La Chaise
Conception: Boris Charmatz and Julia Cima

Instrumentalising the chamber-like spaces and its audience, Charmatz and Cima conduct specific improvisational activities to investigate attitudes of active and passive performance.
In La Chaise, a person sits on a chair, eyes closed, completely still. Another person attempts, while avoiding direct contact at all cost, to affect the sitter.

Are we then to believe in the potential exchange between the space of the chair and the energy being deployed around it? This state of singularly focussed concentration reveals an attentiveness verging on obsession, so then, what is actually happening?

The sitter keeps still, while the performer attempts to awaken, bewitch, court, maybe even terrify the sitter. The space and the performance may become completely absorbed by the stone-like presence of the sitter, and the usual sovereignty of the gaze that is part of all dance and body work may be encountered by the fact that other viewers may feel the possible sensations that the sitter is experiencing.

Thus the activity in the space, driven as it is by the non-activity of the sleeper-sitter, becomes a purely mental reconstruction, dance and event are suggested rather than demonstrated, having to do more with cheap hypnotism than peep-show.

“… Blindfolded and seated in a chair, volunteers from the audience are able to experience dance differently. Improvising, the dancers move around them, without ever touching them. The dance is thus experienced in an utterly original way: every step, every movement takes on new intensity. The audience is attentive to details they would not have normally perceived (breathing, smells…). The performance is nearly 3 hours long, and it is carried out by Boris Charmatz and Julia Cima using only their breath, the sound of their steps, and voice as musical score.”
Pierre Vincenot, La Dépêche du Midi, January 22, 2005

Running time: Variable

With:

Boris Charmatz and/or Julia Cima

Production : Association edna
Association edna receives financial support from the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication / Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles d’Ile-de-France, within the contexte of the “aide à la compagnie chorégraphique conventionnée”.

La Chaise was first presented in August 2002 within the context of Statuts at the Edinburgh International Festival

Cover picture: © Liselotte Habets

  • La Chaise

  • La Chaise
    © Musée de la danse

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