© Catherine Alvès

© Catherine Alvès

Olga de Soto’s work focuses on intimacy and introspection. She uses solos to plunge her performers into essential phases of isolation before letting them grow into characters. The choreographer likes to carve out the rustlings of a tactile music, in which silence precedes and engages our perception. To pick up such sound illusions we must increase the profundity with which we listen. Working with a music that pushes instrumental possibilities to their extreme limits, Olga de Soto seeks an intensity of listening and to interrogate the thought that precedes and accompanies all movement.

Frank Madlener, IRCAM


With Éclats Mats I continue the work of reflection and analysis surrounding movement, which I began in 1996. One of the starting points of this work is the use of verbs and the joining of their meanings. These tools are already present in my work in a more or less concrete or palpable way: in the solo Murmurs ('to find' a position / a gesture / a trace / a movement…), in Strumentale ('breathe' / do not breathe), in Seuls bruits des corps entre eux ('appear', 'disappear', 'graze', 'rub', 'fling'), in … rhizomes… (for example, in the first scene: 'move about', 'lean', 'take', 'hold', 'compress', 'stay' too long…).

With the creation of these different works, I tackle the matter of the intentions and definitions of movement, as well as the motors of corporal action, a priori even if the movement is not only perceived as the significant motor. In working this way I wished to touch upon a possible "semantics" of movement, logically, and in terms of the internal and subjective. This would serve to define the subtext of the performers route, but would stay buried within the work, invisible.

A part of the physical work is based on the search for the other in us, or traces of ourselves left in the other. It is this other, absent, that has shaped the presence of the four people sharing the space-time in this performance. We have explored the memory of these traces and investigated the ways in which contact, support, visual, tactile, and auditory observation of the other’s body can reveal to us our own.

There is a work underneath dealing with possibilities and non-possibilities of the movement's meaning, of the dance which constructs itself in the project. This imposes the question of that which we show and that which we do not show throughout the whole process. There is also the distance along which we must guide the audience to bring them 'to seeing', which is an entire path that it is builded up little by little during the whole performance.

One of my desires has been to continue to explore the body in movement and to take a stand on this dance and to accept my desire to continue dancing, in a movement of creation that concentrates itself on the abadonment of movement. But it is also the wish to bring a new way of looking on my relation to contemporary music, to free my dance of that which may have appeared as a 'joining' with the music and to free myself of this 'giving a visual to the music', which was at the heart of works such as Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues (1996). In this way, I would like to affirm my relationship with the music not in a accomapnying manner, where the gesture is directly linked to the musical work, but rather a confrontation of two parallel reflections, two experiences of tiem and space, a simultaneity which calls upon seeing and hearing.

This work has been also an occasion to further my encounter with the violist Garth Knox and to pursue the experience of performing with musicians on stage, first begun with the creation of Paumes, in 1997.

Finally, there is the desire to continue de dialogue, which I began in 1997, between my work and the œuvre of the Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino, of whose following works I have previously choreographed: Sei quartetti brevi, All'aure in una lontananza and Canzona di ringraziamento. The compositions which share this choreographic work are Tre notturni brillanti and Ai limiti della notte, both written for viola.

Sciarrino's work could be qualified as post-modern; it seeks in some ways to reinvent the instrument's sonorities, by trying to define its proper sonorous territory. The Tre notturni brillanti incarnate this sonorous world: not a single note is played "normally", everything is a whirlwind of harmonies, trills, tremolos and jetés, an instrumental tightrope number executed at lightning speed. The instrumental techniques, which Sciarrino calls upon aim to push the natural characteristics of the instrument to its limits.

For Garth Knox, the music of Salvatore Sciarrino presents a "specificity": the extreme reduction of the sound level in proportion the degree of energy invested. This has defined a very concrete way of working; starting on a great scale of activity and progressively diminishing the dimensions of the action, the scope and the length of the movement, while still attempting to keep the resulting intensity. This work has brought forth a state of intensive listening (born from concentration), which is the passkey to the music of Sciarrino.

Olga de Soto, 2001

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