To my professor Delphine for her shows she prepared in a passionate… but above all… personal way…
2004: REQUIEM FOR A DREAM
In my childhood, the year 2004 marks the beginning of a very joyful period full of dance and singing shows, trips, and tours with my parents and their respective choirs; Eh, si on chantait… from Mériel (the city where Jean Gabin and I grew up!) conducted by my father with my mother as the pianist, and Les Mirabelles conducted by Anne Burger in Nancy, that my mother used to accompany regularly.
I first registered for ballet classes at the school Art et Mouvement in the fall of 2000, so I could enjoy a hobby that would help me develop a taste for art. At the end of every school year: three choices. We either invited people into the classroom to show them what we had prepared throughout the year, did an on-stage presentation, or a show. Shows were definitely my favorite choice, but they obviously required more preparation and organization. For several years, we only did a show once every two years. 2004 thus marks the year of my first show and actual memory of being on a stage! Shows were even more exciting to me than presentations since there was a mise-en-scène, elaborate costumes, and a specific theme which defined the show and gave it some unity between all the dance categories and levels offered by the school. What I appreciated the most with Delphine, and this is something I actually realized way later in my life, was her exceptional energy, passion, and involvement into the preparation of her own shows! She was the one and only artistic voice! Except for a few rare cases, she was the creator of all the choreographies and mises-en-scène, she chose the soundtracks, settings and costumes that she made herself with the help of a few regular people, and above all, she recycled the costumes and accessories for every show in a very subtle way I have once again just come to realize!
Entitled Requiem for a dream, the show of May 1st and 2nd 2004 at the Espace Rive Gauche in Mériel introduced the four seasons, and the show’s main soundtrack was obviously The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi. For legal, but mostly artistic matters in the case of Art et Mouvement I think, a show could not propose an entire copyrighted musical soundtrack, so Delphine used to insert other musical soundtracks for several numbers, sometimes ending up showing a flagrant contrast with the other numbers, such as, for example, the soundtracks used for the finales. Before the finale, a brief film showing a contemporary number danced by Delphine in the woods was screened. Without understanding what contemporary dance was at the time, my sister and I had a good laugh at it when we saw it the first time on our VHS version of the show! The actual video of the show included a few clips of nature between each season, as well as some verses by Paul Éluard right before Delphine’s number.
Margaux bringing her bedroom’s wallpaper to life
Looking back at this happy time in my life, and having watched all my shows, I have to say that Requiem for a dream is to me one of the most gorgeous and best staged shows! The costumes are simple and beautiful, and the emphasis is put on the mise-en-scène and the changes of settings, as well as on an intimate relation with Vivaldi’s music that is honored with the remarkable choreographies! The video is also very well done, and uses Vivaldi’s music during the opening and ending credits. I realized for the first time with this show what the feeling of being on a stage was like, and it certainly was not a disappointment! That feeling is at its peak right before stepping on the stage!
“One wants to see smiling and happy little fishes, not sad ones!” the choreographer’s mother told us backstage.
I believe in fate, except for when I write.