Site specific dance that evokes audience memories of their relationships to place

Passages is a site-specific project that adapts to each location in which it’s performed. The movement sequences are predetermined, but the choreography is constructed within and for each specific place. Performers trigger resonances activating the physical memories of the audience, starting with their relationship to the spaces they inhabit.

Adapting to a variety of architectural contexts, whether it is a cloister and its corridors and garden or a courtyard or a room in a Museum, the choreography of Passages is composed by a bodily vocabulary that Noé Soulier has been developing over ten years. Using the immediacy of actions like grabbing, throwing, catching or rubbing, Noé Soulier explores the motor properties that the human shares with the animal.

“The choreographic vocabulary I am trying to develop is not purely abstract. It is based on practical actions diverted from their original purpose such as catching, avoiding, hitting or throwing. The recognition of these actions is made impossible by numerous distortions: absence of the targeted objects, inadequate body parts, inorganic combinations of directions… These distorted actions carry an affective and emotional charge that purely formal movements lack, but they do not form a narrative choreography. They create a form of non-narrative expressiveness. It is precisely this stratum of expressivity, which lies between formal movement and narrative fiction, that I’m trying to explore.” – Noé Soulier

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Biography

Noé Soulier

Noé Soulier’s work explores choreography and dance in both performative and discursive settings, ranging from the black box to the museum to the written page. The series of choreographic pieces including Removing (2015), Faits et gestes (2016), and The Waves (2018) work to activate viewers’ corporeal memories with movements aimed at absent objects or events, and which consequently suggest more than they show.

In projects like the book Actions, Movements and Gestures (2016) and the performance Movement on Movement (2013), he analyzes different approaches to conceiving dance movement that offer multiple ways to experience the body. The choreographed exhibition Performing Art (2017), created at Centre Pompidou, Paris, reverses the usual position of dance in the museum by bringing the museum to the dance stage, turning professional art handlers into performers and the
installation of art works into choreography. Soulier thus pursues a practice that is
at once conceptual and intensely dance-based.

Born in Paris in 1987, Noé Soulier studied dance at the CNSMD in Paris, at the National Ballet School of Canada, and at PARTS — Brussels, and holds an MA in philosophy from the Sorbonne (Paris IV University) and took part in the Palais de Tokyo residency programme: Le Pavillon. In 2010 he won first prize in the Danse Élargie competition organized by the Théâtre de la Ville and the Musée de la Danse. From 2015 to 2019 he was artist in residence at the Centre National de
la Danse in Pantin. His works have been coproduced, among others, by the Festival d’Automne à Paris (FR), Kaaitheater Brussels (BE), Tanz im August /HAU Berlin (DE), Théâtre National de Chaillot (FR), Centre Pompidou (FR), PACT Zollverein Essen (DE), Tanzquartier Vienna (AU), Teatro Municipal do Porto (PT), CDCN Toulouse (FR).

He has also been commissioned to produce choreographies for the Ballet du Rhin (D’un pays lointain, 2011), the Ballet de Lorraine (Corps de ballet, 2014), the Fondation Louis Vuitton (Movement material, 2014), Los Angeles Dance Project (Second Quartet, 2017), and the Ballet de l’Opera de Lyon (Self Duet, 2021).

In July 2020 he became director of the Cndc – Angers. Founded in 1978, the Cndc – Angers (Centre national de danse contemporaine) is a unique institution in the world of dance in that it combines a creative choreography center, a higher school of contemporary dance, and a programme of dance performances.