Photo: Marie-France Coallier The Duty
Wanting to dance a phrase, an idea or a word, we can see that the technical side becomes an accessory, explains José Navas. “The main challenge is to find a way to give this idea of ripple, of abandonment, of sadness, of suicide, etc, We look at less of the outside to ask if we dance well, if our lines are clean; all that becomes secondary.”
José Navas is not his first musical challenge. Before the Winterreise (The winter journey) Schubert, there has been especially the Gymnopedie, Erik Satie, and The rite of spring, Stravinsky. It is, moreover, by tapping into this masterpiece for the creation of his solo Rites that he has fortuitously made the acquaintance of the 24th lied of the winter Journey, which has so deeply marked. Beyond her great beauty, he retained two things : the sensation of a circularity, which proved to match the description of a tool to crank in the song, but especially the presence, in this same text, deformed fingers returning it to the transformation of his own body by the time.
From there, José Navas has developed a relationship sensitive very strong in respect of that musical work. Not only he will be listened to in its entirety repeatedly — by increasing the interpretations in order to control the structure and know it perfectly — but it will also with it are many intimate links with his personal life.
“Winterreise, this is the story of a man who leaves in the snow. He goes from moments of love in times of sorrow, he met the madness and his own mortality, ” says the choreographer of 55 years, for whom the history of this man-made powerfully echo to hers. “It has been 30 years that I dance and that I’m on tour. But I am an immigrant, I left my country with 200 dollars in his pocket, to go to the north, to the cold, to the snow. Of course, I do a lot of links with the Winterreise by Schubert. “
The winks to the audience
For this creation, he has probed his own heart in search of another way to approach the dance. “I said he had to go inside myself for a taste of this solitude. So, I made two retreats of ten days in silence, sitting from 4 h to 21 h, with closed eyes. Each of these retreats coincided with the death of my parents. It’s crazy, all these coincidences between my life and the story of this work. “
Winter journey tells a compelling story, the journey and a man. The narration, and the story itself which is born, have never really been the modus operandi in the writing process of choreography of José Navas, so far rather taken by an abstraction of the movement than by its meaning. He claims to have sought a translation of choreography with this project in order to dance to the music and lyrics on stage. How does it process to not fall into the ease of the literal sense of the pantomime ?
“Every note is a dance and every word is, if you want to, described in movement “, says the choreographer, while recognizing that for him this was a real challenge to cut out the gestures as well. “If you know the poem, we can identify matches, but I had this concern from the beginning not to be in the pantomime, to give enough taste to the sentence to understand the image. If it’s about a dog, I’m not going to make the dog, put me in four legs and bark. But I’m going to breathe a certain way that will evoke the idea of a dog. “
Allowing this report in the sense, the choreographer has been able to observe to what places it was moved and challenged his work. For him, it is as if he winks to the public, as if he handed her a hand through a new type of address, a new way to enter into a relationship with him that he felt it up here as being dangerous.
The touch of the other limits
This report in the sense has altered his way up from dance. “I use much more my body, the back of my head, hands, shows-t-it. A friend, that I had in the rehearsal studio during the work in progress, noticed this completely different way of using my hands. I didn’t realize. So, yes, there are things that come out that I did not. “
Wanting to dance a phrase, an idea or a word, we can see that the technical side becomes an accessory, explains José Navas. “The main challenge is to find a way to give this idea of ripple, of abandonment, of sadness, of suicide, etc, We look at less of the outside to ask if we dance well, if our lines are clean; all that becomes secondary. “
This decrease of the judgment is also clearly related to the age, thinks Mr. Navas, who will return to this idea several times during our conversation, concerned as it is by the aging of the body and the pain of this last. This concern is recurrent we will ask him if he danced up here without limits, a way of thinking about the body and the dance hold used and still very much present in the mythology of the dancer. “Before the quarantine, there was a general logic that included how far to go to give me opportunities, meets José Navas. And still, I was touching my limits. I can still hear to tell the dancers to dance as if it was their last show. I still hold to it. “
This does not prevent him now to take the measure of its limits to push them otherwise. “Today, the big difference is that I can break my body for ever, he says. There is a part of my brain understands this and that says : “attention, this is too much”. Push my limits, I try to do so in a more intellectual. The time it takes for our youth, but in exchange, you acquire the freedom. “
Choreography and interpretation : José Navas. Pianist : Francis Perron. Tenor : Jacques-Olivier Chartier. Lighting : Marc Parent. In the Fifth room, from 11 to 22 February, 20 h.