Tuesday 6 February 2007

Sur le Fil

When I think that not even a week ago, I was still in New York having a drink with Beppe...
I've hardly had the time to breathe since I came back to Paris. Gang Peng's dance piece Sur le Fil (On the rope) had just had its premiere a few days before my return and was to go on for another week. I had lots of musical readjustments to do as well as a rewrite of the epilogue. The piece was fairly well received, at least from the audience. They welcomed it with big applause - that's good for the dancers, they really deserved the accolade. However some critics pointed out rightly that the piece itself had its good and sometime wonderful moments, but never managed to take off. And I couldn't agree more. I guess it's due to a lack of means, and rehearsal time. Conditions were pretty harsh for everyone to really develop and mature. Will I be bold to say it's the choreographer’s limitation. Hip hop isn’t his language. It was a wise move to use it. It’s justly considered a form of contemporary dance, but Gang proved weighed down by all the possibilities which really never matched his own ideas. Some good scenes indeed, but they could have grown and give a fuller shape to the basic ideas.
As far as music is concerned, I couldn't totally express myself. Gang and I didn't reach that zone of mutual understanding and trust. I find he's using his head too much instead of following his intuition and his creative impulse, and I was sad to see that he overlooked my work. Maybe because I am a friend (I think I should look up the meaning of that word in the dictionary again). He does now, because he saw the audience's reaction to the music. My father says it’s rather common to many choreographers. They merely need sound to dance to, have no real sense for music and want the spotlight only on themselves. No wonder then that Gang wanted to perform that final dance even though it had no much bearing with the rest of the piece; a way to leave his signature, even if he will certainly find some artistically profound reason to deny that. What displeased me is that my name is hardly mentioned anywhere except on the program sheet. Is that a sign? My father experienced the same scenario with Régine Chopinot. She acknowledged his work, but was almost jealous of the attention it got from the audience and the press and later avoided to have him invited to interviews and even to some performances. People like Jo are rare indeed.
Anyway, yesterday's performance went well. The dancers finally found their pace and were much more relaxed and focused.
I attempted to attend today. It usually takes forever to reach the theatre. But it was even worse on Sunday. I tried another route and gave myself two hours or so to make my way there. Two hours... I must have been joking. Actually, three would have been necessary. That was becoming silly. I found myself in a deserted residential area with no bus nor taxi to catch. Time ran by and it was past the beginning of the show. What else to do than go back home? I must say that I didn't really want to attend. My job was done, I did more than my share and showed understanding, helpfulness and selflessness. I guess they can do without me now. End of the story.
I have started writing music for Jo's next piece. Second movement is now penned. I played it to Tsuyoshi, the stage designer and he liked it. There are some instruments to add to enhance the dramatic tension, but I'm quite pleased with the result. I also think I will use some musical elements I have developed for Gang's piece. I feel the music hasn't reached its full potential. Tsuyoshi will be going to Japan next week, I will try to finish one more movement and give him the cd so he can hand it to Jo.
The energy in Paris is draining. I have come to realize that my projects work much better when abroad. It's much too hard in France. I love the country, but once again, I have to face it: nothing is going to happen here. So I have decided to turn it into some neutral middle ground and give my energy to Asia and the US.

In one month, I'll be in Japan!!!! Yeeheee!

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