Jean-Marc Lachaud

On a sunny square in the old city of Uzès, passers-by, alerted by the aggressive/anguished sounds of stones in a landslide, could watch Hontanar, a duet by Olga de Soto (who also dances in flawless affinity with her accomplice Pascale Gigon). Corresponding to the 'poetical burden' of René Char, she inflicts the bodies (dressed in overalls) to the painful and liberating experience of deconstruction: that which unfolds in an apparently suspended time, between repetitions and in a fleeing space. The full and dislocated bodies give sense to this violent game, destabilising the conventions linked to the horizontal and vertical. The dancers caress and strike the wall, scaling it and sliding down it with fluidity (sometimes with their head towards the ground). The movement gives the bodies the force to defy the injuries which gnaw at them and favours the birth of a happy, almost provocative, fullness.

Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues, also created in 1996, is a piece that releases an energy of freedom. Trapped in Frederic Rzewski's music (based on a song sung by the workers of America's cotton factories) the bodies are submitted to the infernal cadence of servile work. Little by little their movements seem to become emancipated. From then on the dance becomes centred, experiencing the pain of alienating domination and the pleasure of a hoped for liberation. In a succession of tremblings, which shakes the bodies between fear and pleasure, the mechanical movements give way to shouts. These show, without any modesty, an authentic eroticism, an orgasmic ecstasy, which reminds us of life's true demands. A philosophical hedonism similar to Michel Onfray's theories in his treaty The Rebel's Policy.

With Murmurs (1997), Olga de Soto exposes herself, distant and close, pure and human, cold and desirable, to the audience which is both surprised and touched by this frankness. Invisibly naked under her dress, she shows us the small, imperceptible slips which write on her flesh the activity of her muscles. It is the heart of spinning humanity, too often trampled on by the principles of reality. In these truthful moments the body of the dancer creates a subtle and unceasing modulation, broken only by the gashes left by the oboe. Intimacy is given and stolen, masked and revealed, as something inaccessible yet bearing a promise to conquer. Olga de Soto is a young Spanish choreographer who has most notably studied at CNDC in Angers before dancing for Michèle Anne De Mey and founding her own company (Abaroa) in 1995. Settled in Belgium, she carries within her the powerful forces of refusal and affirmation. Her approach is loveable and courageous because her dance is without artifice and resonates with the sharing of unfulfilled desires.

Jean-Marc Lachaud, Hontanar / Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues / Murmures, in Le Corps: exhibition / révélation, SKÊNÊ, No. 2-3, October 1998