pavlova 3'23''

world premiere from 12th to 16th of october 2009 . montpellier danse saison

The Dying Swan is a 3 minute ballet created by Fokine in 1907 for great dancer Anna Pavlova. A solo performance, it has a very special place in the classics for several reasons: its form, its length but also its subject itself  - a female dancer almost does a spiral while she improvises on an undying, endless movement. We all think we have seen that piece. It has entered our imaginative world - certainly because of the image of the swan - as well as our memories as a dreamt, fantasized, anticipated piece.
The dancers' different performances (those from Pavlova, Chauviré, Plisetskaya, and so on) haunt us as they haunt the history of dance and theatre. The swan is a ghost and the ghostly figure of our memory. This piece also represents a breaking moment in the history of ballet since, for the first time, a dancer improvises.
This project isn't about reenacting The Dying Swan. It is about building - from its reminiscence - a show that deals with the idea of a closing dance. Now that we're surrounded and our spaces are invaded by a multiplicity of images, how can we imagine working on this concept of the end of all performance? To what extent are gesture and stage still a place where we can find life and build memories?

The theme of contemporary Vanitas - even if it belongs to painting - also holds a key position in this project for it allows reflection and a combination of materiality, passing time and brevity of the piece. The several aspects of Vanitas work as a conspiracy of the failure of wishful thinkings and of disenchantment. That sometimes comical incarnation of frailty, of
superficiality, of nothingness and of death is an answer to an eternal concern...

Several figures parade in front of a pierced, overexposed space - solo performances, group dances, contemporary processions. These movements are all acts of resistance not to sink, not to give in but on the opposite to endlessly renew dancing and gestures as a strength and a call
not to come to an end. It is an art of persistence.

I would like to commission several composers (Rodolphe Burger, erikm, Heiner Goebbels, Gilles Sivilotto) totally new and recomposed versions of Camille Saint-Saëns music.
These musical creations will be included in a general composition of the play as an uninterrupted and endless series of pieces exploring and renewing that musical theme. mathilde monnier

choregoraphy mathilde monnier
light design éric wurtz
stage design annie tolleter assisted by cedric torne
costume design dominique fabrègue assisted by laurence alquier
music rodolphe burger, eRikm, heiner goebbels, olivier renouf, camille saint-saëns, gilles sivilotto
sound realization olivier renouf
dance cecilia bengolea, julia cima, yoan demichelis, julien gallée-ferré, corinne garcia, thiago granato, olivier normand, i-fang lin, rachid sayet
acknowledgment christophe wavelet, cyril lot

coproduction théâtre de la ville - paris . arts 276 / festival automne en normandie . saison montpellier danse 2009 . la bâtie-festival de genève . centre chorégraphique national de montpellier languedoc-roussillon


interview Mathilde Monnier - 09/02/2010
Pavlova 3'23''
Danser - 01/12/2009
Terrible Mathilde Monnier - 20/10/2009
En cygne de deuil
Libération - 16/10/2009
Mort sans fin
L'Hérault du jour - 14/10/2009
à bout de souffle
let's motiv - 05/10/2009