Co-directors of the Ballet national de Marseille / Choreographers / Videographers
November → December 2021
“The stage is a political space that is absolutely crucial, a space where the multitude of meanings that flow through our bodies is allowed to unfurl.”
We are a collective of three artists. Together, we create choreographic pieces, performances, and films. Our goal is to question the extraordinary richness of contemporary body depiction, through social media, the public sphere, and the stage.
In our project, filmmaking plays a key role, because images provide a radically different perspective on the human body, and because they help break down the barriers between dance and other disciplines. By bringing dance off the stage, they make it more visible and invite us to invent new forms of storytelling.
To us, the stage is a political space that is absolutely crucial, a space where the multitude of meanings that flow through our bodies is allowed to unfurl. We thought of the National Ballet of Marseille (BNM) as a focus point of reflection for artists from all disciplinary fields. For the past two years, we have been inviting choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, and photographers to create works for the company’s twenty-two dancers.
Over the years, we brought on dancers whose work hinged on the Internet experience, and thereby was not art. In the same way, we want to bring into the BNM repertoire writings, characters, communities, individuals, etc., that lie on the fringes of mainstream culture and, more often than not, have difficulty accessing or even considering their place within these institutional tools.
Founded in 2013, (LA)HORDE is a collective founded by three artists: Marine Brutti, Jonathan Debrouwer, and Arthur Harel. Since September 2019, it has been overseeing the Centre Chorégraphique National – Ballet national de Marseille. Dance is at the heart of their work, and it informs their choreographies, films, performances, and installations.
Los Angeles is the location of choice for one of the largest community of “jumpers,” or jumpstyle dancers, some of whom we met online and asked to perform on our show To Da Bone (2017), which made us known to the general public. That show was inspired by a performance and a film (Novaciéries); though they were meant for different outlets, these works found a new life in the black boxes of theaters, the white cubes of museums and in non-traditional spaces. We also directed several films, the most recent of which was produced by MJZ, from a screenplay by Spike Jonze, who wrote it especially for us.
We are looking for new collaborators to dream and invent authentic, physical stories. As part of our residency, we met film artists, screenwriters, and cinematographers who helped us progress even further in the writing of our films.
We started our residency in New York, and moved on to Los Angeles, where we spent most of our time. These cities have nothing in common but we could not imagine traveling to the United States without visiting both. Their vibe is so different!
New York City was of particular interest to us because of its entertainment industry and museums, and for its many milestones in dance and contemporary art history. We met those who continue to write that history today. New York is home to the Judson Theater, where Lucinda Childs created her first performances. We worked with her for a year, but we had to do it remotely because of the pandemic, and our trip will be an opportunity to see her IRL, and to meet those who bring her work to life in the United States.
For us, going back to LA meant returning to a city where we have been wanting to work for years, and where the vibe reminds us a lot of Marseille, a city built by the sun, with a vibrant alternative artistic scene, a city which has always strived to be different, more underground than Paris and New York. It is a place that reflects who we are, a factory where today’s imagery is being created, a place where one can invent new ways of seeing and representing the world around us. Los Angeles is a profoundly inspiring myth, and it has fascinated us ever since we grew up watching the films of David Lynch.
In partnership with
Created in 1972 and serving as the Centre chorégraphique national (CCN) since 1984, the Ballet national de Marseille has been directed successively by Roland Petit (1972-98), Marie-Claude Pietragalla (1998-2004), Frédéric Flamand (2004-14), Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten (2015-19). At its direction since 2019, (LA)HORDE has continued the BNM's policy of artistic openness and collaboration while also redefining those concepts with respect to the changing digital era and political issues of inclusiveness. The collective has imagined the BNM as a safe space, a place to reflect on the dynamics of representation and the circulation of artistic forms.
The brainchild of entrepreneur and philanthropist Frédéric Jousset, the Art Explora Foundation, which launched in November 2019, aims to close the cultural divide through a series of initiatives in France and abroad, drawing on new technologies and mobile systems open to everyone. It seeks to connect works with their audiences and to support new creation and innovation. The Foundation is co-curating eight residencies for the inaugural season of Villa Albertine.