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Personne With Voice

“Personne With Voice“ is about the face, the hands and the voice.

“Personne” is the French word for “person” and “cognisance”. It can also refer to absence, as in the expression “il n’y a personne” – “there is no one”. In Roman antiquity, “persona” referred to masks – theatre masks that represent a character or a ritual mask that specify the dancers’ social positions. A gradual shift moves the meaning through all these layers of identity, whether it be understood as personality, character, or as a subject without individual features.

“Personne With Voice” is the latest result of a long collaboration between choreographer Isabelle Schad and visual artist Laurent Goldring. It arose out of a creative process that is characteristic of their methodology: the interweaving of the dialogue between the two artists with the projects that they work on individually.

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In “Personne With Voice” geht es um Gesichter, Hände und Stimmen.

„Personne“ bedeutet auf Französisch ‚Person‘ und ‚Bewusstsein‘. Es kann sich auch auf Abwesenheit beziehen, wie in dem Ausdruck „il n’y a personne“ – „es ist niemand ist da“. In der römischen Antike bezog sich „persona“ auf die Maske: Theatermaske, die eine Figur darstellt, oder eine rituelle Maske, die den Platz der Tänzer*innen in der sozialen Organisation festlegt. Eine allmähliche Verschiebung bewegt die Bedeutung durch all diese Identitätsschichten, egal ob sie als Persönlichkeit, Bühnenfigur oder als Subjekt ohne individuelle Merkmale verstanden werden.

“Personne With Voice” ist das jüngste Ergebnis einer langen Zusammenarbeit zwischen der Choreografin Isabelle Schad und dem bildenden Künstler Laurent Goldring und entstand auf der Basis eines für ihre Zusammenarbeit charakteristischen kreativen Prozesses, bei dem der Dialog der beiden Künstler*innen mit den Projekten, an denen sie einzeln arbeiten, verflochten ist.

Concept and Choreography: Isabelle Schad & Laurent Goldring
Performance: Isabelle Schad
Lighting: Joanna Lesnierowska
Sound: Ivan Bartsch
PR: Elena Basteri
Production: Heiko Schramm

Thanks to:
Damir Simunovic (sound)
Emma Juliard (lighting)
Michael Sontag (costume)
Ignacio Jarquin (voice)
Alexey Kokhanov (voice)

A production by Isabelle Schad in cooperation with Laurent Goldring, National Museum in Warsaw, Goethe-Institut Warsaw, Institut francaise in Warsaw. Supported by the NATIONAL PERFORMANCE NETWORK – STEPPING OUT, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the NEUSTART KULTUR initiative, dance funding programme.

Isabelle Schad is funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe – Concept Funding.

Thanks to Wiesen55 e.V., Muzeum Susch and Goldring-productions.

All pics by Laurent Goldring, all rights reserved





Camera and editing: Walter Bickmann, all rights reserved, (tanzforumberlin.de)

Isabelle Schad & Laurent Goldring, “Personne With Voice”.
29 April 2023, Radialsystem, Hall

When does the performance even begin? At the very back right, a figure whose aura reaches all the way across the stage arrives in the front row (where I am sitting), and I wonder if it is someone from the theatre overlooking the entrance. The forearms, which seem to keep their distance from the body, are striking; they look a bit like the wings of a bird sunbathing.
It takes time for everyone to be seated, for the buzz and murmur of footsteps and half-loud voices to cease. The light on the stage remains dim and the figure slowly comes forward to half centre stage. I still perceive someone ordering or overlooking.
But that was all part of the performance. It has begun even before we come from the glass foyer into the hall lined with black curtains.
And even though the buzzing and murmuring of the audience subsides, a strange, earthy sound remains. As if an amplifier had been forgotten.
But that too is part of the performance. I keep asking myself where the sounds are coming from, from the acting figure on stage, whether it is actually her voice we are hearing or a soundtrack? Even when I recognise the black wool-jacketed microphone, I ask myself this. Because a lot of it is not voice or breathing sounds. But much is not movement at all, but only a sense of movement, or the remnant of a larger movement that has taken place somewhere, sometime, without us seeing it. Nevertheless, it is there. The aura of movement more than the motor event itself.
When did this dancing begin? When did we start watching? What is happening in the face that remains mostly hidden, in a kind of holy absorption?
The pelvis is actually not recognisable in the wide black trouser dress, yet it has the main role, because the constant balancing, the straightening, the stabilisation, the grounding take place there, that is clearly recognisable. But by what?
The forearms, the hands, the hair also shine out of the twilight in which the movement flows. Nevertheless, they step back, listen to the energy as we do, become pendulums of a greater power than they themselves have.
The person I see, the voice I hear, the scraping too (at some point, I just believe it’s all live), the space I feel. But the movement remains within itself, with itself, in the current of its own constant emergence.
Franz Anton Cramer