Feature: Frédéric Flamand

Friday 18 April 2008

Frédéric Flamand

- choreographer & Artistic Director of Charleroi Danses, has been working
with architects since 1996 to realise his work, which has often been made for
non-theatrical spaces – swimming pools, factories and also collaborating with
artists in other art forms.

His first collaboration with architects was ‘Moving Target’ (seen in London last year @ the Queen Elizabeth Hall) with New York based architects
Diller and Scofidio for whom, he says:_“Architecture is everything that can be made or done between the skin of one
person and the skin of another person. Dance is akin to this”_.

For Flamand, the body is at the heart of questions of space and the skin is the
point of interaction. ‘Moving Target’ explored the schizophrenia associated with Nijinski’s notebooks and the relationship
between human bodies and virtual machines. It attempted to unsettle its audience,
to fragment their interpretation and ‘prevent them from getting their bearings
in space’. It included the use of a huge mirror set at an angle of 45 degrees
to the stage, reflecting the movement thereon, thereby raising questions about
what is ‘real’ and true and what is illusory, or false.

His next collaborator was Zaha Hadid, whose architecture he describes as ‘always starting from movement’. ‘Metapolis’ (at the QEH as part of Dance Umbrella this year) is an interrogation of the
city, the same the world over – and the sprawling triumph of the suburb, epitomised
by Los Angeles – the centre-less city. It includes projections of the city on
to dancers bodies.

Flamand sees the world as becoming more ‘transparent’ – as we communicate through
the world wide web – where is ‘the body’, where are ‘we’?

Most recently he has worked with Jean Nouvel on ‘Work.Leisure’, which again explores the implications of new technology: _“a reflection on the status of the body defined by criterias of calculation,
order and speed applied to space and time by the industrial revolution, while
waiting the mutations implied by the digital revolution.”_

Next: Carol Brown

Link for Frederic Flamand


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