"Where we relate"
Introduction to the artistic work of Camille Mutel / Li(luo) Company
In Camille Mutel's artistic work, the question of the relationship to oneself and to others is a recurring theme. She is interested in relationships and questions what makes a connection. Throughout her choreographies, she develops a singular language based on precise gestures with a particular attention to the experience of the audience. Her journey as an artist follows a movement that goes from the inner exploration of the body to the encounter with the other, without ever neglecting her relationship to the world.
For the first years, she sees the place of the encounter with the public as being situated within the artist's body. She invites it to confront itself with the raw interiority of what makes up the body. She explores in an organic way what lies beneath the surface(s) of each of us and thus leads the creation of a series of solos.
In Bursting into Oblivion (2010), produced in close collaboration with lighting designer Matthieu Ferry, a faceless naked body is moved by a beam of light. The introspective gesture of this body reveals erotic and morbid impulses that follow one another. The images are extremely precise, almost hieroglyphic. This piece marks the birth of a singular choreographer.
Camille Mutel then chooses to shift her attention to the self-image. Etna! (2011) brings the audience face to face with the equivocal phantasmagorias of a desiring and delirious body. The projected universe is a universe of symbols: animal imagery and confusion of genders slip through the skin. The body is only perceptible in two dimensions and loses its relationship to reality.
She then chooses to disintegrate the image into a multitude of fragments. In Nu (ə) muet (2012), the spectator is placed in three side as close as possible to the dancer. Stroboscopes and lasers cut out the image-object and make it impossible to perceive the body as a whole. Her research now revolves around pure presence, which the artist sees as a possible manifestation of reality.
The necessity of putting two bodies in presence appears so that a language can emerge. Her interest shifts from the manifestation of the inner journey to the exploration of the in-between.
Soror (2013), a duet for women, is the first piece of this new research. Here the bodies negotiate their sorority relationship in a space that seems strangely narrow and infinite, revealing an endless struggle with what it means to be together.
In Go, go, go, said the bird (human kind cannot bear very much reality) (2015), the two dancers mate in a hieratic, ritual, distanced way. It is the singer's voice and her deep elucubrations that paradoxically make the link in between them two.
Animaux de béance (2017), a work for two performers and a singer, is inspired by the medieval rituals of Sardinia known as the dances of argia. The protagonists enter a state of crisis and seek a symbolic space in the community to contain it. This is the only piece to date in which the choreographer is not on stage.
In 2020 Camille Mutel is back to the solo. She sets up a quadrilogy that she calls The Place of the Other One. With her collaborators, inspired by the Japanese tea ceremony, she imagines an inviting space for the public. The spectator is at the heart of the performance. It is no longer a question of creating a language. It is a question of building on the daily gesture and ritualising it. The first performance is entitled Not I and is based on the notion of gift. The spectator is invited to the elaboration of a meal gradually arranged on stage like a still life. The attention between the stage and the audience is negotiated around an intimate question: What can I offer to you?
Nancy, May 2020
“Today I would say that the research of the Li(Luo) Company is a questioning of presence. What does it mean to be present? It has something to do with consciousness. Consciousness of the self and of the environment. Self-awareness within an environment and from the environment within oneself. Direct affiliation with its beginnings in butoh dance, my style departs increasingly from symbol and myth to enter into sensitivity. Dance is a body experience. For me, the dancer, and for the person who receives it. Beyond and inside the image, I like to think that it can be perceived. Dance is carnal. A representation of the body from which I can extract myself, dance, music and light, bring depth that metamorphoses, contradicts, reinterprets, strengthens, plays with, questions the all too often ‘arbitrariness’ of the image. These three elements (music, dance and light) are the three main elements which make up the work and research of the company. Their sensitivity has refined with subsequent creations, opening up even greater possibilities. All three are vibrational in essence. I wonder if being present does not mean bringing this vibration into view; namely that presence is the erasure that reveals space-time.”
Camille Mutel, September 2010