After having been immersed, in her performance histoire(s), in the memories of spectators who had attended the première of The Young Man and Death in June 25th 1946 at Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, Olga de Soto pursues her project of creation which two principal vectors are the History of dance and perception. She focuses her vision on Kurt Jooss’s legendary work The Green Table, premièred in Paris in 1932, a few months before Hitler came to power. This ballet, composed in eight tableaux for sixteen dancers and inspired by a danse macabre of the Middle Ages, is considered one of the most politically engaged works in the history of 20th century dance. The piece is emblematic for the themes it evokes (the rise of fascism and war), its bearing testimony to the troubled period that preceded the Second World War and - in sum - its "visionary" spirit that addressed the sombre reality of a historical moment.
During her research, some questions have emerged: What traces remain in the memory of the people who created a show a long time ago or in the memory of those who, through their work, enable it to survive today? What does transmission involve? What does it mean to be a dancer? What are the place and role of dancers in the History of Dance? How does a dance piece evolve within its own history? And within History? What is the impact of a politically engaged work in the memory of an audience?
An Introduction is the first module issued from this research. A moment of openness and immediacy with the audience, intended to make sharing the process of creation as important as the outcome of the work. The choreographer here reveals the before and after of the show, that is to say the process of inquiry and the impression it has made. She investigates the history of The Green Table and puts on display what normally remains hidden. Her work in this documentary performance is undertaken in this spirit of sharing, tracing the process of a complex work packed with uncertainties and developments, avenues opened and explored in a documentary endeavour that is also an investigation. The choreographer thus raises questions about documentation, while nevertheless interacting with the documents discovered, bringing a new dimension to this material that belongs to the collective memory.