Marie Baudet

Choreographer of the voyage, Olga de Soto has devised an all-encompassing creation for La Raffinerie, with five dancers and a strong visual universe.

Present during the spotlight on contemporary dance, Brussels, dance!, first with the reactivation of her piece Incorporer, Olga de Soto then revealed her new creation on 22nd and 23rd February at La Raffinerie, Charleroi Danse. Mirage is a group piece in which she does not dance herself, instead observing and organising this “shared body”, questioning its emergence and the need for it in a society shaped by individualism.

First and foremost however, the five dancers who took part in this process (Albane Aubry, Edith Christoph, Talia De Vries, Meri Pajunpää and Maria de Dueñas López), appear one by one on the vast white stage, each with her own technique, age, body and personality. These individuals gradually form a group. “A mental landscape in which the body is explored both as a surface, a material and an image"explains Olga de Soto, choreographer and researcher. Her art is that of a voyage, through memory and of the trace, but also, always and above all, that of presence and the absolute present. 

Vague rhythms and frank expressions

Although she has brilliantly incorporated documentary into many of her recent pieces, unmitigated dance is offered in Mirage, whose visual elements were designed with the complicity of Sophie Whettnall. As Olga explains, “Sophie proposed two materials which are dear to her and which are highly present in her works: paper and aluminium. We integrated them in our explorations in the studio, observing them and studying how they reacted to the various physical and dynamic actions.”

Far from imposing itself, the device integrates subtly within the choreography, the group and these women, with their propulsion and releasing movements. Integrating with time also, a capital ingredient of this opus. The force of Mirage, its intense, discreet elegance, lies in the formidable generosity with which the piece invites everyone into its space-time. 

Oscillation, ritual, vibration, slow trance, increasingly slow, then an acceleration, vague rhythms and frank expressions: the energies that are present dialogue with no more respite than insistance. It is fluid, whilst never maintaining the spectator in warmth or comfort. It is strong, but offers no imposed interpretation, like huge white pages which unfurl or crumple, preserving the immaculate memory of the gesture. It is profuse and profound, through the magic of the body that is present and the imagination which accompanies, observes and moves it. 

Thanks also to Philippe Gladieux’s very beautiful lighting, together with the sculptural amplitude of the sounds devised by Benoît Pelé, Mirage becomes the land where everything is possible.

Marie Baudet, “Mirage” ou l’infinie générosit de l’espace-temps, La Libre Belgique (BE), February 25, 2019

Translation: Laura Austrums