Le Cabaret discrépant

A Prologue

"So we're going to have to spill over into the auditorium, the hall, the corridors, the street and even into the spectators' imaginations."

It would be a shame not to take this opportunity to showcase the polymorphous nature of Lettrism, as well as the particularly rich artistic context in which it is rooted. Taking as my model the concerts and cabarets organised by Fluxus and Dada, I am proposing a series of installations and performances around the show itself. Other spaces will be occupied, depending on the possibilities of the venue, in disjointed fragments, leaving the spectators free to organise their own perspective, coherence and reading. Depending on the nature of the proposal, these could be stand-alone installations lasting one or more days during the performance, or as an opening to the show, or events conceived as an exhibition.

19 ballets ciselants

"The problem is no longer whether or not the artist knows how to dance, but simply whether or not they want to dance".

19 ballets ciselants revisits the dance proposals of the Lettrist movement, offering a lecture in the form of a choreographic fugue.

A tribute to a movement of great formal and critical inventiveness, as much as a reflection on the issues and driving forces that have been shaping dance for the last fifteen years, 19 ballets ciselants brings together musicality and meticulous composition, engagement of body and voice, critical irony, a polemic tribune and an anti-reactionary political manifesto for a dance that believes in its essential and original place.

By attacking the foundations of ballet, Isidore Isou and Maurice Lemaître literally pulverised the choreographic art of their time and, with devastating humour, laid the foundations for a reflection that continues to influence dance today. They invented writing processes that offered multiple entry points.

The scores of Maurice Lemaître, for example, consist of very precise movement instructions and represent a kind of historical imprint of dance in France at the turn of the 1950s.

Dance of the amorphous and the arrhythmic, of slowness and immobility, dance of disappearance - how can we fail to make the connection between these Lettrist proposals and some of the most radical works of recent years? The same goes for the idea that underpins their relationship with dance, namely to divide the body into mobile and inert sections in order to count every possible particle of the human anatomy, right down to its mucous or liquid elements! While we might question the 'scientific' nature of the proposal (Lettrism was intended to be a science!), it is not unlike the somatic practices in vogue in today's choreographic world, and a source of sometimes truly innovative writing processes.


Press coverage

"Entourée de cinq interprètes d’exception, Olivia Grandville s’amuse de l’histoire de la danse pour en réécrire les formes et les intentions.

Lettrisme et mécanique de la danse.
Partant du principe de mouvement comme langage poétique, elle exhume les théories propres au Lettrisme d’Isidore Isou et de Maurice Lemaître dans les années cinquante, dont le Manifeste de la danse ciselante est une trace aux résonances fulgurantes. S’ensuit avec les danseurs une conférence surréaliste déboulonnant la critique, l’histoire, la forme. Le Cabaret discrépant devient alors un haut lieu d’agitation poétique, mais aussi d’expérimentations s’attachant à d’autres références comme pour mieux relire voire réécrire l’histoire de la danse. Venu de cette fabuleuse danseuse qu’est Olivia Grandville, passée par l’Opéra de Paris avant de traverser tout l’univers de Bagouet, et servi par des interprètes de haut vol, l’exercice pourrait être périlleux. Il n’en a que plus d’intérêt.", Nathalie Yokel, La Terrasse, juillet 2011.


Conception: Olivia Grandville, based on Isidore Isou
Artistic collaboration and lighting design: Yves Godin
Interpretation: Olivia Grandville, Catherine Legrand, Laurent Pichaud, Pascal Quéneau, Manuel Vallade
Lighting and stage management: Sébastien Vergnaud

Production: Mille Plateaux, CCN La Rochelle

Co-production: Toulouse Choreographic Development Centre / Midi-Pyrénées, Museum of Dance - National Choreographic Centre of Rennes and Brittany, Centre Chorégraphique National de Montpellier as part of the Domaines programme, Arcadi
With the support of association Beaumarchais and the SACD, La Ménagerie de Verre as part of Studiolab and with the contest of Mécènes du Sud.
Le Cabaret discrépant is a Mécènes du Sud 2010 winning project
Thanks to Fanny de Chaillé, François Chaignaud and Laurent Pichaud for their original contribution to this dance.

Mille Plateaux, CCN La Rochelle, management Olivia Grandville it is supported by the Ministry of Culture - DRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, the City of La Rochelle.

Texts from La marche des jongleurs by Isidore Isou (Œuvres de spectacles – © Gallimard Editions), La créatique ou la novatique by Isidore Isou (Al Dante Editions), La danse et le mime ciselants and Fugue mimique by Maurice Lemaître (editor Jean Grassin), Roxana and Hymne à Xôchipilli by Maurice Lemaître (Œuvres poétiques et musicales - le point couleur Editions), Piètre Pitre by François Dufrêne (Archi-Made - École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts, coll. Écrits d’artistes), Visages de L’Avant-Garde : 1953 de l’Internationale lettriste (Jean-Paul Rocher ed), Manifeste de la danse ciselante by Isidore Isou, Partition de la danseuse by Maurice Lemaître (extract from 1er Sonnet Gesticulaire - la danse et le mime ciselants - Jean Grassin editor)