Thinking about women and how they relate with space, French choreographer and dancer Cecile Proust developed the femmeuseposturalE show. Relying on a group of multigenerational professional and amateur dancers coming from different backgrounds, the performances use contemporary dance to explore issues such as the construction of the female genre. Visiting Minas Gerais for the third time, Cecile is currently making the final adjustments in the performances that will take place this week at Inhotim, on March 14 and 15. Between rehearsals in the Institutes gardens, the choreographer took a break to talk to Blog do Inhotim. Comfortably sitting in one of the benches by Hugo França, she talked about performing at the park, as well as about her view on women in todays society, her influences and much more. Read everything in the interview that follows.
Blog do Inhotim How did the idea for this show come about?
Cecile Proust From the beginning, the Femmeuse evokes the question of gender, feminism, art and the connections that can be made between these points. The performances presented in femmeuseposturalE are a female answer to the work of French choreographer Fabrice Ramalingom, Postural: études, created for a group of 15 men. We made this work with choreographies presented only by women. In this work, we can find influences of Odile Duboc [French director] and American director Bob Wilson, with whom I have worked before. There are several other influences, but Brazilian painter and sculptor Lygia Clark has also brought a lot of references.
BI What is your view on women in todays society and which message does the show wish to convey in regard to women?
CP It is hard to define the woman in todays society with accuracy, for there are millions of them and they are all different from one another. I believe we should all just leave the word and space free for them. Each woman should be able to express herself in the several different ways she can. Therefore, we should leave this space open and let the invisible emerge within women. This is precisely what the show explores, women’s freedom of movement within the space they occupy. .
BI The choreographies are performed with professional and amateur dancers, including Inhotim employees. What is the intent of this proposal?
CP We specifically seek these different bodies working for the dance, rather than just one. This way we can bring out different experiences and effects and observe how these womens bodies mingle with one other during the choreography. This professional-amateur relationship makes the performance unique, different in every movement, and this is reflected both for the dancers and for the audience.
BI How does it feel to have Inhotim as the setting for this performance?
CP It is wonderful. This place is truly amazing. Also, working with choreographies that involve works such as Desert Park (2010), by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Piscina (2009), by Jorge Macchi, like we are going to do, is even more interesting, since both these works have great impact on the body, on energy and on space itself. The thing is, the whole of Inhotim is exceptional and mesmerizing right off the bat. I remember when we first came here back in 2012, Jacques [Hoepffner, visual artist and partner in preparing the show] and I only had half a day to visit the park. But even though this first visit was a quick one, we looked around and said, Wow! We want to develop a project here. And today this has been made possible.
BI What unique aspect has Inhotim brought to these performances?
CP Well, it is important to say that the performances we will be presenting here have been created specifically for this place, and they are related to these who artworks were will be using as the setting. Even with the connections we can draw between these performances and other materials from choreographers in France, or even other works I have developed in the past, at Inhotim we have this special relationship with space, nature, the weather, the vegetation, which is totally different from what we are used to in Europe. All of this brings unique elements to the choreographies and is totally aligned with this strong relationship with the environment developed in this work.
BI What are your expectations for the work at Inhotim?
CP It is hard to foresee what is going to happen, but often what we expect changes a bit when it becomes real, which ends up being one of the most fascinating aspects of this presentation. I believe something that is interesting and very typical of the artistic work is to allow yourself to be transformed by experiences and by those working with you. Our project is totally transformed by those who take part in the presentations, as well as by the space itself. Of course we have an idea of the results, but what truly matters is this transformation and how the place can impact the performances. We are always curious to know what will happen. I think the same thing happens with the audience.
Are you also curious to know the result of the performance? Then, make sure to go to Inhotim and check out the femmeuseposturalE. Click here for more details on this performance.