L’UN À QUEUE FOUETTEUSE
RARELY HAS A DANCE SHOW BEEN SO POLITICAL, SERIOUS AND ACCOMPLISHED.
THIERRY SARTORETTI - RTS CULTURE
Concept & choreography: Perrine Valli
Performers: Arnaud Bacharach, Fabio Bergamaschi, Marthe Krummenacher, Manon Parent, Corina Pia, Evita Pitara, Rémi Richaud, Rudi van der Merwe
Sound creation: Eric Linder/ Polar
Drums: Bernard Trontin
Lighting: Laurent Schaer
Promotion: Gabor Varga
Administration: Laure Chapel, Pâquis Production
Production: Association Sam-Hester
Sponsors: Ville de Genève, Loterie Romande, Pro Helvetia — Swiss Arts Council, SSA Bourse chorégraphique, Fondation Emilie Gourd, Fondation Ernst Göhner, Migros Cultural Percentage, la Fondation suisse pour les artistes interprètes, le Fonds d'encouragement à l'emploi des intermittents genevois. Perrine Valli is the associate artist with Dôme Théâtre, a dance theatre subsidised for 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Photo: Dorothée Thébert
No hesitation about the title: L’Un à queue fouetteuse. No humming and haring about the reference: American art brut painter Henry Darger (1892-1973) whose eponymous painting pictures menacing male characters opposite young girls with penises. No failings either about the uncomfortable brutality (…). That is Perrine Valli: direct, well-founded and precise. She drops the folder for the new show on the table: powerful pictorial inspiration, a network of meanings based on violence and innocence, a consistent social background… She says it all, shows the darker side, and exposes the ramifications of the show’s slow and meticulous development. Parallel to this “appropriation” of Darger’s paintings, the choreographer is at a turning point in her work following the Charlie Hebdo attacks. “I’m an atheist but I respect religion. I associated these attacks against innocent people with Darger’s painting. Over time, obscurantism has established itself as the main topic of my show.” Perrine Valli fuels this extra-large issue, seen through the prism of religion with an acute reflection on bodies which she believes “are in danger because of a return of dark forces and a form of virility, embodied among others by Trump and Putin. Power is the prevailing model at the moment.”
Gradually, a theatre stage reminiscent of Plato’s Cave, with huge projected shadows, comes into view. “The chained prisoners evoked by the philosopher are kept in the dark and can only be afraid of the shadows which are so obviously evil, adds Perrine. To reassure themselves, the idea of religion emerges with its illusory promises.” To embody this whirlwind of situations and intricate reflections, driven on one side by current events that do nothing but foster chaos, and supported on the other by Darger’s pictorial world, Perrine Valli chooses to stage eight dancers, four men and four women. More concerned than ever about dance composition, she aims to keep the balance between narration and abstraction “without slipping into didactics and illustration. However, I get bored when I don’t have a precise topic. Searching for movement for the sake of movement without a project is of no interest to me. Here, I sought movements based on verticality, on the idea of rising up and crashing down.” This abstract tension, intensely fuelled by images, nevertheless reaches a clear, physical conclusion thanks to Perrine Valli.
Text : Rosita Boisseau
13 January: Tanzhaus, Zurich, Switzerland (public rehearsal)
26 April - 6 May: ADC-Genève, Switzerland
17-18 November: Halles de Schaerbeek, Brussels, Belgium