When bharatanatyam meets contemporary European movement
Contemporary dance has always been Cécile Loyer’s forte ever since her first solo performance in Tokyo in a production named BLANC. The French choreographer has been active in her profession since 1994 and refined her talent under the tutelage of two French dance masters —Joëlle Bouvier and Régis Obadia.“My dance has evolved a lot since the beginning of my career. Now I feel I am closer to my art, as it represents my life story, who I am and where I come from,” says the 44-year-old. This relatibility between the performer and her art forms the essence of Cécile’s upcoming production in Chennai, Histoires Vraies. In other words, she is going back to where it all started, Japan, from where she has brought in Mai Ishiwata, who will perform along with Steven Hervouet, a fellow dancer of Cécile from France. Together, they will bring forth the differences of European and Indian dance, the latter to be showcased by city-based bharatnatyam exponents, Renjith Babu and Vijna Vasudevan.
“This piece is about the story of the meeting between French, Indian and Japanese people and how they are able to reinvent dance together, while at the same time bringing their own piece of history into it,” she explains. Through Histoires Vraies, Cécile will look at doing her own kind of reinvention, wherein she will combine movements from both European and Indian dance. “Bharatnatyam and contemporary dance may be completely different from each other but their core motive of telling stories on stage for the audience are the same. Also the consciousness of the dancers from both styles, while performing, are similar in nature,” she adds. She further admits how impressed she is with the “accuracy and strength of Indian dancers”, something which she expects to see in the upcoming show. Add to that music by acclaimed French instrumentalist Sylvain Chau-veau and it promises to be a mesmerising show of fascinating collaborations.
Cécile draws inspiration from themes like memory and transmission of movement. The title Histoires Vraies is no surprise then, as it translates to —true story. Post the Chennai show, her troupe will head to Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Delhi. How does she keep herself motivated for all these performances? Cécile has a simple answer - “I dance for the people, not for myself. Therefore, whenever I see my audience deeply involved in my performances, I know that they are truly ‘alive’!”
Organised by Alliance Française at Phoenix MarketCity. On June 27. 7.30 pm onwards. Free passes on eventjini.com. Details: cecileloyer.com