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A stage performance by Ola Maciejewska (New Settings #6)

Fleeting images suggest poisonous flowers, or butterflies in flight, before disappearing almost as quickly as they came in a superb flux of movement and gestures. Devised by Ola Maciejewska, BOMBYX MORI choreographs floating drapery to sculpt movement itself into an exhaustive repertory of forms. 

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - BOMBYX MORI
© Martin Argyroglo

Dark, fleeting sculptures in motion exert a hypnotic lure: BOMBYX MORI reinvents the spectacular swirling draperies with which Loïe Fuller revolutionised choreographic convention. In 1892, the American dancer premiered her Serpentine Dance in New York: a new repertoire of forms drawn in floating drapery, bringing a breath of freedom to modern Western dance.

Since 2011, Polish dancer and choreographer Ola Maciejewska has researched Fuller’s pioneering career. Presented at France’s Centre national de la danse in 2015, her dizzying solo is transformed here into a visually rich work for three dancers, offering a critique of our conventional, binary world view – humans and non-humans, reasoning and non-reasoning creatures, the dominant and the dominated – expressed in a free spectacle of fleeting, endlessly-shifting forms evoking myriad, impalpable references.

Like the indefatigable silkworm that gives the work its name, BOMBYX MORI weaves an exhaustive repertory of forms, at the expense of an intense physical engagement on the part of its dancers. The amplified soundtrack relays the performers’ breathing and the crack of fabrics splitting the air, creating a genuine feeling of tension in the execution of the piece’s magisterial, often terrifying figures.

This unsettling work is part of New Settings #6 from the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, which supports its production and performance at the Théâtre de la Cité internationale in Paris.

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Théâtre de la Cité Internationale
Tuesday, November 22 and Wednesday November 23, 2016, 8.30 p.m.
 Duration: 1 h  


Concept Ola Maciejewska
Work for three dancers, with Amaranta Velarde Gonzalez, Keyna Nara & Ola Maciejewska
Lighting and sound Thomas Laigle, Ola Maciejewska
Costumes Valentine Solé
Production : So We Might As Well Dance 
With support from the Hermès Foundation within the framework of the programme New Settings.
Coproduction: Ménagerie de verre – Paris (FR), LE CN D un centre d’art pour la danse (FR), Productiehuis Rotterdam (NL), Veem House for Performance (NL), Centre chorégraphique national de Caen en Normandie in the frame of « Artiste associé » program.
With the kind support of Vivarium Studio, Nanterre-Amandiers – Centre Dramatique National. • With thanks to ICK Amsterdam, Judith Schoneveld, Nienke Scholts.
Ola Maciejewska is associated artist at Centre chorégraphique national de Caen en Normandie.