schneegans. As uncluttered as they may be, there are more forms inflating and deflating in the semidarkness. He couldn’t resist using the bare chested male quartet wearing beige underpants and black kneepads, playing the cliché card of virile and muscular erotica. The Prince Charmings of yesterday have undressed, leaving way for wrestlers.
The question of beauty, deserted by the majority of performances, surfaces here relentlessly. The harmony, each dancer’s accuracy in relation to himself and to the group, the invention of gesture always so finely renewed by Paco Dècina for over 20 years of his work, all contribute to this sensation. Right up to the interactive video effects so in trend today, by which he projects timeless images in black and white. Fresque, femmes regardant à gauche is inspired by a picture of the Antique site of Herculaneum near Naples. Without actually being visible on stage this fresco allowed the choreographer of Napolitano descent to renew with his past. This symbolic strike of youth, just as the new blood of these young dancers made way for him to make changes. Stated contrasts between the pictures, new speed, hip-hop influences, acrobatics laid out on the floor… all inject a different intensity to the waking dream, which is Paco Dècina’s touch.
How can a performance containing only formal beauty reach a fullness, unexpectedly offering a whole new dimension, and beyond aesthetic? Mystery? Not completely. While contemplating « Fresque, femmes regardant à gauche», a Paco Dècina choreography, one feels vaguely that if the piece projects so much poetry and meaning, it is the result of years of maturing, a thought process one hundred times over. Inspired by Antique Rome and age old discoveries from Pompeii or Herculaneum and now exhibited in the Museum of Naples, Italian Paco Dècina opens the doors to an eminently mysterious world of melancholy, a world where time fleets and escapes us. A world where eternity is beyond us. Watching this beautiful choreography, watching the scenography and the projected images which are just as elegant as plain (Serge Meyer and Frédérique Chauveaux), while enjoying the remarkable lights (Laurent Schneegans) and capturing the sound effects whose discreet yet imposing nature enhance the mystery (Frédéric Malle), while finally savouring the magnificent way in which the choreographer apprehends space, we penetrate into a world of diffused sensation (a sensational world) - all marvellously aide the subject.
Do you remember the two thousand year old frozen faces on the Antique frescos so surprisingly close and yet so desperately far, expressions still full of life but belonging to those departed for thousands of years, of these breaths from the past which rise to the surface and disturb us? Do you remember Fellini’s striking images in « Roma » where human shapes were plunged in silence and darkness for centuries and then suddenly excavated by the brutality of bulldozers, only to faint upon the first breath of fresh air …. ? We find the traces of all of this in « Fresque, femmes regardant à gauche », who, despite the title, as dry as a museum cartel, is in fact an intense poetic piece. As the choreographer admits to his obsession with fleeting time and the past far-gone, we understand perfectly that a long journey of maturing could give birth to such a sensitive work.
So anachronistic in today’s chorographical landscape that it is already a feat ! So stubborn in his search for the absolute gesture, for the past 20 years, that he may seem strange. Paco Dècina, originally from Naples and living in Paris since 1984, holds a long and deep breath, which slows down time’s hurried pulse and bends it towards hypnosis.
Presented on Monday, May 15th at the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale where the Company is in residency, Chevaliers sans armures, a duet designed with his partner, Valeria Apicella, unwinds a chain of movements of crystal-clear beauty. Using their bodies to draw the letters of a powerful and harmonious language, consistent also with its flow, the two dancers draw the stages of a vital cycle far from anecdote.
A corridor of red burning light, turning to saturated green squares, light up the bodies dressed (by Regina Martino) sometimes in black, sometimes in white. The darkness goes all the way to the corners of the stage to welcome the human chrysalis wrapped in white fabric. Organs and bells (he dared to use such instruments) rumble, together to airy female voices (the music is a Winter Family duet). Serious, almost solemn, this pas de deux haunted by the reversibility between death and life catches the spectator with terrifying sweetness. Paco Dècina, mystical ? Probably, but in a carnal way, at times even raw. Each movement is a truth, through its meaning as much as the figure itself. A dance of mutation, Chevaliers sans armures unveils the mystery of self while openly enjoying the spectacular moment. The voice-change of the Knights underlines their vulnerability, the likes of which define their strength.
A piece for six dancers to the theme of light, Indigo is Paco Dècina’s new creation in residency at the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale and the Faits d’Hiver Festival. The color of night, which separates from day, is the only architectural decor; the choreographer goes right to the essential, delivering dance, which seemingly unveils a secret body language.
Focused on dance, space and light, Dècina has created flowing and carnal body movements filled with stretching, immobility, rolling, curves, manly lifting and flat motions. Using tension and opposition, the body to body movements unwind their patterns in silence and darkness expanding in minute movements, in trajectories and lines, coming untied in rays of light. Everything is appeasement, dispossession and loosening.
The dancing bodies then transform magnificently into phrases to the sound of chanted texts. This ever so pure gesture could be tainted with austerity if it was not filled with and uplifted by the talents and strong personalities of the dancers, (Valeria Apicella, Takashi Ueno) as well as the choreographer himself. Paco Dècina offers here an all-new alphabet of movement through the sight of movements never seen before revealing the "untouchable".
He renews yet again the magic of last May's performance of Chevaliers sans armure, proving that he is, discreetly, one of the most talented choreographers in modern dance.
Should we also consider the technical performance as one of the supreme chorographical qualities? If so, Paco Dècina’s new piece, Chevaliers sans armure, is definitely close to perfection. We already know that his long time partner Valeria Apicella, was trained using both the Cunningham technique and improvisation. Both of these sources of inspiration radiate throughout the duet. The movement is laid out with severe accuracy; a continuous soft flow delivers the co-ordination’s according to their own logic, with a rich variety of pictures, enabling controlled poetic throws between the dancers. The result is hypnotic and helps to perceive the intangible absence that reveals itself in the shadow of presence.
A fascinating power comes out of it, which could have gone without insistence betrayed here by the emphasized languor of posture, there the excessive use of a specific music – beautiful nonetheless - rewriting a fantastic spiritual fable.
Paco Dècina plunges us into a dream, an echo of the world, an iridescent silk fan: Indigo, an emblem of poetry. From the onset, the time-lag is set with the waves of a dancer behind a piece of fabric held by two dancers of different heights. All throughout the piece, the variations of space as well as the shadows and colored lights harmonize with body movements flowing like water, as soft as the moon’s rays, and punctuated by whimsical humor. Beautiful imagery in the line up of dancers resembling a fresco and at the end of the dancer's race around the stage, the image of a man spinning around and dressed in black, with dancers attached to each arm. But the play could use some tightening in the last part (which conceals some of the finest moments, including a solo from Paco Dècina) in order to appear less chaotic.
With Chevaliers sans armures, Paco Dècina persues his quest for the essence of body gesture. He attempts to make visible the imperceptible interior fluctuations that shape the unarmored body - he listens to the sound of its organic metamorphosis, its uncontrollable palpitations, its unpredictable jumps. Neither conquering, nor heroic, at least in the common meaning. It is yet another battle that the body delivers. It is not about giving a powerful fight, nor bringing down the enemy. On the contrary, it rids itself of all its artificial protection that hinders its own fragility. By leading a battle against the armor, it acquires new strength. So it voluntarily becomes vulnerable, going back to an almost larva-like state. Torsion of embryos versus the parade of knights. Hence Dècina's invention of a never seen before body gesture, especially in the way the bodies own the floor and in the squeezing and intertwining of the dancers, more sensual than erotic, closer to a twin-like embrace.
Just like in Intervalle, Dècina's last duet, Chevaliers sans armures is a compact-like dance, with less compulsive body gesture and a slower rhythm. Precisely because the body fights more with the outside world, as if torn apart, a victim of bipolar tendencies: towards the armor and towards the lifeless body. There are three distinct moments in this duet: Firstly, the two dancers dressed in black costumes move in a corridor of red light, fitting together naturally in a very extraordinary manner, and move using embracement and separation; then, dressed in white, they enter a lighter phase, more romantic, more vertical, more stricken with anxiety and doubt; finally, they find gravity, the heaviness, floating in a languorous flow, less jerky than in the beginning.
During this last part, Paco Dècina displays on the naked stage white tutus, starched, standing straight on their own, like chrysalis. Are these immaculate hazy fabrics armors? Or on the contrary a knightly and courteous tribute to the delicate veil that wraps up the fragile feminine bodies? A veil that suddenly materializes itself on the stage, bringing on choreography of its own? A veil that wraps the spectator as well? In a beautiful text included in the program Dècina explains the relationship between the spectator and dance. Here is an excerpt :
"By this intensive aspect, and by creating new space to spread out in at each instant, the dancer’s body can then become the medium by which the shape is formed, and the spectator’s eye, the witness enabling the dance to look at itself. So, who then is dancing? Is there truly a separation between the dancer, the piece and the spectator? By listening to this vital flow, constantly in metamorphosis, the dance itself appears to us."
Fulfillment. They dance in the air, lying down, barely touching, wrapped in each other’s arms, at arm’s length, with body and soul and in an absolute state of grace. “They” are Valeria Apicella and Orin Camus, musically accompanied by the pianist and composer Xavier Klaine. Then, to a score by Olivier Renouf, Noriko Matsuyama and Rodolphe Fouillot take the space. In these two duets, collectively called Intervalle, the choreographer Paco Dècina, a past master of the filtering and changing of time, whose Soffio so enchanted us last season – here introduces us to slightly more than an hour of pure happiness. We watch two couples, two beings who are drawn together, alternately approaching and rejecting each other, finally joining together in peace. With extraordinary sensuality, fluidity, subtlety and a phenomenal level of sensitivity in performance rippling between them, these four performers move with unparalleled grace. They are lit by Laurent Schneegans and they dance and dance and it is what we love to see.
Intervalle by Paco Dècina is a work in which two couples interact and intertwine in a non anecdotal, plotless form, which allows one to formulate his or her own interpretations of the couples’ actions, regardless of whether this is the choreographer’s intent. It is useful to know how the piece was created, to know that Dècina continues working in the deliberately plotless mode begun in Neti-Neti (2000). A piano is set upstage, there is no set. This is pure dance, with a barely perceptible virtuosity involving focus and rhythmic precision, following a remarkable progression from extreme slowness to faster speeds. We are aware of the entanglements, of the assumptions made by each partner. In the first duet the man literally penetrates the intimate spaces of the woman, filling in the spaces made by her shapes, to a powerfully controlled piano piece performed and composed by Xavier Klaine. Distance which unites - Then the man lies down, another assumes the same shape; the pianist exits the stage, a new female dancer enters and the first male dancer exits. This transition eliminates any sense of opposition between the two couples, though they remain inextricably linked like the two sides of a book, created as one movement of spirit. Their very distance unites the duets while the strange score forces one to listen carefully. One is intensely aware of the space between the bodies and the tension therein. One sees the importance of being at exactly the right ‘interval’ to cross into the space of the Other. And, as Merce Cunningham once said, "whenever two people are on a stage there is immediately a story being told, so it is unnecessary to add anything else." The story of this particular Intervalle seems to be that of all couples who are searching for the right distance between fusion and autonomy.
We watch as the space between two bodies vibrates, flexes, twists, tenses. The choreographer Paco Dècina, who also known for his choreography of the immobility of certain bodies in space, presents a sober yet sensual work which avoids showy virtuosity. Contemplating a piece by Paco Dècina induces a sort of spiritual revery – this is dance which feels good, from which one emerges refreshed, in fact you won’t find anything better anywhere. Intervalle consists ot two duets, one to an original piano piece by Xavier Klaine, the other to an electronic score by Olivier Renouf.
Paco Dècina is known as a creator of minutely fashioned exquisite dances. Even at top speed, his movements leave visible jet trails in the air. Clearly it is the right time for him to explore the idea of the space between bodies, while continuing his work on slow motion movement, this time through the performances of Valeria Apicella and Orin Camus, and Noriko Matsuyama and Rodolphe Fouillot. These four dancers constitute two duets whose entanglements become part of the choreographic source material, in successive phases of symbiosis to an original piano score by Xavier Klaine. Intervalle is incredibly precise, allowing neither a misstep nor a false note. The audience sees an intense through line of dancing linking all four dancers.
Paco Dècina’s new work is called Intervalle. Here two duos interlock and interchange, embodying two views of one concept – moving slowly. One man, one woman, two duets. Are they meant to be seen as “duo one” and “duo two”?
Paco Dècina explains "The raw material for me is something unformed which I approach using my intuition, my understanding of it. The idea of slowness came to me on its own, it demands complete honesty with the self as well as its opposite, rapidity. Dance is for me a way to know myself and others." The piano score, written and performed by Xavier Klaine, lays down the notion of suspended space, changing moment to moment with the extreme slowness of the movement. Each gesture is executed, stretched out, focused, spare. The spectator realises he is not seeing Intervalle from the front or from another angle, he discovers that he is inside a choreographic time warp conveying him from place to place, with neither beginning nor end. He begins seeing the dance as the folds of a fabric of shapes consisting of micromutations and tiny impulses, infinitely small but infinitely necessary. The angular curving shapes Paco Dècina gives to each performer, male and female, evoke the possibilities of these bodies imbued with their relationships to others, in a continuous movement of feints and territorial claims. The watchers and the watched drift into a decompartmentalised space asking them to close their eyes in order to "see" better, to go beyond merely visible shapes. This work is close to us yet so far away.
Suddenly – there they are. Having vanquished the shadows they step forward, into the light. Silence. Nothing moves. Our eyes cannot yet distinguish the blurred silhouettes moving, the slow‑mo shapes setting this dance into motion. We need to free ourselves of ordinary perception and focus our eyes to a different scale, to really "see."
The choreography of Paco Dècina is indeed a revelation, a classy, intensely personal statement which closed the festival in Potsdam. Soffio, the name of the piece, means "breath" in Italian, and this piece seems to be an unending wave of breathing from which six dancers emerge intermittently in various configurations and shapes, then slip back into the perpetual motion, the mysterious yet natural coalescing of bodies. Three men and three women fill the immense empty space with their moving silhouettes, coiling and uncoiling, constantly changing their relationships in a subtle, strange detachment. One cannot stop seeing: the shapes evoke flimsy rippling landscapes and the haunting architecture of bodies. And we are finally able to see through the lingering darkness to the richness of the constantly evolving movement. There are few choreographers who would attempt to create a work with such concentrated meditative dancing, accompanied by music with a Far Eastern flavor which avoids esoteric stereotype. Paco Dècina has somehow created his own rules: the dancers seem unencumbered by their own weight, sometimes floating, sometimes melding. He links the movements and their evolution without missing a transition, a reversal, a balance. It is in France that this Italian dancer founded his company, using his own methods of training and perception over a period of ten years. His persistence has paid off – it is rare to see such harmony in a single group of dancers.
He bases his creations on a new way of perceiving geometry and composition which is in direct contrast to others who leave a trail of abandoned bodies and spaces behind them. Even the symmetry in Soffio is not achieved in the "ordinary" way: a dancer takes a shape and another answers with the opposite shape – each step in this work is a statement, and the movement following always a surprise. The choreography of Dècina is like a master class in abstraction, an immense space to explore which is subject to its own and to Dècina’s own laws.
Soffio was an immense pleasure for the six hundred people in the audience of the salle Barrault
Soffio, which means “breath” in Italian, is a large, imposing work lasting a mere seventy five minutes, in which the six dancers nearly suspend themselves in time. Against a score composed of classical Indian music, the sound of running water, electro-acoustic sounds, and silences so thick you could cut them with a knife, three women and three men are dancing -- lightly, then with such intensity. There is neither narrative nor suggestion, bodies are offered to us, to each other, between two streams which become earth and sky. Serenely, solemnly, Paco Dècina unveils for us a luminous piece of his remarkable, clear dancing, solos, duos, ensembles shaped and shaded in the stark simple lighting by Laurent Schneegans. Meditation takes shape in six bodies, imploding, exploding, in flight and ecstasy, all in the space of a breath, a moment of pure happiness.
The Neapolitan choreographer Paco Dècina has just presented his new piece Soffio at the Espace Culturel d’Onyx. It is a singular and meditative piece not meant to be “shown off” – it is simply offered to us by Valeria Apicella, Silvia Bidegain, Orin Camus, Jorge Crudo, Rodolphe Fouillot and Noriko Matsuyama. We mention the names of the dancers as Paco Dècina’s recent works are so closely linked to their interpretation of his dance.
Paco Dècina created his company Post-Retroguardia in 1986. Soffio, his most recent creation, means "breath," in this case a long deep breath uniting the dancers who are themselves the sparse elements of a single immense flowing body – twisting apart, approaching, forming themselves into duos, then separating again in a space devoid of unnecessary decoration. The space evolves, the dancers spiraling, looping, unfurling into vibrant concave and convex shapes, supple, precise, voluminous. It seems the bodies transcend even the onstage space– nothing cuts into this nonstop continuum, no misplaced showoff step interrupts this free interchange of energy holding the six dancers in suspension. The lighting is a delicate counterpoint to the movement and its traveling. And the spectator, moved by the subtle harmonies of the choreography, lets himself drift with the gentle electro-acoustic sounds and the vibrato of traditional Indian music, as well as listening to his own breath and the essential ones of his six dancers. With Soffio, Paco Dècina breathes life into infinite and infinitesimal movement.
In a matter of seconds, Soffio, the new piece by the choreographer Paco Dècina which was presented from January 23 to 26 at the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale in Paris, thrills us with the pure beauty of the six bodies onstage. In an instant, this vibrating energy of immobility, in which the Neapolitan is a past creative master -- plunges us directly into the heart of continuous movement presented by three women and three men. They are at once modest and arrogant, managing to convince us that they are mere temporary vehicles of a movement bigger than they are. This requires the performers to reveal their movement in its purest state, while accentuating its strong physical presence. Alternating between voluntary oblivion and extreme awareness, the work presents a paradox rarely seen, certainly not with this kind of precision.
In Italian, soffio means “breath,” in this case a long breath which brings together the dancers spread out all over the stage, each in the middle of a different sort of movement. The dancing is not cut up into pieces, rather it is a profusion of loops and spirals spinning without end from one end of the space to the other. The complexity of the choreographer’s landscape along with its many passionate components, places Soffio as one of Paco Dècina’s best pieces. For ten years, the choreographer, who made his reputation in the 80’s showing us charming slices-of-Neapolitan-life, has been doing his own personal research in which he uses Chinese medicine combined with Eastern philosophy to delineate a spiritual and physical regimen linking each organ with its place in the cosmos. Thus for him dance is the incarnation of a vital principle in which the dancer is truly an instrument to be “played.” In Soffio one sometimes has the impression that the stage itself is dancing, using its own lighting to send dancers on and off the stage. Here also we are reminded of Mr. Dècina’s predilection for using shadow, subtle counterpoints to the movement. Against an Indian music score, floor duets astonish with their sliding shapes, their momentary suspensions in the air in extraordinary, impossible positions, in a landscape where one’s perception of time evolves. And we salute the dancers who are fully invested in the depth and scope of the movement.
(...) In this new work, the stage is empty except for the six dancers. Paco Dècina, in the manner of a painter, traces lines, suggesting figures and shapes formed by the dancers who move with remarkable fluidity and precision. Their movement through space has been carefully studied and laid out and it all comes together in a serene space to the sounds of traditional Indian music. This pure yet mysterious dancing has a fascinating effect on the audience which is transported into a world of softness and harmony.
(...) In all his works, Paco Dècina always works intensely with his dancers, refining and shaping their movements, consisting of poses, postures, figures. In his new piece Soffio, he goes even farther, the movements are even more subtle, using vibrations, energies and shapes which seem almost calligraphic in nature. (...) The six remarkable dancers moving, move us with the purity of their movements in the space. And the audience, enraptured, follows this superb work attentively, seeing the source of its choreographic material rooted in the bodies of the dancers. A beautiful work.
(...) Gesture is everything. The title is eloquent: Soffio, meaning ‘breath’ in Italian, a breath rising over the sound of Indian music, chosen for its relationship to the infinite. Here three men and three women appear, as if in transit, as if needed elsewhere, far away, far inside themselves in fact, where they observe their own evolution, their entire being transforming inside this supple, floating space. Their mute presences move in long lines of absence, resisting, then surrounding, surrendering. This is dance as suggestion, sketched precisely into and laid over a shimmering watercolor background, exquisite shapes which barely touch the floor. Isadora Duncan would have loved this, a vibrating perpetual energy which transports the audience into a sort of meditative state. The extraction of living breath, shuddering and reaching deep down into the flesh, is a delicate and daring choice, especially as it touches the hulking frames of giants embodied by two male dancers. (...)
Soffio – breath. Paco Dècina is presenting this creation as part of his residency at the Théâtre Paul-Eluard in Bezons,. He says, laughing, "For several years now I have chosen not to choreograph for performances, instead I have been working ..." which refers to his choosing to be free of the production pressure often felt by young choreographers, instead concentrating entirely on dancing and dance. "In my exploration of the body, space and movement, I am looking for something beyond words," something beyond the conventional ‘product,’ even if, finally, this is a piece which will be performed and shown to an audience. "In reality, the risk is in confronting the blank page, the empty space."
Soffio is one of those pieces in which the dancer, steadfastly resisting that which he knows and does too easily – drops his defenses and lets the movement speak for itself, its emotion transcending mechanics. "One sees immediately how the individual’s essence impacts his energy, motivates his movement, interrupts an angle. I use the empty space as the canvas for self-investigation as well as exploring the exterior world." Thus Soffio is performed on an empty stage, "filled nonetheless with memory and movements from the past." The lighting evokes a set each can interpret as he wishes, and the score by Olivier Renouf combines electro-acoustic and classical Indian music, a favorite of the choreographer due to its focus on the infinite. In its exploration of simplicity, Soffio is an invitation to each of us to imagine and meditate upon our world.
Hidden in the shadows of time, the dance begins its monologue with infinity. Sinuous movements blend with an Asian-themed melody, showing the inexorable passage of time, a strong duality swathed in emotion. The body melts into its lighting, follows it, breaks away – the body almost outside itself, watching itself, giving birth to itself once again. Slow, contained, powerful movements.
The Post-Retroguardia company has upped the stakes of contemporary dance by exposing onstage the roots of music and movement. Paco Dècina uses his choreographic experience to create a piece moving between air and space, an exceptional vocabulary of shapes introduced to a new audience, expressing a strange, intense emotion. One must see this piece more than once to fully understand it; you immediately see the originality of the piece which changes as soon as you think you’ve become part of it. This dance arouses and enchants with its skill and delicacy.
A dancer who dances with his own body as if he were a stranger whose body he must explore, living inside the music, a butterfly playing with light. Non era giorno, non era notte, places itself in our primordial past where nothing and no one existed before.
One feels the empty space, it becomes a key part of the solitude of rough metallic musicality, with its bitingly simple sounds.
An evening which leaves us with a feeling of detachment, the feeling that there is something dark playing with the light and the darkness, hidden behind an innocent movement mirroring the birth of civilisation.
Aubusson • Danse at TJL
Paco Decina is not entirely unknown in Aubusson where he passed as a Shooting Star more than ten years ago. He returns with a duet: Neti-Neti (neither this nor that) and a solo Non era giorno, non era notte (It was not the day, it was not night), two surprising choreographies.
Neti-Neti — Paco Décina is a choreographer who does not hesitate to draw from his experiences as a painter, engineer, decorator, costume designer to write his choreographies. It creates a constant relationship between the performer, the work and the viewer. Neti-Neti is an anthem dedicated to the expression of the male-female couple. The lucid variation of the states of tension and rapprochement, through which the two bodies pass, forms the singular alchemy of the choreography. The fluidity, the slowness, the clarity of the movements reflect, through music of sacred character, a serenity in which one can only dive.
"Dance is not the space traveled, but the movement being accomplished..."
Rosita Boisseau writes: " His work of hands and arms, always sumptuous, makes the honey of the duo Neti-Neti. Back-to-back, a man and a woman tie their soft arms like nooses, intertwine and slip into the heart of the secret that binds male and female. In one breath, they repeat their message of beauty in permanent metamorphosis. Neti-Neti, neither this nor that, but exactly that, conveys the evidence of a dance, a point transmutation of cosmic energy."
It has been said that Paco Dècina was the dancer of the immobile as his choreographies seem to be created in recollection. It is a work of passage that asks to get out of the rumor of the world to surrender to space and silence.
He explains: "I am at a stage in my research where I need to let escape all the words, projects and ideas built to invent and project to the body a "white space". A space dedicated to what is neither emotional nor psychological, free from desire and fear and listening to "movement". Every movement is change and change in a growth process requires, at one time or another, a dissociating of memory (matter).
Dance movement is the tension between a subtle energy that needs form to form and a compact organization that seeks to evaporate (memory). Dance is therefore the place of form that seeks the freedom of the formless, it is a return to the shores. This fluence of matter, this freedom of the joints, this "tactility" beyond the skin, which bring the world, are the themes of this duo ." This means that everything takes place in between; with Neti-Neti first, as well as in the solo course Non era giorno, non era notte.
Non era giorno, non era notte — "In another time, that of oblivion, we return to the old paths of becoming. These trajectories with different densities, in which we slide to replay and witness rhythms and cycles. In this abandonment, supported by emptiness and guided by the thread of movement, we immerse ourselves in this flavor that seems to be closer to infinity ." Paco Dècina"
Non era giorno, non era notte: choreography and interpretation: Paco Dècina. Lights: Laurent Schneegans. Music: Raga Des, Harsh Wardham (bansuri flute). Costumes: Paco Decina. Neti-Neti: choreography Paco Dècina with Valeria Apicella, Paolo Rudelli. Lights: Joel Hourbeigt. Assistant lights: Laurent Schneegans. Sound creation and production: Olivier Renouf. Music: Galina Pjankovna Vamujto, voice of the Arctic Finistère, Nemec tribe, ritual of the order of Drupka Kagyo, Satya Dev Pawar violin, Raga Maru-Bihag North India.
The passage of the Art-Danse festival in Beaune with Summa Iru, the work of Paco Dècina, will have left the best image of contemporary dance.
A little more than an hour of dancing is not much! But offered with such density, such full intensity and so much emotion, this moment has eluded time, taking proportions beyond human contingencies. Even the rhythm, sometimes sustained and the action, with enchanting speeds or uninterrupted sequences, seemed to drive away gravity and effort.
Paco Dècina, a Neapolitan painter at heart, is one of the greatest contemporary choreographers. With Summa Iru, he flirts with perfection for which the four dancers Valeria Apicella, Silvia Bidegain, Jorge Crudo and Paolo Ridelli perform prodigies.
Between darkness and bluish light, between slow motion and sequences with exceptional accuracy, the choreography of two or four is a hymn to plastic beauty. The gestures sliding towards each other, simple, all the more beautiful because they are simple, evolve to original music by Christian Calon and Olivier Renouf or additional music by Sheila Dhar, gruppo di improvisazione nuova consonanza, Chaurasia.
A good aesthetic presides over the various paintings when imbalances create movement, when bodies wind or marry on the ground, full of nobility, vulgarity not part of the author's vocabulary. The sequences are varied and pure, sensual. And all this exudes intelligence,
The passage of the Art-Danse festival in Beaune with Summa Iru, the work of Paco Dècina, will have left the best image of contemporary dance.
The photo of a resting buffalo is an apt illustration for this piece. An animal at rest, its serene presence – things that inspire this Neapolitan artist, who is a past master in the art of choreographing the immobile. Interested in Chinese medicine and Oriental thought for years, Paco Dècina has refined his approach over ten years, finding links between each organ and the cosmos, the permeability between the being and his universe. Dance is therefore not something which "belongs" to the dancer, rather he or she is the vehicle for the essence of the movement. "This research relates to a series of questions I have about the relationship of man to his life and his capacity to accept himself as he is. I discarded the idea of “performance” to focus more on dancing and its profound innocence".
the choreographer bends and unfolds a body that is both full and porous, whose gestural subtlety touches on the very essence of movement.
Visu, the Dieppe National Stage festival that addresses the link between the gaze and the body, opened on Thursday evening. Two unevenly-lasting dance pieces were presented: "Flamenco" (5 minutes), by and by Farid Berki, and "Summa Iru" (55 minutes) by Paco Dècina, a first.
"Summa Iru" means in Tamil, an Indian language, "stay quiet: there is nothing to do...! ". And each body ripples on stage as if it had let go of reality. He follows the music as he would follow the perpetual breath of the universe of Eastern religions. Inspiration... Bodies swell, flourish, expand, open. Expiry... Bodies pick up, curl up, in the fetal position. The movements follow each other without breaking, like a thread that would be unrolled,
" Not to talk about the relationship of bodies between them would be to forget the essentials. Four dancers. Two women. Two men. Couples touch each other, touch each other, caress each other, interlock, with infinite sweetness. The man walks in the footsteps of the woman, who touches the face and hands of the woman. The sensuality is pure, harmonious... an essential part of life,
"Summa Iru" gives the viewer a bit of harmony with the world he depicts.
There is the mystery (palpable) of a dance lived as a spiritual experience and the evidence of a just and beautiful gesture, perfectly tuned to the body that he interprets it.
This rare articulation of the soul (since it must be called so) and of the flesh, the choreographer Paco Dècina, passionate about Chinese medicine and oriental philosophies, offers magic with a puzzling simplicity: a kind of essence of dance, concentrated twenty years of acute explorations of movement right down to its most underground ramifications. But more than an artist of excellence, Paco Dècina is above all an accomplished, soothed being. Beyond the show, this Neapolitan left to become an engineer before turning out to be a dancer - claims a free art, porous interface between being and the world. Thus Letter to Silence (1998), a twirling solo, scratched with sharp angles, and Neti-Neti ("Neither this nor that", in Indian tradition), a soft and gnarled duo slipping into the heart of the male or female being, bear the imprint of this approach. The gestures are supple and sculptural, with a sumptuous work of hands and arms, nervous legs. On set, the dancers seem to be laden with a secret: that of life, matter and the desire never satisfied to transcend human destiny.
In search of a "white space", steeped in oriental thought, choreographer Paco Dècina presents Neti-Neti
Aden: Neti-Neti ("Neither this nor that"), your new creation is a duet that borrows its title from the Indian tradition. He refers, you say, to the denial of all name and form of which the world is made, in order to stand in the direction of the One." A little hard to follow, isn't it?
Paco Dècina : One always needs to be reassured by a possible understanding to fill a deep void. A duet is something that doesn't fall from the sky, it's a journey. I'm not smart, I'm intuitive. A title is important because, for me, it is the first step, the first organization in time and in the space of any work that is drafted. Something is bubbling in me, with a lot of energy. With the title, I don't know where I'm going yet, so I'm groping. I write texts, this is the beginning of dramaturgy. I write as the words come; then I have to get this in shape. I also choose some music on favorites; only then does the work with the interpreters begin. In any case, I remain convinced that I do not make the pieces. How it comes, I still don't know... I also realized that I had arrived at a point in my work when I was asked to justify myself, to enlighten, to give certainty. However, in my research, there is no answer.
We're very close to Eastern thinking!
Yes, because Eastern philosophy is more interested in the body. I try to create a width and a white space, unexplored in relation to our doubts. It is a postulate that is not only valid for dance, but for my whole life.
What is this "white space"?
It's the void, a space where anything is possible.
So what is the body?
Probably not just a set of tendons, muscles and organs. It is part of the form of our organization, of our relationship to the world. Thought is a body, so are affects. There is no difference between physical and psychic.
It must not be easy to find dancers in tune with such assumptions!
I work with people who, like me, question their lives and are getting closer to this family of thought. I work on the memory of the body, that is to say on the whole organization of the person and not just the body, conscious and individual. In my encounter with the performer, I intuitively feel whether body matter can resonate with me. I choose the dancers as a love story.
In the duet, Neti-Neti (“Not this, nor that”), the presence of Indian music suggests the sacred dimension of its dances, and there is an interesting connection. The balance is struck between the masculine and feminine elements. The slow, continuous movement is at the same time a persuasive force and a quest for peace. Whether the bodies are tracing the space separating them without preventing their dancing together, or clasped to each other and rolling on the ground, their dance is unified, they are one. The two dancers, Valeria Apicella and Paolo Rudelli, moving through their adagio with complete serenity, seem to give off a subtle fragrance, that which permeates a space when the flames of desire have cooled, when the only thing left is the shared secret.
The choreographer gives birth to a poetic movement where the movement unfolds here and then restarts there, in an infinite volatile vibration.
Urbuz : Dance manifests itself in a form of neutrality, before the stage of expressiveness, to what is due?
Paco Dècina : All this corresponds to Dance. Dance and muscle movement should not be confused. It is the triggered sensation that is crucial and for me it is worked in oblivion. Indeed, the creative work, the way to bring the encounter with the audience is special and each choreographer has a personal process of setting up this relationship in order to bring the performer and the audience into another space-time. Dance is of this order, completely inexplicable, it escapes everything. It is a movement of life. In reality, it is a question of seeing and above all of giving more space to the gaze. It is true that often the viewer (and I am one too) always seeks to recognize a movement. This relieves him of the profound reversal that the sensations associated with dance cause in him, because they are of the order of what knots, whether by watching or practicing dance. Agreeing not to understand where it's going seems difficult, but allows access to unique sensations. to want to understand too much, we end up closing the feeling to what is already known. It's the same when I work with the interpreters. The more I talk to them, the more I guide them by disrupting their practice, so I intervene as little as possible. So they have to let go of something of them to go beyond that. This requires total mutual trust.
Urbuz :In Neti-Neti, the presence of the performers never surpasses the dance, the spectators themselves are in the same instance, even if it is a work based on a form of essence of movement?
Paco Dècina : I am a choreographer, I try to work on emotions that emanate from the deepest of the performers. In my work, I follow my intuition, I open up the possibilities around a subject and I try to draw deep into the truth of each interpreter. I like to convey the essence of movement rather than form. It is a universal quality that allows the performing body to be directly connected to its own history. I always try to access the movement by its essence and never from the outside. Thus, everything is in the same flow and gradually the viewer also finds himself in the same state...
Urbuz :How did you work on the relationship to music in different forms?
Paco Dècina : Paco Dècina: Sometimes the music used in the show is used from rehearsals, so the dance is born at the same time, because it is worked with the music of the show constantly. This is the case for Tibetan songs. Sometimes the music comes after. There are also moments in rehearsals when I take the music off, when the whole thing becomes heavy and the dance can no longer develop. In reality, it is not me who creates, it is my interpreters, it is society at that time. I'm just a catalyst and even though the color of the look is mine, I don't know what it's from.
If it takes an inner certainty to exist, it seems that Paco Dècina has placed his own in the dance. Dancer of the immobile, as we could say of him, the choreographer reflects his dance on the side of contemplation. It is a work of passage that, step after step, asks to get out of the rumor of the world to make its nest in silence, surrender to space. Refining his gestures - made up of poses, postures, figures - which revisited Byzantine mosaics or Italian Renaissance painters with equal ease, Paco Décina gradually turned to abstraction. The subtle bodies that interest the choreographer now print into his work the effects of vibrations, transparency and compose with a gesture that is calligraphy. Since the poetic meditation on death that some have seen at the Theatre de la Ville in Ciro Esposito fu Vincenzo, a play created in 1993, his work has undergone more than one transformation. With a full, carnal, fluid dance, the choreographer achieves a simplicity that is pure. This is the first thing that touches the senses in Lettre to silence and Neti-Neti, a solo followed by a duet, stripped of all pageantry, listening to the only movement. In the first, Paco Dècina rereads in his own way the works of an Italian visual artist, Raffaele Biolchini, letters that appear in the form of terracotta tablets where the artist has engraved abstract signs. Standing in a ray of light, the choreographer moves slowly. As if he were talking to the invisible, his arms draw arcs, his body becomes a curve where gestures stretch their patterns. A series of secret hieroglyphics follows. In the silent text of this writing composed of traces where memory and imagination mingle, Paco Dècina maintains a mysterious dialogue with the sensitive world. The choreographer's duet Neti-Neti whose title is borrowed has a dialect of India. The term means "neither this nor that" The wisdom it contains, related to detachment, is inscribed at the heart of the work process and guides the writing of the piece. There, two performers, Valeria Apicella and Paolo Rudelli, engage with talent in the perilous exercise of a slow and continuous movement that constantly unfolds, untie, multiplying curves and interlacings. Precious without aesthetics, resolutely free in form, this song of the bodies towards silence takes place against a black background topped with light.
In search of a neutral space where tensions and oppositions unravel, Paco Dècina creates an architecture of bodies whose quality sacramentally pacifies hearts.
The clarity and harmony that transcend his choreography never cease to charm. A wonderful moment of the Choreographic Routes last week.
To the extent that an artist is known for his talent and his work of excellent quality, it is with interest that we like to find him.
Scheduled several times in Limoges as part of the Biennale Danse Émoi organized by the city's Cultural Centres, Paco Dècina presented two of his recent choreographies last Wednesday at the Théâtre de l'Union-CDNL: a solo, "Letter to Silence," performed by the choreographer and a duet, "Neti-Neti" (Neither this nor this) with Valeria Apicella and Paolo Rudelli. These two works are characterized by a very pure, very harmonious and elaborate choreography. The performers evolve on a bare stage and the light is discreet: just what it takes to highlight attitudes, movements, lines.
Paco Dècina's writing is both clear and serene. Paco Décina was inspired - as he is tried - by the work of a plastic artist, in this case the Italian sculptor Raffaele Biolchini. The choreographer plunges the viewer clans into a mysterious and even mystical atmosphere. Paco Decina dancer, amazes by the exceptional mastery he shows.
In "Neti-Neti," the bodies of the two interpreted borders, merge; they are read almost constantly.
This evolution in every sense of the word is absolutely fascinating. Here again, this work requires interpretations, a perfect mastery achieved through an intense and sustained inner energy.
"I am at a stage of my research where I need to let escape all the words, projects and ideas built, to invent and project to the body a white space. A space dedicated to what is neither emotional nor psychological, free from desire and fear and listening to movement (...) The fluence of matter, the freedom of the joints, the tactility beyond the skin are the themes of this duo."
You have to know how to read choreographers before you even let their pieces speak. Like a preamble. For his latest creation Nèti Nèti (Neither this nor that) Paco Dècina delivers a duet, bathed in a very original musical atmosphere, bringing to a sacred reverie. Lights, sounds, fluidity of movement contribute to the evocation of the Aerian and liquid elements.
A new variation of the duo, the links that are forged between the two dancers escape caricature, revealing a singular way of being together. Renewal of contacts, of approach, of the distance between bodies, of the quest for the other, of his renunciation.
The two performers Valeria Apicella and Paolo Rudelli give life to a dance Surprisingly devoid of spectacular effects, pushing to the ultimate stripping, for a highlight of the sculptural body magnified by light. One can suddenly read, with an open body, without getting carried away by any disturbing emotion. Sobriety is not sluggish. It allows us to find ourselves at the heart of the essential, at the source of dance, of being there, in the magic of the body that moves in this Moving fragility, and to let go of this memory of the movement inscribed as a heritage in each of us.
The human body facing resurrection, its transfiguration : Paco Dècina explores the paradoxes of being and non-being in its most radical metamorphoses, while allowing the spectator the freedom to see whatever he wishes. Dance for him is neither unconditional nor uncompromising.
From intent to perception a whole world exists, even several. From pretext to actual reaction, emotion, between what the choreographer says and what the audience sees, the space and its imagination is unlimited, giving us fertile expanses in which dreams are born, where visionary thoughts mingle. This extravagant space, filled with kaleidoscopic, whirling movement, comes into an existence chosen by its creator.
But it is this very ability as a creator to extend the possibilities in this piece to infinity that the dimension of Huà, a living man facing a dead man, escapes even the creative will of Paco Dècina. Yet it still adheres to his premise : exploring the permanence of vital energy as well as the metamorphosis of the being. The dancer insists that changes in his form do not affect the continuity of his reality.
The language of the body is thus infinite, but only if it liberates us from symbol and didacticism. Too many limitations shut off the senses, too much writing kills the word, and the word only reflects the successive states of transmutation in the process. Paco Dècina chooses obstinately not to show, to show off. His work stands without any pretension regarding our place in the world. He does not pretend to override the intangible, nor to define what cannot be defined. The concept of “immaterialism” is a source of life, of inspiration. Huà is a dialogue between death and transfiguration, escape and resurrection, and does not seek to give a meaning to our existence.
Dècina explains nothing, he is not a formalist. However his "codes" are universal, reaching us with full and global intelligence only through the radical independence of tone which is its tenor. The dancing is continuous, without a break, a calligraphic design for six dancers who seem possessed by this curious syntax, repeating and paradoxically refreshing itself, sustained by the exceptional sound score of Olivier Renouf and Christian Calon. The piece is a continuous loop, expanding ever wider until the final, unexpected antagonism between the couples.
"Huà, a man living in front of a dead man" , is the title in the form of an explicit painting of which Paco Dècina traces the features. Between these two anchors, he explores the register of human metamorphoses.
In the image of the Chinese language, the choreographer creates a choreographic shortcut between the pictogram and the ideogram. The form of this dance and its elaboration have an action so to speak magnetic, which reveals another way of thinking, another way of apprehending the world of the sensitive. Paco Dècina's writing slides towards its most inhabited and inspired surroundings, the dancer's body is this revelator that by interpreting the phases of the choreography becomes the medium of an immediate experience. It is also these constant metamorphoses that place the body at the heart of a network, that of the possible. Figurations, disfigurements, successive transfigurations of the body's states lead on a new soundtrack, towards the idea of the duo and towards the image of the couple.
There is the palpable mystery of dance experienced spiritually, as well as the weight of a balanced, beautiful movement in perfect harmony with the body making it.
In this rare expression of the soul (yes, the soul) and the flesh, the choreographer Paco Dècina, a living repository of Chinese medicine and Oriental philosophies, brings us magic with an unnerving simplicity, presenting the essence of dance, a concentrated blend of twenty years of intense research into the farthest depths of movement and its origins. He is more than a technician, he is a man of fulfilment and accomplishment. This Neapolitan who started out as an engineer before becoming a dancer, is looking for free art, a porous interface between human beings and the world. Lettre au silence (1998), is a swirling solo sliced by sharp angles.
(…) Paco Dècina no longer has any doubts about his dancing. In his solo Lettre au silence, he shows us the works of the sculptor Raffaele Biolchini, using clay tablets upon which the artist has engraved abstract symbols. The choreographer does the same thing with his body, using his own secret choreographic alphabet as elements of a singular and beautiful calligraphy.
The secret of femininity. Constantly reaching, suspending, the dance is composed of small motifs, embroidered gestures with which his virile male body invokes a feminine secrecy in his choice of arm and hand movements neither copied nor transposed. We are nonetheless struck by the abstract similarity to Indian mudras (symbolic gestures used in Indian dance), although they are not employed here in a literal sense.
(…)In Lettre au silence, Paco Dècina presents the works of sculptor Raffaele Biolchini in the form of clay tablets upon which the artist has engraved certain abstract symbols. Standing still in a column of light, the choreographer advances, moving his arms and curving this way and that, as if speaking to the void, to someone invisible. We see a series of hieroglyphics, a mute speech in which we find traces of things remembered, things imagined, a dialogue of perception between Paco Dècina and the world.
Paco Dècina offers a kind of gesture psalmody in response to Indian music, form without return, like two long sentences without successive. Reference to an unlikely writing, this solo is also a reflection on discursive logic, Indian dance. Orant or dancer, Paco Dècina excels in the intimate exercise of the solo.
Paco Dècina writes, with his style so worked, so harmonious, the memories he seeks deep in memory. The public is invited to cross this path between shadow and lights , to meditate with the dancers creating beautiful images. How not to be fascinated, how not to be carried away by this art so complete proposed and suggested by Paco Dècina and his dancers!
Opened last week, Dance Emotion 98 and a good year. On Tuesday night at the Grand Theatre, the Neapolitan Paco Decina was in full view.
A regular at Dance Emoi, Paco Dècina is a true painter. With dance, he creates canvases where light, like a charcoal, draws the bodies, where movement, like the brush, enlarges the lines or on the contrary refines them.
On Tuesday evening, the Neapolitan artist planted his choreographic easel on the stage of the Grand Theatre to evoke Pompeii.
In this town of Campania buried by Mount Vesuvius in 79, he visited a few years ago with the photographer Lee Yanor. She brought back some clichés, him images of frozen bodies, heavy silences, shadows, transparencies, and a crater. Thus were born the "Five passages in the shadows or trasparenze" . On a circle of gold and embers, mud and lava, installed in the center of the plateau, the ghosts appear, melt and disappear behind a thin canvas where mysterious images are projected. On bodies transformed into a statue, silhouettes are required.
Original and strong, this choreographic Guernica is a mixture of anguish and serenity, poetry and horror, sadness and hope. If death lurks behind the veils, life manifests itself through gestures and music.
If the visual artist Dècina is really inspired, the choreographer goes around in circles. Some repetitive gestures add to this choreographic discourse. But these small details do not detract from the quality of the show.
Paco Dècina, Solo. At the Forum culturel du Blanc-Mesnil, 1-5 place de la Libération, 93150 Le Blanc-Mesnil. Infini, March 3 and 4 at 8:30 p.m. Cinq passages dans l'ombre ou Trasparenze, March 6 at 8:30 p.m. Ciro Esposito fu Vincenzo, March 8 at 8:30 p.m.
Choreographing stillness: a challenge that Paco Dècina gracefully supports. Perhaps the long attendance of pictorial works in his childhood earned him this talent of stop on image, where a Mediterranean languor emerges. It's only natural for this Neapolitan to pose two men standing side by side or a boy lying around supporting a girl in reverse. His characters float, in weightlessness. They come out of nowhere, expect nothing, just be there. It is a rarity in a world where stillness often seems incongruous. But Paco Dècina's interpreters have mastered the art of stillness. It's a big deal.
No extra, no ghost, no potted plant, they found the point of balance between presence and absence. They vibrate with a gentle intensity. Space shuddering, thickness of shadow. It takes an inner certainty to exist fully and resist the flights, falls, jumps that harass the plateau. Inactive, but in action, these static dancers could stay like this for hours without the ballet bothering; nor the viewer, caught by these particles of eternity. The gaze rests with the usual spectacular efficiency. Delight. He slides dancers to others, wise as images. In this back-and-forth, the disorder opens up vaporous sensations, an unusual mystery.
But will these collected figures move, as they should? Of course they do! With the arms first, and especially with the arms. Because Paco Dècina knows how to choreograph them wonderfully. Whether they undulete slowly like tentacles or grind space firmly, they are always beautiful, voluble, full of nuances. In the wool, they still live very hard. The air is soft for them; space, welcoming. A secret voluptuousness emanates from them. The shoulders roll with pleasure, the shoulder blades, play without ostentation.
An example, Paco Dècina's solo "Infinite" draws sumptuous interlacings. Muscled, sculptural (thanks to the choreographer's sporting past), but incredibly graceful, his arms lay down the gestures like a prayer. Indian accents envelop his score: broken wrists, hands framing the eyes or offering themselves like flowers. Paco Dècina has femininity at his fingertips to the point of embodying at times a kind of deity half man, half woman. He turns around, tenderly rubbing his thumbs against his index fingers. Imperceptible froufrou that resonates for those who want to hear it...
For his new creation, Five Passages in the Shadow or Trasparenze, Paco Dècina has teamed up with photographer Lee Yanor to create a series of paintings that harmoniously combine images, shadows, lights and bodies. Light, as free of gravity, the five performers offer a fluid and restrained dance. Beautiful this solo by Valeria Apicella. We never tire of his modest sensuality.
The Italian choreographer Paco Dècina is mounting "Five Passages in the Shadows" or Trasparenze" his new creation at the White-Mesnil Cultural Forum on October 10 and 11.
Suspended in space, photos of gazes fixed two thousand years ago on the mosaics of Pompeii observe the public. The movements of the dancers play with the images, create new ones, trace and nourish the heritage of men step by step. Paco Dècina explains: "I would like to give the viewer the feeling that sounds and music come from far away, as if they were piercing the veils of silence. From this silence the sounds would slowly emerge: the beats of our body, of our memory, of that of our ancestors. My goal is not to give rise to an emotion to all the spectators, but to be a click, to allow everyone to reflect on their own story.
The black and white photos, taken on a thin canvas, intersect with the viewer's gaze and evoke the layers of memory. They constitute both the space and the time of this creation. They are the work of Lee Yanor, an Israeli artist, whose dance is the main subject of inspiration. This is the first time she has participated in the creation of a choreography. "Between dance, the art of movement, and the photo that freezes the moment, there is a contradiction to overcome to give birth to a new expression. In this work, the images should not remain. In the mind of the viewer, they must blend in with the dancers' bodies to form one and the same memory.
For one year, Paco Dècina received creative assistance from the General Council in the form of a residency at the White-Mesnil Cultural Forum.
Until November 8, Lee Yanor presents in the same Forum an exhibition of his work in "Five Passages in the Shadows" , as well as a retrospective.
DANCE – Paco Dècina at Théâtre de la Ville
Neapolitan of origin, Paco Dècina continues his Mediterranean quest full of suggestions, gestures put together. With Mare Rubato, he develops, in a steel-grey atmosphere, a meditation for seven dancers dressed in the colors of the ground: saffron, ochre, scorched earth
It begins as a memory of tragedy, a very distant memory of which there are only slow gestures of imploration, curvatures, worn weighing their weights of flesh. Sometimes a mirror manipulated under the sun creates shadows of missing faces on the wall. We are in the elegy, in the fresh waters of a music mixing Aramaic songs with the flow of an imaginary and hard sea.
Then come the unfriendly squeaks bending the movement under their law, imposing momentum on it, a fleeting speed. Under the blue sky, a young girl plays the violin, another dance softly. That's the end of it.
A hypnotic piece made of beauty and symbols, Mare rubato is a somewhat painful work of appeasement. We can blame him for an "interlude" side, that moment of beautiful images broadcast between two shows in the ORTF of our childhood.
We can also get caught up in the choreographer's vision of our own inner universe. Then everything is well and truly.
In contemporary dance, the art of emotions, the choreographer's work is often a challenge. He must, while maintaining the cohesion of his design, propose to the viewer a universe where the viewer can record his own history.
Already, from this point of view, Mare rubato de Paco Dècina is a splendid success. A quest for what the modern world is stealing from us and that only an archaeology of inner life can give us back. Mare Rubato uses the dancers' bodies as vectors of emotion. White desert sometimes tarnished, stained by the soot of human actions, the décor, superb sobriety, comes alive under the lights.
Dance and painting are both "feeling" and meet here. Quality of movements, lighting, beauty of the costumes give the show an evocative magic of great strength.
We think of the buto, the prehistoric frescoes, the Indian temples... Even absent, the sea offers all the richness of its symbolism.
The "stolen sea" is present in the soundtrack that blows, rolls the waves and pebbles.
Sometimes very mineral, the music is humanized from the inflections of Esther Lamandier's voice. Full of the grave sweetness of gestures that reflect a suffering that stretches to infinity by dint of being internalized, Mare rubato ends on the blue luminosity of hope.
A cathartic spectacle that is love in memory and reminds us that dignity and human beings can coexist.
Dance is also an art of the eye
A Neapolitan of origin, Paco Dècina chose France to develop a sensitive and aesthetic choreographic work (in the best sense of the word). Tempi Morti, Ombre in Rosso Antico, then Vestigia di un corpo font successively know the delicately laid writing of Paco Dècina, imbued with pictorial references, of Southern music, where a latent desire emerges under the bark of the images. With Paco Dècina, we can safely say that dance, if it is an art of the body, is also an art of the eye. And in times, perhaps of too high visibility, the choreographer chooses the refreshing darkness, he explores the darkroom of being and, without obscuring anything of his subject, he uncovers folds of memory, undresses the imprint of death to touch areas of sensation deep in consciousness. This singular work in black awakens from "small wounds of the invisible", giving the strange consistency of a "suspended time, where the void seems to take the place of distant bodies whose history is lost" .
The rumour collected of the bodies takes the place of lyricism
For Paco Dècina, this is an iconography of the possible. The aesthetic that wins the dance then ceases to be an effect to assert itself as an artistic vision. With Ciro Esposito fu Vicenzo, Paco Dècina succeeds arguably one of the most beautiful choreographies of recent years, composing a kind of opera where the collected rumor of bodies takes the place of lyricism, where the nudity carried like an offering is printed as an indelible act of human warmth.
In the interweaving of vision and movement, Paco Dècina excels at painting the lament of buried bodies. It weaves the memory of unsuspected times that ensure in every form of presence in the world. With a restraint in all shades, he saw the dance as an active recollection of the slow secretions of existence.
Serenity and Detachment, Mare Rubato
Paco Dècina, in essence, undertakes with Mare Rubato the purity of a light, colors and myths that have bathed her childhood. Does the Mediterranean call its deluge of garish passions, angry gods, tragic pain? Paco Dècina contrasts the contemplative sweetness of the horizons melted with blue, the rustle of the silences kneaded with eternity, the deaf preponderance of twilight.
A show that exudes serenity and detachment, Mare Rubato evokes for the choreographer a sea stolen, torn, lost. Nostalgia for a founding civilization, now reduced to eccentric folklore, a shore at the abandonment of sunken myths. Distant idea of a sea that should be salted to "the sweat of all those who have sunk there", ancient splendor fallen into ruins and ashes. For a moment, Paco Dècina summons the shadow of Tragedy, a wandering, lost figure of a statufied past. Brief initial appearance, as soon as returned behind the scenes: there will be no resurgence or invocation of a worn pathos, enslaved to the "shows of reality, deviated from its cathartic function" in Mare Rubato.
To shudder a space with presences, floating of beings
Hieratic painting of an already shipwrecked shipwreck, free from the violence that seizes the bodies in an emergency. Here the pain has not taken hold on the flesh, but circulates, invisible as a rumor whose secret must be kept. Escaping the dramatic genres of masculine and feminine (a typological on which dance usually bases its rhetoric), Paco Dècina is content to shudder a space with presences, floating of beings that would be the ultimate link between earth and sky, absorbed in the material of a moving composition.
Is it still possible to dance with the weight of the world?
A woman's solo in red-orange sari exudes the spectacle of a dream of the Orient, a promise of a dawn that would rise over landscapes that have begun again, again fertilized, while ochre or brown tones evoke the infinitude of the desert elsewhere. To music by Schnittke, former heroes lay useless grey vareous on the ground, while a mineral dance comes to celebrate their renunciation. Is it still possible to dance with the weight of the world? Atlas no longer has the strength to keep the globe on hold. In a short solo, Paco Dècina wields with great grace and humor a weight of measure before simply getting rid of it. There is in this brief ceremony of deposition the sign that contemporary suffering must be carried with dignity, that it must not stifle the emergence of the gesture, that it is necessary to learn to lighten it so that deaf, from the infinite memory of bodies, a kind of virginity in which a light could once again be indcribed.
In this sense, Mare Rubato is an initiation show. For Paco Dècina, dance invites a counterspace: it is the stuff that is both humble and sumptuous that preserves the inviolability of a mystery that would have survived the sinking of the Mediterranean space, a childhood space, a remnant of materials.
By promoting creation, contemporary dance, whose richness of languages is no longer to be demonstrated, has the distinction of welcoming a number of self-taught approaches. Among these, Paco Dècina's work has been asserting itself for some time. Originally from Neapolitan, the choreographer has been based in Paris for ten years now. Early light, colorful, figurative pieces simply marked his disposition to engage in a work on time, memory, feeling. The playful trace of the first steps towards choreography will lead Paco Dècina to the fall. That of " Charybde and Sylla", a piece of rupture in the way of approaching work and also a piece of emergence from which come as skeins isolated and repeated each of the following shows.
It will first be a remnant of a remarkable body-work that introduces into the choreographer's journey the idea of the fragmentation of the body, following in the footsteps of the collective unconscious. Then we witness, with the sequence of his last three shows "Ciro Esposito fu Vincenzo", "Fessure" and his latest creation that has just been presented in Châteauvallon, after a residency at the TNDI (National Theatre of Dance and Image), "Mare rubato", to develop a search for a writing.
The dancers of the company are here the special interpreters of the "subtle realities" that animate the choreographer's pieces and are all musings straight out of the mental image at the origin of each of Paco Dècina's choreographies. There come the bodies to be written as materials of the intimate. They also seem to act as the sensitive film that leads and falls within a research on the perception more and more distant from theatricality and carried exclusively by gesture and posture. In "Fessure", the bodies are released by snippets of gestures. Nestled in light, their development relates to the flesh. It occurs in the slowness of a fluid and continuous movement. As he walks through the pulp of the sensitive, Paco Dècina's choreographic work stops on the cracks, follows the lines, these "small wounds of the invisible" where the bodies disintegrate.
"Mare rubato" bathes in the vibrations of white and sound elements that evoke the minerality and density of water. With this latest creation Paco Dècina sums up all of his aesthetic concerns by tracing most of his pieces. The notion of erasure leads the choreographer towards abstraction, but something of his vision is relentlessly reconstructed. In the silence of gestures or posture, the part of the intimate remains watertight, is played in a closed universe. Frame, colour, pattern, everything here tends to the pictorial work, to the birth and modification of paintings. It seems that the choreographer's eye stalks in the vibration of the elements, through attention, contemplation, something of the soul or a universal matter.
The Italian choreographer Paco Dècina expresses, through the density of slowness and movement, a deep inner disorder in a beautiful show.
In the bare, open space, a dancer standing, motionless, another in a long white tunic, on the floor, a man in soft horizontal. From the beginning, a feeling of noble balance, of plastic silence that, little by little, with precision, comes alive, in expressive slowness of movements, in offering of arms.
This harmony will develop into Mediterranean evocations, Italy, Greece, the East of this sea, in this show by Paco Dècina whose scenic beauty is always linked to the development of dance and to a precise and refined technique.
The slowness, dancers developing, in a flexible balance, figures that suddenly of a sharp, nervous turn, throw them in an expression of the whole body, in jumps, in encounters, in groups. With, crossing the scene of the elks, in the race, breaking up ...
Legends live on stage, invocations of outstretched hands, calls. "Wears" directly lift the dancer, prolonged, vertical, horizontal, in Force Émouvant, deep, who are involved in the general movement, in the play of the figures of new slow motion, three-four dancers.
And always this Elevation, this clarity that gives the bodies all their pride, in a choreographic composition giving all the parts this plastic of the Italian artists of Piero della Francesca.
Paco thus expresses a mystery, something beyond the visible, an impression of the sea, of cloud water, underlined by the soundtrack to the sounds of waves, waves and winds.
It is, in the first part, a kind of research, life and pain, which then leads to an expression of death, in a dance in black clothes, of extreme density, where by gravity, the slowness of the figures, allusions to the cross, the choreographer speaks sobriety, inner tension. Sobriety also of the costumes, associated with the gesture, the use of space.
to the expression of death follows, luminous, the last dance in white clothes, also slow, but more imposing, more assertive.
Very good dancers including the choreographer, in this dance where slowness and vivid recovery are given by the mastery of bodies and plastic.
Lighting also plays a big role in this "Mare rubato" from softness to clarity and the low shadows of the end.
Mare rubato" : Stolen sea, sea gone, leaving the anguish of time to come, the thought of life over time, in the duration and inner drama and with a feeling of immensity.
A beautiful achievement of this Italian choreographer who lives and works in France and made this creation in Residence in Châteauvallon.
In a space saturated with emptiness and mystery, five bodies reveal the wounds of the invisible. The audience holds its breath, time is suspended. Shadow and light, gestures that break on the void for a swirling eight-camera.
Paco Dècina confronts with this piece a stripped-down universe where light sculpts the space inhabited by the dancers. Everything happens in a kind of no man's land between fantasy and reality. In a world where nostalgia, dream and emotion appear through the gaps, the cracks of movement. A work full of poetry and restraint.
Fessure develops and amplifies a singular work in the dark, which operates in the fault of the vision the update of buried gestures.
The other night on the South Pole stage, Paco Dècina offered his "iconography of the possible" .
From Naples the Italian where he was born, Paco Dècina inherits a sensitive Latinity. Facades kneaded with antique and submerged in light, shady backyards, place of folding and palavers. Rural Italy with revered agrarian symbols, marks its work of a climate distantly ruminated, but claimed and yet so deliberately there. Paco Dècina, like Joseph Nadj, is one of those choreographers of exile who replaces childhood geographies with a mapping of bodies, which notes as the fragile and sure frame of an observatory of remembrance, unknown traces, discrete accidents, opportune inclinations, inscribed very particularly in the flesh. Paco Decina is not a nostalgic, far from it. More than memory so often failing and even sometimes obscene, he draws his lessons from a delicate archaism, from the ancient one, who relied on the model of bodies to probe the truth of beings. At home, the gaze does not explore the horizon but the inside. How do you make the way of origin? he seems to be questioning pieces after pieces. And this essential question makes him prefer the interstice, the crack, which reveals what would be revealed.
"Fessure" this principle is therefore fleshed out. Little light, a huge reserve of black creates the zone of oblivion and also emergence. There is, in this choreographer, an economy of the visible that takes the form of a very modesty and the opposite of anything that would impose on the body a state of physical demonstration. The precisely regulated but unseristed walk constantly restores this slow pace, desired for itself and for all that it imposes appropriately on movement and positions. From there comes, no doubt, this dark sensation of a physical operation remarkably accomplished in the approximation of a state of wakefulness or perhaps - and it is probably the strange gap that is constantly going through "Fessure" - death. From there also comes this rituality which determines, in short, carefully all circulation and encounters. The music brings to these choregies the right hint of modernity that is necessary, without dismantling in any way this sanctuary of the present that Paco Dècina conceived as a darkroom: for the eclipse or the revelation.
Since 1987, Paco Dècina, the Neapolitan of Paris, traces his choreographic destiny away from the media hype with meticulousness and fantasy. Because of his origins, he has been able to confront his creativity with the remnants, the past, the daily life between France and Italy, where the atmosphere of the south shines through and emerges. Beautiful or dark stories to the duos altiers, where the falls are ephemeral accidents: lightness saves and transports the bodies at every moment. Dream in an imaginary expanse, Dazzling with emptiness, "Fessure" is like a empty room inhabited by light, some small objects, like volcanic stones because they have more history and more passion in my eyes".
A clear vision with eyes closed, the dance sweeps the empty stage full of light. We are in a distant time: bodies awaken, sculptures all to their dreams, to their sleep. These small wounds of the invisible that reveal the continuous flow of our feelings, small cracks in suspended times where distant bodies lose their history behind the cracks...
"These cracks then are solos, duets, trios, small ensembles that, like waves, intertwine, overlap to tell us about a larger sea, an ocean hidden behind the walls of everyday life, the walls with a distracted eye."
Paco Decina reveals the bodies of the dormant history, frozen as in the lava of Mount Vesuvius. Awakening from a relaxed deluge, the choreography becomes carnal, the postures and motifs summoned to the eye are embodied in the flesh of his dance... respectful of a civilization dear to the Neapolitan. Memory, symbol, a dance in a grey sand flow that flows between the gaps of remembrance.
A huge and dark beach where every stain of color, every volume, every movement of the five dancers are arranged with the architectural rigor that characterizes the Neapolitan choreographer. The scene is inhabited.
Paco Dècina takes the time to install states, drawing around the bodies, the emptiness in conscientious goldsmith. It painlessly violates the narrow intimacy of feelings to give us to see as an offering what he calls these "little wounds of the invisible" . Always or almost out of step, refusing the idea of spectacular, he elaborates a gesture and a setting in space all felt, in the distant or distracted resurgence that is sometimes lent to the old memories.
Women's duets, man duos, women's trios, male and female duets follow one another with moments of grace, dazzling compositions.
Fessure, carnal and poetic work close to the icon where the choreographer develops an increasingly virgin and stripped-down writing, tracing under the light and detail of the bodies a common reverie.
FLORENCE - A new Italian author with a prestigious poster of an Italian opera institution (in this case the Mai Musical Florentine)... after Paris. The chance of our dance also leads to this kind of strange journey. The fact is that while Paco Decina has been operating successfully for more than eight years now in France (where he receives constant ministerial grants and where he produces in prestigious contemporary dance theatres, such as the Théâtre de la Ville), it is only today that he manages to create for an Italian theatre and for his own ballet company.
See the occasion of this commission - "The Banquet of Sable" - to get to know up close a singular author, whose poetry and manner, deliciously Mediterranean, seem to have opened a gap in the difficult "establishment" of French ballet. "The French are terribly rational," says Paco. In their work, the problems are almost highlighted, conceptualized. On the contrary, my world is something instinctive, linked to a capacity for vision, to the ideas that become images that I sediment in myself and that I stage as if for "automatic writing", ensuring that it is these that arouse emotions and personal sensations in the audience. And maybe that's what fascinates them in a particular way."
From Circumvesuviana to "Shadows in Ancient Red" , or until the very recent "Ciro Esposito was Vicenzo" , it seems obvious that a constant element of your poetics is "napolitanity", a napolitanity that is of course a state of the heart, a way of conceiving life...
"Many things are part of my culture and I rediscover them unconsciously in my work. Many critics, for example, describe my choreography as "pictorial," quoting Pontorno, Michelangelo, the Neapolitan Baroque. Jokingly, I have fun defining my style as "Japanese Baroque" or "Revival Expressionism." However, these "references" are totally unconscious: the use of ancient art is something that has accompanied me since childhood. Naples is a permanent forge of images that penetrate the imagination: then my family, who cares for antiques and my studies in drawing did the rest. But the purpose of my work is different from the purely visual aspect. There is a need to dig into the "deep memory" of man, with a sense of melancholy worried, a fear about the uncertainty of existence, with this sense of eastern fatalism which, perhaps indeed, belongs to "napolitanity" ... »
Your choreographic research therefore relies mainly on the Emotional element...
Absolutely. You see, for me, theatre has a very special meaning. I am opposed to art as entertainment, as a show-distraction. On the other hand, I consider that theatre must have its "rituality", that is, it must allow the viewer to meet again, to finally let these emotions, these deep instincts that today's life, terribly chanted by rhythms, false values, external emergencies, makes us totally lose. The dimension of the theatrical space, the silence that surrounds the event on stage, already lead the viewer to an inner dialogue with himself. The spectacle he attends must then provoke new moods in him."
And so, as a choreographer, your work does not pay particular attention to "technical" ...
"Let's say that I'm not particularly interested in having "cadavers" on stage, dancers who dryly perform a score, written by others. I write a lot about dancers, I need to share with them a philosophy of life. That's why the journey that takes place during the creation is for me absolutely more interesting than the "work done". Today, for the first time, I have to work with classical dancers —and I am at the beginning of this experience —I proceed by instituting a kind of interpersonal dialogue that helps me understand that, in the end, it will follow me in my journey. And I have to say that I find it very stimulating."
Let's focus for a moment on the creative process. How, for example, is "Sand Banquet" born?
"I am very troubled by this life which highlights its most bitter aspects. And slowly in me an Emotional knot is formed that oppresses me viscerally, which forces me to visions that then become the starting point of the staging. The result is a kind of personal dramaturgy that I then try to make universal, readable for all viewers. What is the "Sand Banquet"? That's all. It is time that passes, it is the nostalgia of a lost garden, a smothered cry of love that creeps in us with a new insolent force. It is the whole of humanity that shares the loss of illusions. These illusions that I'm trying to come back to."
Unlike the original program, which announced a score by Alban Berg, you opted for excerpts from Arvo Part. What for?
"I don't like to be dependent on the dramaturgy of the music. An 'imposed' score imposes, sorry for the expression, an inevitable theatrical version. While my expressive necessities place my way of telling in the foreground. That's why I chose Part, which gives me a more dimension... metaphysical, unreal."
After this important Florentine rendezvous ("Sand Banquet" is part of the triptych that also includes the Tudorian "Pillar of Fire", as well as the Italian premiere of Paul Taylor's "Rite of Spring" on the communal stage, from June 15 to 1, ed.), you will return to Paris. Do you already have any new plans?
"The Théâtre de la Ville invited me again with a production of 95, entitled 'Stolen Sea'. I will also continue to teach: the other important aspect of my experience as an author, thanks to the constant and stimulating contact with the most diverse sensibilities."
With Ciro Esposito fu Vincenzo, Paco Dècina succeeds arguably one of the most beautiful choreographies of recent years, composing a kind of opera where the collected rumor of bodies takes the place of lyricism, or the nudity carried as an offering is imprinted as an indelible act of human warmth.
Paco Dècina offered to the viewer on Tuesday evening on the stage of the Zaragoza theatre a Ciro Esposito fu Vincenzo bathed in strangeness as paintings touch grace. And it is not the only parallel that has been drawn, throughout this hour and a quarter, between the art of movement and that of posing. A confrontation that does not leave to be surprising and whose light remains the essential hyphen.
For Paco Dècina, dance is not a matter of choreography, it is a way to be there a little more than the others, to take the light and exaggerate it. And even if the dancers do not dance in the sense that one would hear, this way of being there, of wearing one's body on one's face like a garment, is undoubtedly the essence of dance. If it were a painting, we would call it a vanity. If it were a story, we would be talking about a Yugoslav city. But it's the most beautiful dance, it's almost unbearable, and it's great.
It was cold, it was raining that night in Paris and it must be said, some must have bitterly regretted their outing at the Théâtre de la Ville to see Paco Dècina and his Ciro Esposito Fu (fire in French) Vincenzo. It was also raining on stage or rather, it was as if a hole in the roof let a trickle of water collected in a basin flow. On this point, the program is clear: "Imagination is a place where it rains" (Italo Calvino). One could thus, through the multiple images and signs, dissect the ballet like a laboratory rat and play the scholars.
Since Nijinski was inspired by Greek frescoes for his "Fauna", the choreographers have served us the master painting and the "Byzantine" at all costs. Either, it flatters the eyes and the discerning spirits but that it is long (an hour and a half) and how bored one is. Note that boredom is not a dented in dance where the idea of entertaining is far exceeded. That said, Decina does not seek to provoke boredom but at best hypnosis with his swinging movements, his falling drops of water and his Mona Lisa looks. It also excels in the effects of slowness and immobility distilled against a background of fly hum and small Neapolitan airs.
Then, patatras, it's the punctuation: alarm clock noise, a song in English (always the same newspapers, the same, etc.). Women in bodices and high heels grab their shovel, spread the mortar. It's not all about slumping into subtle poses. We also have to work. But hey, it lets you watch. to advise escying, however, to the most allergic to the unbearable slowness of being, or even nothingness.
Like these drawings of Ernest Pignon-Ernest glued to the walls of Naples and lacerated by time, beautiful figures spouted from the shadows, lyrical bodies playing with a sigh or an alley, the dance of Paco Dècina seems haunted by death. A death that, strangely, is here familiar, tame, almost smiling.
A pagan death, like the city that inspired the painter and saw the birth of the choreographer. But the religious impregnation being in the latter as strong as paganism, she maintains with him an insistent dialogue whose dance is the place of election.
As if, from the preserved childhood, from the studies at the Jesuit college, the young Neapolitan had learned a most paradoxical lesson. Starting with a keen sense of loneliness. Fine Arts, sport, later dance, he was indeed one of those who achieved their ends by fighting against their environment. "I had to rely on myself. Ever since I was a kid, I knew I'd be on my own. So it is in saltimbanque that he populates this solitude. In France for less than ten years, he created his company in 1987 and invented before really getting a taste of choreography first swift and light. To be a stranger is to pay attention to others and to oneself."
Is this how "Ciro Esposito fu Vincenzo" came, his last play, premiered last year and presented for two days at the Théâtre de la Ville? In any case, the tone has changed. At the same time close and exotic, this new work speaks of light, warmth, almost Sicilian earth, decadence and beauty. Destitution, face-to-face with death: do we have to be exiled to know, better than others, to approach him?
Paco Decina was born in Naples, a city coveted by Mount Vesuvius and crumbling under the decadent splendour of its history. His first choreographies are not yet marked by the seal of melancholy: it is humour that prevails, and irony.
On the other hand, with Ciro Esposito Fu Vincenzo, Paco Dècina looks at the past and the pare of tragic colors: on a blue wall patinated in gold and mauve, a hole in openings where the eyes of women (they are always the custodians of memory), a man dances. It's very beautiful. Heavy with a wrongful past, as if living today had become impossible.
On the dance side, we find the tics and tricks of the young choreography: falls, rolls and sketches of Arabic, slowness penetrated by seriousness. All in lyrical and popular music for emotion or in the squeak of megaphonic teeth for the intellect. In short, a full scramble of defects carried away by a true force of evocation, a palpitation that is just waiting to free itself from mannerism.
Presented a year ago at the Théâtre de la Bastille, this show will have to find its mark on the big stage of the Théâtre de la Ville.
Paco Dècina is a choreographer, Italian, even Neapolitan. A toned and nervous little man, he is full of imagination. Since he's been on stage and making others dance, he's been wonderfully associated with a whimsical inspiration with the rigors of contemporary dance.
"Ten years ago," he explains, "all modern dancers had followed classical teaching. Today, I work with people who have a contemporary background... dance no longer follows the music. The sounds accompany the dancer and serve as a marker, but we can do without."
In his shows, he emphasizes movement, sets (always sober) and costumes (very elaborate or very sober. "I always talk about memory he says. Each of his choreographies, and in particular the last two, "Shadow in Rosso Antico" and "Ciro Esposito"" speak of the past, even of antiquity. In "Shadow in Rosso Antico", the decorations are reminiscent of Greek or Roman temples and statues. "Ciro Esposito", more inspired by painting, Italian painters as in the scene of the young woman washing in a kind of conque, large shell, tilting her long hair, the Venus of Boticelli is not far away. And Flemish paint for the play of lights, purple and gold colors.
The title of "Ciro Esposito" is composed of Ciro, a name common in southern Italy and "Esposito", on display, the surname given to children found at the door of churches (so "exposed" to people willing to collect them. In this title we find the dual will of exhibition and modesty. "Ciro" also evokes wax mannequins.
Paco Dècina created this show during a residency at the Orleans Choreographic Production Centre as part of an operation called Dances at the Centre (organized by the Central Region). For a choreographer, to be in residence is to be able to have a stage for a certain period of time (a few weeks, sometimes more).
Thus, installed with his dancers, the choreographer can work his show and direct the construction of the sets and the development of the lighting.
Created on January 22 for the first time in Orleans, "Ciro Esposito" tour in the provinces: it will be given on March 23 in Niort, April 3 and 4 in Chartres, june in Mulhouse and in July in Vierzon. He will also be in Paris at the start of the school year.
It is very difficult to talk about these shows that touch deeply. Perhaps because it evokes the unspeakable. The most moving scene of the work, in which the man offers to the eyes of the crowd a woman, his wife; both are naked. The fragility of these bodies, the simplicity of this offering, the impotence of this totally devoid couple Move to tears.
If you're hooked, but really addicted to today's dance, you'll surely love Paco Dècina's latest creation. There are ingredients "latest" of the choreography in the shot: atmosphere worked with a little hair, binding city costumes, lyrical music of all kinds or megaphonic stridulations, young men with shaved heads and young girls too round or too dry. Serious spirit in concrete. Etc.
What about the dance? Ah! Yes, dancing. to be taken with tweezers, rolls or falls. Sometimes, too, stealthily, in clandestine arabesques.
It is understood, Paco Dècina manages a flawless in the chic career of the shock choreographer. And yet, behind the clutter of all this, we sometimes glimpse something true, a heart throbbing behind the codes, a force of evocation and convincing emotion.
Paco Decina was born in Naples. From his origins and, surely from a good culture rubbed against Italian neo-realistic cinema, comes this talent to suggest a climate, an oppression, a violence. Death, present throughout the sequences that follow, is enveloped with popular Italian songs from afar, without nostalgia.
At the back of the stage; a large wall patinated in blue, gold and mauve, lets the gaze of three women hidden behind a horizontal murder, while a boy dances in the dark, accompanied by a woman candlestick. One holds his breath to hear that of the author and to reconcile with him. It's hard to be yourself.
For this choreographer, who arrived from Naples and whose company has been performing since 1987, image, memory and social relations are among the major elements of his productions. Five shows have followed each other since " Tempi morti " piece from the beginning to "Vestigia di un corpo" penultimate and superb creation marking an important step in the development of his work and yet unfortunately remained in the shadows. The word is not in vain. In these latency of silence - able to make emerge in layers put in images a whole memory of the body and its history, a work that is particular to it - to remove from the bodies and dance the memory as well as its current resurgence of the threatening shadows of a totalitarian social body. Under the keen eye of this Latin choreographer, history and politics are always at work as close as possible to the aesthetic questions and bodily changes they produce. Always in this lineage, dives and rises the words of "Ciro Esposito fu Vincenzo". Invented character, "echo of a thought" as much as "iconography of the possible" , to compensate for " an era that leaves no room for poets, no more time to think about death " this is the point addressed by Paco Dècina in this room. Difficult bet and firmly held. Through a clear, open writing, the choreographer makes the great work here with rare constructions forcing the sense and the imaginary into infinite dimensions.
No description can evoke the surprising richness of this living iconography, paintings so polished as to dream that they awaken to other realities, reversing the data of the visible and the invisible, playing on the tenuous links of the relationships present, whether musical, plastic, and especially on the work of the performers that should be emphasized. Remarkable solos, all fullness and tormented roundness at Chiara Gallerani, or crossed by disturbing lines with the sheared gestures of Paco Dècina soon joined by the folds and curved progressions of his companions: Alessandro Bernardeschi, Guillaume Cefelman and Carlo Locatelli. Other duets slip from violent encounters to subtle offices particularly active in Regina Martino and Manuela Agnesini.
The choreographer's artistic approach seems quite close in his processes to the Italian Anachronists, proposing a quotationist pictorial universe - a problem stemming from post-modern reflection and which takes shape in the early 1980s - taking shape in "the visit of the museum", practising the quotation, refinement and mixing of different styles of the great Western pictorial tradition. The ensemble taken as a linguistic modality extends the critical analysis of the art history undertaken by certain artists of the 70s. In response to the idea that "forgetting afflicts memory". Paco Dècina establishes a interlocking dialogue between the stratification of plastic ways and themes and an intimate meditation of moments and movements of life that place the discourse in a paradoxical position of overcoming.
Paco Dècina's latest creation is beautiful, it's a master's painting. Ciro Esposito fu Vincenzo is a new and luxurious confidante of Paco Dècina. A refinement that is stubborn with all its beautiful and fluid lightness.
Ciro Esposito fu Vincenzo transports us to a universe where the signs of a certain daily life allow an essential and complex human dimension to touch. His choreography weaves tenuous links between musicality, plastic expression, the body of the performers, and inner movement. His dance touches us deeply. It is impossible to forget this upsetting duet where a man and a woman in the crudest of nudity, possible image of a pietà in motion, give us to feel the most extreme pain. In these moments, dance is an incomparable look that pierces us and pierces appearances.
Ciro Esposito fu Vincenzo is a look at death close to contemplation. Its purpose, from the high imagination that emerges there, responds to the images that flood the daily space, to the acceleration of ordinary time that obstructs fantasy. Ciro Esposito... evokes by carnal and poetic paintings, a time rediscovered thanks to the sensations offered by time lost, singular accents or moments created by these concentrations of being.
Paco Decina in Rovereto
ROVERETO - Paco Decina's debut at the Rovereto Festival with the show 'Vestigia di un Corpo' surprised us. We were expecting a show with a French flavour since, as we may know, the 36-year-old Neapolitan choreographer, who has been running his company for six years, has found work and grants in Paris. And yet, Decina has created a personal, courageous piece that refuses the artificial patina of many "new dance" exercises and keeps easy labels.
For a little over an hour, we witness a flood of "pictorial" images, which are not dictated by the urgency of conveying messages, but by the urgency of finding in the hidden recesses of the memory fragments of life that the author lived and then recreate it and make it imprescriptible. Decina proposes her intimate journey where autobiography is totally absorbed in order to paint fresco spaces. Atmospheres where the bodies of the five protagonists and their movements are all elements of the stage sets: from the shimmering costumes through the rigid, spongy, clay-coloured curtains, to the lights and strings that hang from the hangers or remove heavy loads out of the place of representation. The journey takes place aimlessly, as if we were weaving a braid of macabre and solar memories, grotesque and peaceful. It's like we're going from North to South, all the time. For example, in an afterlife criss-crossed by sharp flashes, women stand up wearing cothurne; on a sun-drenched floor a man writes "I don't know how to tell you I want you" (in Spanish), while three companions work immediately afterwards to erase the message with a dance in unison, almost folkloric. Decina offers feminine silhouettes that often resemble Mediterranean Madonnas and men in sad Neapolitan masks: there is even the reference to Eduardo De Filippo, with the classic striped pajama pants that gesticulate quietly in front of a flame-red backdrop. Even if we did not know that Paco Decina is Neapolitan we would find anyway in his Vestigia di un Corpo trace of a Parthenopean (Neapolitan) culture. However, more than in the singular details, it is in the overall vision that the hypothetical "napolitanity" reaches a philosophical level: a kind of silent resignation to death that mitigates even the most dramatic moments. As when, towards the end of the adventure, a woman desperately tries to get out of the bite of two oscillating ropes that hang from the hangers, invoking, mutely, the help of two men with their backs turned to the audience who instead stand still.
If a glimmer of German-branded neo-expressionism can be detected in such a shortcut of anxiety and existential impotence, it is nevertheless once again the whole piece and its functional dance that escapes any definition. What is certain is that Vestigia di un Corpo is even musically a backward journey to death. Proof of this is the deliberate approximation of the music of Hitchcock's psycho film (reworked by Tiziano Popoli, author of the soundtrack) and Schubert's Lied du Winterreise.
As proof of the attitude of the dancers (Manuela Agnesini, Didier Bastide, Alessandro Bernardeschi, Regina Martino and Paco Decina himself), suspended from the action and not tended towards it, as if the stimulations came from listening to music and listening to a word that was born in the unconscious and becomes a poetic language for bodies of automatons without skeletons.
Finally, in Vestigia di un Corpo, it is not so much the dance that strikes, but the whole choreographic construction and the effort to move without using pre-established models. It is not about theatre-dance, or even pure dance, but perhaps the beginning of a scenic writing (where there is no shortage of excesses, repetitions and interpretive shifts) that has something to do with a surrealism deprived of rethorics: still to be explored in the open field of research on the body in motion.
The Italian choreographer is at the Théâtre de la Bastille with his latest piece "Vestigia di un corpo", Cemetery, beyond... A juxtaposition of charade images more theatrical than danced.
Paco Decina has always had a soft spot for the large scales to which he attaches the girls as holy martyrs of procession. He has a very Latin taste for the theatrical, circus, commedia dell'arte, disillusioned irony and retro nostalgia that made the charm and originality of his first play, "Circum Vesuviana" . With 'Vestigia di un corpo' , he leaves his sunny universe to dive into a dark, if not hostile, world in search of memories, memory, perhaps eternity. This means that this journey at the end of the night takes place in an almost total darkness with light inflorescences that suggest without illuminating. Night upset by the shrill bursts, the swells of a very present music by Tiziano Popoli.
From the first scene - a skinny girl who plays nervously in the manner of Michelle-Anne de Mey in "Balatum" - it's a matter for the audience to decipher often sumptuous images that sometimes hold rebus or charade. Here's an inventory; beings who take off their shoes, their clothes, who even try to remove their skin. Atmosphere of travel without hope of arrival on a Schubert lied, walks in a cemetery, plunges into the afterlife... The load in symbols is strong but too airtight. Of course, one can console one with Claudel's phrase on the Japanese Noh: "It is what you do not understand who is the most beautiful", one can simply caress with the eyes the superb paintings that build and cancel themselves in a Saint-Sulpician resent but poetry does not always come to take over the intellect; even the imagination is taken aback. Unlike these previous shows, where he conceived the paintings as a series of actions, Paco Dècina proposes a succession of moments, a juxtaposition of images that can be conveniently described as surreal because we do not perceive the purpose.
A few highlights here and there condense the emotion by their exaggerated theatricality such as the sequence of strings, murderous pendulums that the dancers touch to the millimeter. at these moments, Dècina makes a personal contribution to the solicitation of the memory of bodies dear to the whole young generation of European dance. He arrives at the same observation of impotence and non-communication of a Pina Bausch or a François Verret. The choreographed passages - too rare - are all electroshocks in a relaxed fabric. The boys in particular, a very effective macho trio, sing the space in impressive cataleptic trances with implacable little gestes where Italian expressionism plays. Too bad Paco Dècina did not make more use of this very physical dance in his theatrical composition. What a paradoxical challenge it would have been in a room about forgetting the body...
One of these pieces that touches you intimately: you want to keep the images to yourself; above all not to reveal, and to say nothing except that you have to go and see it.
If it is to be a sign of maturity of the contemporary "young dance", it is first to look for in the choreographers themselves. Of this, Paco Decina would be one of the most beautiful examples. In the form of entertainment, his first creations could please; personally, I was rather insensitive to it. Last year, so it was a little skeptical that I was going to see "Ombre in rosso antico"; attracted by a beautiful poster and, let's say, for an evening to kill. Would have taken place two shows that night, I would probably go see each other.
Fortunately, there was only one! "Ombre in rosso antico" has left me so stunned that I don't know what to say. All finesse and intimacy, this was probably one of the most beautiful pieces I have seen. These pieces that touch you intimately, and you want to keep the images to yourself; above all not to reveal, and to say nothing except that we must go to see her,
But you'd think that chance would do things... Or that a stroke of genius happened only once, Paco Dècina would leave it at that, and return to entertainment. I don't think so. With his latest creation,"Scilla e Cariddi", if there is one blame to be made, it is that of recidivism! How the genius, like the train, sometimes rings twice!
Maybe a little less powerful than "Ombre in rosso antico" (but a very young piece to mature), "Scilla e Cariddi" takes us back to an intimate world where everyone can deposit their dreams and desires. Two mythological monsters, one a victim of jealousy, the other of his own gluttony; devouring and yet so women, guardians of an obscure time where men love and spoil themselves. Monsters, guardians, Scylla and Charybde have always assumed different forms and meanings. Witnesses of the passages, they keep the memory, the fragments, the secrets of all those who, like us, are obliged to cross this passage." (Paco Decina)
After shadow in rosso antico" and "Scilla e Cariddi", if it is to be a maturity of contemporary dance, I believe that Paco Dècina affects it; watch out for the recurrence of recidivism!
Paco Decina has a taste for particularisms. Discovered in 1987, his show, "Circumevesuviana" slovingly told the story of a small train running at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. "Shadow in rosso antico" immediately refers to the object of its inspiration: the ancient red porphyry used in imperial Rome, whose Renaissance artists made their ideal stone. The imprisonment of forms, the gestural codification - specific to ancient sculpture - join here a choreographic discourse without concessions. This dance, based on a series of ruptures, narrative and formal, generates a variety of climates and images, where humor and gravity clearly reflect the choreographer's intention to attach himself to the "anonymous daily crushed, forgotten under marble and stone" . The many versions of " Besame mucho" soundtrack of Palix-Couturier - are humorously echoing these anonymous voices...
An aesthetic all the more sensitive as it remains close to everyday life.
A choreographer born in Naples, based in Paris, Paco Dècina had already made a name for himself with his previous pieces: "Tempi morti" (1987) and "Circumvesuviana" (1988).
With this recent creation "Ombre in rosso antico", the company called "Post-retroguardia" is a very thorough and rigorous plastic work, beautifully served by the interpretive qualities of the dancers. Here no levelling in the service of a writing but a judicious scenography that plays on an architectural construction of space.
Memory, a recurring concern in dance, Paco Dècina questions him in his own way through the fascination that marble exerts on man. (The porphyry "old red"). Panels of uneven heights and a central staircase set it in decoration, but Paco Dècina focuses on recalling the daily life of the "light anonymous" beings who inhabit these carved stones, who have worked it or rub shoulders with it day by day without even sometimes seeing it. They are therefore very singular people, rich in a history without fixed references or chronology, who develop desires, tenderness, passion to the rhythm of varied movements.
The still weather sets up a very Latin climate. Soft lights, languid poses where women slowly sink remind them of the paintings of the Italian Renaissance. This immutable time is contrasted by the more turbulent periods that pass through it. These accelerated movements, in the most tragic times evoke war, absence or loneliness just like this man with jerky gestures, riveted to his derisory bouquet of flowers.
Energy held back and then released, the men cross, accompany each other without recognizing themselves too much. Half-points of pantomime, peplum comic, clock twists, gestures stiffen, tremble. Smiling in the corner, throats outstretched, the arms stretch towards the fancy ride that turns to the grimace, to the swing of gondola. The choreography includes every detail, the expression of the faces, from a glance, to the thumb that draws nicks. Bellini's music is cut from South American songs (Besame mucho). In addition to the pictorial references, there are more recent images of the great period of Italian cinema.
A long-term dancer, Regina Martino - she also designed the beautiful costumes for the play - seems straight out of a Modigliani painting. She has the strange charm of an Anna Zborowska. Not to mention Andrea Ballaglia, Carlo Diaconale, Donate d'Urso, Claire Rousier and Sophie Lessard who all have an inner look held back by who knows what a dream, which strengthens their personality and surrounds them with a poetic halo.
Orleans Choreographic Production Center
Paco Dècina is definitely a choreographer whose every piece remains in memory. "Circumvesuviana" had taken us irresistibly into the fearless and sensual whirlwind of his Neapolitan city. "Shadow in Rosso Antico", his last show refers in its title to the Ancient Red Porphyry: the ancients willingly lent this extremely hard stone magical and conjuring virtues, while the sculptors had made it their material of choice. The choreographer, on the other hand, attached himself to the quivering of beings before they were frozen in marble. The beauty of the décor immediately gives a very strong plastic imprint to what should be called a show rather than a choreographic piece; indeed the lights, complicit in an often slow and hieratic gesture, quickly leading to a pictorial emotion to which one willingly gives in. Among five gritty panels evoking noble stone and a monumental, aimless staircase, the dancers evolve, often isolated in their inner world, like actors turning a piece of essay in any Cinecitta incorporating various recommendations: "Piu veloce", "meno sad", "piu amorosa" etc.... But the difficult bet of transcribing an emotion so fragmented, is held hands down, thanks to excellent performers like Sophie Lessard, and the rest of the troupe. Regina Martino is not only a performer because she is also the author of the beautiful costumes: no androgynous leotard at Paco, or motto "hide this breast that I can not see!" All superbly ambushed, her dancers do not let us ... marble: this detail, among others, evokes my eyes a choreographer who has a very sure plastic sense and also bathes his choreographies of sensuality and humor.
But the beautiful and talented Regina is not at her first attempt since we had already admired the costumes created for Luisa Casiraghi in "Giu, not c'e piu nessuno" presented to Bagnolet.
The soundtrack, too, plays its role as an emotional catalyst; how to resist "una furtiva lacrima" or "love me for ever"? Sometimes, too, she knows how to be a discreet support to a sufficiently constructed choreographic phrase and a gesture that is like a vital flow: the gesture of the thumb rising from the palm to the arm is very strong and fairly representative of the originality of the choreographer who humorously named his company Post-retroguardia " in order to escape any velocity of classification by chapel. But all the good we think of the choreographer Dècina does not prevent us from appreciating the presence and dramatic intensity of the dancer Paco... which we hope to see again in his future creations.
Seduction and intelligence seem to me to be the essential characteristics (very Italian after all...) of this young choreographer. It does not seem unlikely to me that it will become to European choreography what italian cinema of the 1960s was to the seventh art: an inescapable value.
Paco Dècina's Post-Retroguardia Company has moved to the Orleans Choreographic Production Centre for a creative period. This applies to us, for a few evenings, on the stage of France, his show that sparkles with a thousand lights, as beautiful as its title.
"Shadow in Rosso Antico" will make many dream and captivate others, like this Ancient Red Porphyry that imprisons profiles, breasts and angels, and fascinates the Neapolitan choreographer and dancer Paco Dècina.
Not that this creation is easy at first, the subject is not always very readable and escapes the logic that usually reassures. I don't care. This show, in every respect, offers a series of images that impose themselves by their strength and are anchored in the memory. In an austere setting, hard and cold, like the marble it is supposed to depict, Paco Dècina does not tell a story, but offers us in bits and pieces of tenuous sensations, light and carnal impressions. Remains of memory, fragmented memories. There are many emotions held under the apparent coldness. Paco Dècina draws daily shadows on the large marbles, in front of a staircase that rises towards night. The game of memory to which he engages is made of disappointed loves, seduction, expectation and desires, indifference too. His show is inhabited, intense, he has what it takes breath and soul, without easy effects or grandiloquence. We must applaud the dancers who surround Paco Dècina. to their technical qualities is added this force of dramatic expression that makes the slightest emotion sensitive.
Paco Dècina plays with music, light and bodies. Norma's opening, smallly chopped and repeated at the envy, provides effective support for the movement. Paradoxically, light is perhaps the least convincing thing in this shadow show. It is necessary to capture every moment of this dense and brief creation. Time passes too fast, and here more than anywhere else. Only marbles, large marbles, have time for them. All poets know this Paco Decina understood.
« Circumvesuviana », choreography by Paco Dècina The Pina Bausch style in Neapolitan style
Rome. It's so rare to meet a new, true choreographer, that - when that happens - you'd really want to scream, celebrate, shoot firecracker braids. Specially relevant firecracker braids, moreover, from the moment this choreographer , Paco Dècina - is a true Neapolitan and his show, at the Trianon, is called Circumvesuviana.
In Italy, Decina had danced with Vittorio Biagi. Then he went to Paris where he founded his own band and where he quickly became famous, in the world of contemporary dance, especially after winning the choreography competition "Glass Menagerie". Five other dancers work with him, all good, both from a technical-stylistic point of view and from the point of view of expressive intensity.
Paco Dècina's show presents itself at first glance as a kind of Neapolitan distancing of Pina Bausch: the six performers wear clothes of an absolute, normal bourgeois daily life; but they have bare feet and metaphysical or surreal behaviors. This, in itself, already creates a wonderful atmosphere of ambiguity and tension. Then the true originality, probably very Neapolitan, of Paco Dècina is felt: here is a "routine" - a series of gestures and repeated steps - inspired by the common places of Neapolitan song and parthenoean gestures (Neapolitan) in general. Gestures and not being used as "found objects" in a pleasant and bizarre way. And then again, here's a series of short dances, which have one or more scales like Element Bearing. Each scale is, it is presumed, a mountain, a Vesuvius, an aspiration, a flight to heaven. All men and women have a kind of "sacred heart" on their chests, a clear allusion to ancient and new rituals now meaningless. But curiously, as the show unravels, fluid and fast, we think less and less about Naples and more and more about our daily adventure of life, between reassuring traditional vocations and wild and destructive instincts.
Among the performers, we found with satisfaction two valiant young Roman dancers: Donata D'Urso, already a collaborator of Marco Brega; and Andrea Battaglia, elegant and very focused, who seems to have matured sufficiently during the years of working with Decina, after his debut with Vittorio Biagi and Bob Curtis.
Paco Dècina had already emerged in previous encounters as one of the most lively and original talents. At this annual "Dansa e dintorni" meeting, he confirmed that he had acquired a complete choreographic maturity. All the works in his repertoire start from experience, then detach themselves from it in search of a metaphysical reality.
Even "Circumvesuviana" is a symbolic journey around the villages of Vesuvius, but the author specified that "there will be no extended linen, nor spaghetti" because he is not interested in the Naples of tourist postcards and he does not want to show it to us. Rather, his will is to restore the essence of it to us, through evocation and by constantly remaining vigilant not to fall into the banal. The city of Naples is suggested by stairs, hula-hops that turn spiritually to a music of Carosone, by ex-voto attached to the chest of the dancers.
The music is based on an idea of the body in harmonious relation between the ground and the air. The audience cheered the show with many live encores. Perhaps Milan itself has appreciated a talent that France has already recognized for a long time.
Paco Decina for the first time in Rome
What is the "napolitanity" selon Paco Dècina? Nothing too predictable: no mandolin, no extended linen, no polish. No garish color, no postcard. Naples is something else: a mental event, a fantastic theory of signs. Passionate and engluing melancholy, want to flee elsewhere, beyond the shadow of Vesuvius. Far from the trap of a railway belt, the Circumvesuviana, which serves all the villages at the foot of the volcano.
And there, in this tunnel without sun, without the glare of the Mediterranean light, in this Circumvesuviana translated into the memory of dreams, "napolitanity" is above all a world of shadow made up of the tasty and burning caresses of a secret and talkative body, physical languages born of so many emotions, messages emitted by a way of walking or running, sitting or climbing stairs, crossing legs or squatting on the ground.
A network of signals: female rounds that swirl slightly, the emergence of relaxed and arrogant boys, a woman's gaze like a Madonna ecstasy, the body of a man suspended in the air without apparent support, mysterious emblem of a strange Christ in a cross-jacket, like a fantasy captured in our daily lives. It is from these rapid and fleeting breaches, without the slightest trace of roughly or tinkering, that the show Circumvesuviana by Paco Dècina, who is a young Italian choreographer successfully adopted by Paris, is composed. Hosted last spring at the Théâtre de la Bastille (which co-produced it), already invited to prestigious European events (holland Festival, the Festival of Arles), and now visiting Rome for the first time (for the review of Italian groups at the Trianon), Circumvesuviana lives on chiaroscuro and nuances, on the basis of a poetic and intimate dance that knows how to play on transparency, precision and intensity of details.
Orchestrating with taste movements never banal or stereotyped, Paco Dècina builds an expressive dimension of his own, in which he demonstrates that he has been able to imagine with a personal eye both on German dance theatre and on the "lightest" new French dance. The result is fresh and captivating, punctuated by a collage of "popular" music still alive, very well lit and interpreted with a tender conviction by the three dancers (tight in small silky and floral costumes of the 50s) and the three impetuous dancers (in dark cross-jacket): they are Donata D'Urso, Sophie Lessard, Claire Rousier, Andrea Battaglia, Carlo Diaconale, and Paco Dècina himself.
Each exhibits, exactly in the place of the heart, an ex-voto Pinned: it is a small scarlet red heart, a small prayer of love. And in the last scene, swirling, where ex-votos travel from one breast to another in a sinuous braid of figurative feelings, this shuddering melodrama of Latin nostalgia that runs through the whole show, finally explodes explicit, formally declared. It moves forward strongly and loudly, like a little train on this bad railway line which, like an old crown, surrounds with its arms the sovereign heart of Naples.
Arles: 'Circumvesuviana' is a raunchy dance from the South. This must happen in a distant time, which fled like a bicycle thief. The three women roll hula-hoops on their beautiful hips. Men in dark suits only ride mechanics. We hear an amazing peninsular boogie-woogie: "Si voi far l'Americano mericano mericano... " that recalls the days when the Italian boot was swinging with the rangers of these Yankee liberators. "Circumvesuviana" , named after the little train that surrounds the volcano of the Bay of Naples, is a beautiful choreography by Paco Dècina. "An excuse to talk about the men and women of the South." "No linen or spaghetti," warns the program.
Here, the South hangs from a more subtle thread. Of course, the boys have the carriage-like locks and the eye of the smoky, and the girls have dark open dresses in farm satin. But geography is rapidly disable. We wait for the mandolins, we come across a paso doble Derailed. We go from the contours of Vesuvius to the ramparts of Seville. Other South, same languor, same nostalgia. We will even see the sobs of a gypsy violin.
The staging itself often blurs the steps. Some paintings are set like a squadron of carabinieri: of the ten dancers, we only want to see one body. Others are bathed in a beautiful anarchy, inseparable from Latinity. A mysterious frac character drags a stool. Another drops a ladder. A dancer runs around the stage. But, as we know, as silence is musical, disorder is choreographic.
POLVERIGI - In Naples at the Porta Capuana, there is a watchmaker. Inside, the machines of time chant the minutes and old pendulum swings in perpetual motion. Circumvesuviana, Paco Dècina's show seems to have come out of this artisan shop; phlegmatic, mellow, Latin, with a course that puts you in suspense and abstract gestures that follow one another, separate, in a musical composition Expanded to everything. Memoirs of a South African, Partenoean, Sicilian who dances between an image and a mirage, the balances born of the Latin belly.
Aesthetic, languid, animated by a hidden passive energy that pulsates as in the rhythm of some dervish dances, 'Circumvesuviana' offers a recognizable form. The movements of the dancers evade the character, their looks are disenchanted, impenetrable, almost absent. Three women and three men dance to a syncopated rhythm, one action succeeds the other without variation in intensity, but, from scene to scene, the movements acquire some "allotrope" element, which seems to come from far away.
A precise composition appears, which loses the visual and temporal traces of the beginning, condenses the emotions, seduces, unexpectedly, in the space of a dilated time.
Women sketch "recalls"; a dancer sits on a staircase, ironically evoking the adoration of Our Lady, two other actors on the ground look at her blissfully: but she could also be a whore, a street girl or some places buried under the rocks at the foot of Vesuvius. Men, often in groups and separated, move with imperceptible seduction. Everything happens without anything new happening.
But this apparent boredom is precisely the key to reading the show, which uses almost stereotypical expressive codes, which are housed within everyday, fluid and recognizable gestures. The expression of the faces is minimized, the dance is patron of the stage, the intimacy flows gently over all the choreography of Decina.
A southern feature marks the whole scene: it is an ex-voto heart that the six dancers wear on their chests and lace at the end on a steel staircase.
With Paco Dècina, Andrea Battaglia, Donata D'Urso, Sophie Lessard, Claire Rousier, Carlo Diaconale and Camille Le Prince, who danced to the music of Carosone, Tagliaferri, Toshi and ... Mr. Doors.
Circumvesuviana by Paco Dècina
Paco Decina, a rising name! After a first choreography for the Paris competition in 1985, a first prize at the Menagerie de Verre in June 1987 (replacing the Bagnolet competition), the public found for the fifth time this Italian in his thirties, who willingly drew his inspiration from his Neapolitan childhood. Her latest play, "Circumvesuviana", premiered in Ivry at the end of February, is inspired by the women of Southern Italy. Machist, Paco Decina? No, rather realistic, with a good portion of humor, musical memories of the sixties, and a penchant for city costumes emphasizing the difference of the sexes.
Paco Decina had the vision of a Madonna suspended high. The Adoration of Mary (Sophie Lessard) settles ironically: she brings a metal ladder, climbs up and sits down. Donata d'Urso and Claire Rousier, on the floor, look at her blissfully. They've already made us smile with their sexy sway. For the image of these women hesitates between the Madonna and the whore, under the gaze of men,
For three quarters of an hour, Paco Dècina evolves the three women and three men into separate groups. It is only at the end that couples form: each takes off his red badge (a heart resembling that of the Society of Jesus) to stick it on one of the six ladders brought by the dancers.
The gestures are abstract, the movements jerky and angular, performed on a varied musical montage. A special mention for the lights of Dominique Mabileau, who colors the floor pink and the ladders in blue: and even dares to put us in the eyes full of stars above the plateau. to fall backwards.
When the play starts, you think that it may be enough to invent a succession of actions to sum up the show. It is thought that this Energetic ensemble movement that inaugurates the space v sign too quickly a piece that would only dilute its main assets. It is to forget that Paco Dècina is Italian of body and soul, that his dancers have the look of embers and practice the art of being desired, that his dancers have velvet eyelids and promising swaying and that, despite this, he will not hesitate, in order to "heat" the room, to arrange all around the stage heated ramps In: Vesuvius obliges.
It must be noted that after a very choreographic first scene of exhibition, finely written, it becomes impossible to accurately spot substantial changes in gestures. The universe is installed, the codes defined; for the most part, these gestures are known, the proposed forms recognizable and it is only in their subtle composition, in their singular arrangement that a surreptitious poetry will be born.
A few obliques here and there, a few physical tricks and some tricks of actors come to brighten a general atmosphere passionate but languid, relaxed but thrilling. While a woman runs in a circle, her arms restlessly by a start, a man rests vertically on the ridge of a ladder, balanced on her stomach, and a couple embraces. Later, the three women will undulating from the pelvis in a hula-hoop contest behind a trio-macho of more beautiful men. Elsewhere, a woman is perched on a ladder and men, inexorably, cross the plateau with a clear air.
The dance of Paco Dècina requires a considerable stage presence that not all performers have yet. Nevertheless, we feel that the human relations of the team of dancers have been able to find an anchor just inside this atmosphere sometimes melodic, often ironic, but never cruel. The embers of the eyes seem nourished by the tenderness, that of the choreographer for his dancers, that of the dancers for their compatriots and for the public too. Then they can show their heart, beat lashes, play dimple, sincerity trumps the cliché and nothing has more charm than this ballad around Vesuvius accompanied by the sweet melodies of a bel canto singer detoxifying. But this obvious-looking dance sometimes hides dark, deep accents.
in the image of the composition that spreads, makes the visual and temporal cues lose, verges on boredom and then catches the eye with a sudden condensation of emotion, the dance follows this syncopated rhythm, settles into a proposal, exhausts it and moves on to the next without variation in intensity. Drained underground, the poetic moments then surface with confidence, as if they were long awaited, denouncing previous actions as possible false leads.
It will be enough for a man to tilt ladders in balance on each other to put an end to what we never really saw begin: Circumvesuviana.
Paco Decina at the lectern at the "Orologio"
A choreographer from Paris
Paco Dècina: a naturalized Neapolitan in Paris who froze the emotionality of the south in the rigour of the French capital.
Thirty-three years old, dancer and choreographer, teacher at the choreographic centre of Champigny, winner of the first prize "conceptographies", Paco Dècina presented this weekend at the Piccolo Orologio "Tempi morti".
The show, the second part of the "theatre and dance between tradition and prospective" programming, was applauded at length for its novelty and for the professionalism of the dancers.
Two couples and a man are on stage walking through the "paesaggi sentimentali" drawn by the choreography of Dècina. Loves, nostalgia, boredom, desires, are the emotions of eternal stories of love and abandonment. Andalusian melodies, Brazilian rhythms, themes borrowed from lyrical art are intertwined in the score of the show.
Decina tells the feelings, but without emotions. His dances are worthy of the best lessons on distance, the face of his dancers is frozen in an impassive mask. This is perhaps the neapolitan choreographer's most personal imprint: his impassability in the face of feelings and his geometric rigor in choreographic composition. The space of the Orologio, with its three doors open on the plateau, has perfectly lent itself to the composition of the "paesaggi sentimentali".
There is no set design, the costumes are classic, as gestures, often borrowed from everyday life, can be conventional gestures. The dancers are not even afraid to show the heaviness of their bodies.
(m.z.) Carlino Reggio
Paco Dècina's show was widely applauded
Under the title "Theatre and Dance Between Traditions and Foresight," Piccolo Orologio's 1987-1988 theatrical season featured Post-Retroguardia in "Tempi morti," a work by young Neapolitan choreographer Paco Dècina, which, after a Milanese debut last May at the Porta Romana Theatre, won in France the "Prix de la Ménagerie de verre 1987" which replaced the famous Bagnolet competition.
Paco Dècina is of Italian origin, but, as happens frequently, he owes his own fame to his indisputable abilities but also to the sensitivity of Paris and France in general towards dance, which first adopted him as a pupil of Peter Gross and Anne Dreyfus, then discovered as a choreographer.
But if "Tempi morti" seems at first to fit, to fit completely into the style and taste of the new French dance, through his vocabulary of cold, stereotypical movements and gestures, with minimal variations and totally unbalanced in the way of giving the choreography the scene of a highly scenographic work, we realize after a few moments that Paco Dècina and his group, while adopting the movements of this base, recompose it in total freedom.
In "Tempi morti" , Paco Dècina does not invent a new style but makes the show run an unusual, absolutely Italian poetry, which accentuates situations, the everyday life, which is ultimately the theme of work, complexity, mystery.
In essence, his constant work is that of an implicit decodification that shows what is seen until it is not seen.
The real subject of his work is neither boredom nor static, but the flow of time, his virtuality never considered, those moments when nothing seems to happen and on the contrary everything happens. Five dancers, two couples and a man move, meet, separate in the closed space of a room, poor, devoid of stage elements. Here, thanks also to the captivating musical bases (Hector Berlioz and Latin American rhythms), the secret wounds of humanity, transmitted without naming them, almost modestly, but not without irony. It is the mysteries, the hidden prides, the secret pains "reflections of the soul" intimate.
But Decina and her dancers (who are worth naming: Andrea Battaglia, Sophie Lessard, Alvaro Morell Bonet, Claire Rousier) are always present and give life, with the help of Dominique Mabileau for the lights, to a series of very clear images (the gaze is fixed, the expression of faces is reduced to the maximum, precise gestures, never languorous), to an essential work that reflects the apparent emptiness of everyday life in theatrical terms, without being theatre but instead of theatre.
The choreographer who seduced Paris is at the Orologio
"Tempi morti" see replayed tomorrow night, always at 9:30 p.m
"I have no certainty except one: I dance myself Thus speaks Paco Dècina, 32 years old, pomettes dug at the Nureyev (some say: it looks like Gadès), former painter-scenographer-actor and now dancer and choreographer. His story began in Naples and continued in France, where he first worked with Anne Dreyfus before founding the company "Post Retroguardia": two boys, two girls and him. "We are in a great tune," he says. For me, a dancer is a person before being a pair of legs and arms. That is why the human relationship seems fundamental to me and that I only manage to work well with people who have a history, a lived experience. I am not inspired by a young man of barely twenty years. It's still a clean slate."
Tonight and tomorrow, Paco Dècina will be in Reggio, at the Piccolo Orologio Theatre. He will present "Tempi morti", a strange creation, attentive to a free dance, in line with the choices of the main authors of Central Europe: Bausch, Goss, Chaupinot. "Tempi morti" received the 1987 Glass Menagerie Prize. Decina said of the show: "You don't have to tell stories. I always talk about real things, but through behavioral clichés. On stage, there are men and women with a very precise individuality, not fantastic characters." They don't have stage costumes but real clothes. On set, everything that can happen in a human relationship happens. There are two couples and a single character who determine sentimental landscapes. "Tempi morti" is constantly balancing emotion and feeling. We almost never touch each other, the relationship between us is impalpable. It could be a show about incommunicability, but there is irony and ambiguity." And again: "I don't think of doing dance theatre, even if my show is theatrical. What he says is the attitude towards what is being done, because between theatre and dance, I don't think there are differences in aesthetics but only in motivation ."
With Paco Dècina will perform Andrea Battaglia, Sophie Lessard, Alvaro Morell Bonet, Claire Rousier. Curtain-raising at 9:30 p.m. Second session tomorrow night.
There is a strange quality that links the characters of "Tempi morti", The play by Paco Dècina presented on June 15 at the Glass Menagerie.
A murky feeling that is not of a love order, and which, detached from the internal rhythm of dance, is expressed by frustrated actions, almost gestures. In this couple dance (two plus a solitary dancer), there are calculated heaviness in the falls, prolonged stations that make the body heavier than usual.
There is also a brutal character in the overall arrangement of the danced pieces.A few bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling, changed Latin American pieces, and simple costumes, complete to give the ensemble a desolate and everyday character, which does not necessarily exist during the performances in theaters.
It's danced, played, the dance is staged, full of poses, finally it's as you want, but it necessarily goes through the theater without being dance-theatre. Paco Dècina does not invent a particular language, but the sincerity of his speech outweighs the modesty and reserve of his writing.
The casualness of the American Sophie Lessard and the vertical solemnity of Claire Rousier serve admirably this Italian-style downtime.
The intelligent composition still suffers from a tendency to extend the scope of each gesture over time. Too bad, because the nostalgic and nonchalant atmosphere loses its strength. In short, it gets a little long. It may be enough to never believe that the suspension requires length. Despite this, Post Retroguardia has found a rare and subtle tone. to follow...
La Ménagerie de Verre, under the direction of Marie-Thérèse Allier, gave young choreographers the opportunity to show the work they had prepared for the late Bagnolet 1987 competition, which disappeared suddenly before being declared public-cultural.
On 31 May and 1 June, therefore, fourteen companies presented fifteen pieces. From pure experimentation, to avant-garde attempts, from the immobility of beautiful poses to a few clumsy attempts, only one company has clearly emerged. Post Retroguardia and its choreographer Paco Dècina, who lives in Paris.
Avec "Tempi Morti", presented on June 15, she won the 1st prize handily. Its performers, who are of complete accuracy, including in the slow and difficult passages, recall the humour and sense of tragedy characteristic of Italian films of the fifties. The company won a month-long residency at the Glass Menagerie.
(...) But perhaps the most anticipated company was Paco Dècina's "Post-Retroguardia," scheduled on Wednesday with a brief work on Purcell's music, and tonight, Friday, with a more committed choreography, "Travel Notebook" , inspired by the theme of travel and the emotions associated with it.
Paco Dècina has been practising for two years in France where he runs the Champigny Conservatory, after working at the "Carcano" in the prestigious company of Louis Falco, as part of the shows around Leonardo da Vinci. Thirty years old, originally from Naples, Decina studied with Bob Curtis and Peter Gross, whose taste for movement never interrupted, obtained by a continuous flow of energy.
On Wednesday, his performance "Palm trees on Colva Beach" , autobiographical, based on the theme of abandonment, was enthusiastically praised by the public. (...)
(...) Among all, a young man distinguished himself, Italian by birth but now French by adoption, Paco Dècina, who with a very brief choreography of only fourteen minutes managed to offer moments of authentic emotion. Palm trees on Colva Beach: on the difficult music of Henry Purcell, a very brief but exhaustive sample of intelligence and creative lucidity. Unfortunately, Dècina now works in France, where he finds money and spaces to create, and above all, a small institution that trusts him, the Théâtre Gérard Philippe de Champigny, on the outskirts of Paris. The consensus that Dècina obtained in France from critics and the public allows him to do a serene job, with modest but sufficient means to develop collaboration with his vigorous dancers. (...)