Jean-Jacques Delfour

This duet, Hontanar, Spanish for "fountainhead", is an experience of strangeness, between anxiety and appeasement.

The viewer must operate two planes of perception. One is gestural, on which the two young women move slowly, standing, first on the ground, then against the wall, which they climb head down. The other is sound, in which rocks roll cautiously, crushing something like glass or sand, in an infinite and material melody, insinuating the anguish of the wound by force of friction. The characteristic of this ambient sound is precisely that it does not form space, it does not surround as music often does. This squeaky, guttural rolling of sounds resounds as if one could press his ear to the other side of skin that is being rubbed, grated, scraped. This sound has a microscopic effect, it narrows the hearing space to concentrate it, reduces it to a tiny point in which the noise is disproportionately amplified.

This distortion of the auditory space, to which a narrow imagination of the body responds, as if cut into strips, at the "punctiform" limit, could have a counterpart in the common experience: chewing something very brittle, grilled dry bread, a boiled sweet, makes a sound that resonates within the skull. This sonorous movement is the source of an impossible ecstasy, internal, an "instasy", the verbiage of the bones enclosed in the pharynx. "We designed the dance based on the introspective image of a body in space and its relation to the other," explain the choreographers ... What is the introspective image of the body if not its acoustic echo, the sonic aspects of coenesthesic sensations?

How can we admit the dancers who, in overalls, draw three planes, the first, not surprisingly, vertical, according to the dominant norm, the second horizontal, on which the figures, standing data, appear as if flattened, foreshortened, and finally the third, against the wall they climb upside-down, in a sort of "flow-climb," they call it, head down, overturning the world, defying gravity? They traverse these three planes in a loop, like sound; the visual manipulation of the dimensions of space refers to the acoustic distortion of the auditory space.

Whence a fluctuation, a set of calls and responses, between the dancers and the sound, as between the nymph Echo and Narcissus: alternation of repetitions, repetition of alternations. The visual and the auditory are like two lines on the same staff. Whence exquisite pleasure.

Jean Jacques Delfour, Corps membranes, CASSANDRE: Culture(s), Politique(s) et Société(s) No. 18 (FR), September/October 1997