Gérard Mayen

Olga de Soto and Vincent Druguet explore the compression-expansion of inner space within the global space. An interstitial vibration.

We wouldn’t mind having a more robust culture of psychoanalysis in order to explore the fantasy potential of the balloon: how it implies suction, a give and take of penetration and expulsion both inside and outside itself, and a palpably evocative sphericity. The balloon is Vincent Druguetʼs main partner in the duet Incorporer, choreographed by Olga de Soto who, far upstage, accompanies what might otherwise look furiously like a solo. While the sounds of the body of the dancer are lightly amplified, the other dancer manipulates cubes filled with water from time to time, the gurgling and bubbling of which are also amplified. From downstage to upstage, from boy to girl, from dancer to choreographer, from air to water, from interior to exterior, from the supple roundness of the balloon to the rigid, rectilinear edge of the heavy cube, this simple device suggests a thousand parallels from the outset. Except that subtlety, taking the measure of the distance, is the primary feature of this piece, which invites us into the floating pleasure of reflection, far more than pointing us towards the constraint of commentary. Its tension is that of an open space, for evolutions that obstinately refuse to devour it, in the image of the stable, proportionally gigantic volume offered by the stage at the Centre Pompidou. In that, the movements that Vincent Druguet appears to invent spontaneously ‒ although this is obviously not the case ‒ take on the resonance of a deep experience of being that shines with a welcome nonchalance.

In Incorporer, to inflate a balloon, to fill it with some water, to lay on the resulting bladder, to bounce patiently until it explodes comically under the weight, do not constitute a cabaret act. When the dancer then licks the water thus spilled on the floor, takes his time to lie down, ruminates and expels it in the manner of a brief geyser, we attend, at the summit of a concentrated silence, to the tranquil and methodical deployment in actions of a philosophy that sees everything is transformed without loosing itself neither creating itself. A philosophy that mitigates the disjunction between the being and the environment, that develops dynamic transfers of materials and spaces, and finally transgresses the order of a performing and glorious body. Incorporer thereby renews and outstrips the rich experience of the use of object in dance.

Later in the evening, Olga de Soto this time alone takes on the same conception of the body. A very long pole has been suspended and gently floats horizontally, with a silent majesty, above the stage. The dancer lies on her back and remains immobile, while the pole, like a giant clock hand, performs a very slow movement of rotation. The encounter between this precision in the indication and this suspended uncertainty of meaning is staggering.

Then Olga de Soto again takes up a vertical position, but breaks it gently with positions in segmented and dotted lines. And there, by a mystery that belongs only to her dance, her figures escape the expected rectilinearly drawing sober curves through gentle imbalances, transpositions of the pelvis and gentle shifts of the hips. Held tight, this body escapes.

Gérard Mayen, Espaces transgressifs, MOUVEMENT, March 31, 2004