Note from NYC about Christian Rizzo's b.c, janvier 1545, fontainebleau. Oct 4, 2010

by Jessica

One of OtB's colleagues received this note from Tanya Marquardt, a Vancouver BC based dancer/choreographer, after she had just finished watching Christian Rizzo's b.c, janvier 1545, fontainebleau.. in NYC. Read on for her comments about the performance.

Before I left for New York you both mentioned that if I saw anything exceptional to email. I've been seeing a lot, and mostly feeling disappointed, and then last night I was completely blown away. I saw Christian Rizzo's piece l'association fragile, b.c, janvier 1545, fontainebleau. Perhaps you know the choreographer or even the piece. Christian is a french choreographer, and I saw the show at The Kitchen in the West End. The show was completely sold out, (the Kitchen seats around 400 people, it reminded me a lot of the Dance Centre's space).
Christian based l'association fragile on his relationship with his muse, Julie Guilbert, who performs the piece in a pair of 4 inch heels (the result is totally sexy and also totally alien-like and wonderfully strange). Christian also does his own model making (set) and collaborates with Caty Olive (lighting) and Gerome Nox (sound). The piece is very surreal, dark, sexy and grating. It seems to me to be about female otherness, the sexual gaze, and also chaos, the ritual of performance and how we interact with a chaotic and often totally overwhelming world. It was the first piece I saw in such a long time that was overpowering and visceral and honest. Christian created a world that was so all-consuming, beautiful and grotesque, so stimulating sonically that in spite of being super engaged I had to ask myself "Can I handle this? How much more of this can I handle?"
The movement is very gestural, sustained, and spellbinding. It repeats in a multitude of variations, and over time pulls you into this strange ritual, this otherworldly place where anything seems plausible. There are two performers, Julie, who is one of the most compelling dancers I have ever seen and I think Christian, (the performer was not credited) who is dressed in a very large, scary rabbit mask. The stage is white marley and white walls, a long table, some hanging sculptural bits, and tea lights in glass containers. The sound begins with about 20 minutes of total silence (so powerful) and then the last 40 are a bombarding sonic score, like sound music but with a constant beat. The show ran 60 minutes without an the end of the piece the audience sat in silence for a long while before the lights came up. The performers came on stage and started bowing before we felt released from the world of the piece and started clapping.
[...]Again, perhaps you guys have heard of or seen the piece yourselves. Perhaps you have a different opinion than me. But the piece moved me, and inspired me to keep making art. So I thought I'd tell you about it.

-Tanya Marquardt
[follow Tanya on her blog]