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Flash Preview, 4-26: "Pour ainsi dire"
Choreographer's Notes

By Maguy Marin
Copyright 2001 Maguy Marin

(Editor's Note: Maguy Marin's "Pour ainsi dire" receives its U.S. premiere tonight at the New Victory Theater. Following are Marin's choreographer's notes on the dance, taken from the work's production notes.)

There is no preliminary projection, no initial subject.


Just as a sculptor seizes his material without necessarily having any particular project, one is guided by the material that presents itself as the initial element of the search for possibilities. It is when one begins to carve and chisel that one is confronted with different parameters: the quality of the material (hard, soft...), the need for diverse tools and possible methods (polish, groove), the efflorescence of hidden elements (knots, cracks, colors). Little by little, the form acquires meaning, indicating significance. It is a delicate work of listening, looking and awareness. One must be able to respond to what the material submits, in order to give it substance. In this case the performers were the raw material.

Explore still further the "possibilities" of our search...

The initial idea was to dissociate the compact group formed by the Company. I wanted to create small clusters in order to incite the dancers to involve themselves with more urgency, so that the responsibility of each individual might fully emerge. For within the group, personal commitment functions more as a relay system. I chose to have the freedom to devote myself to what the group could project my way.

Singularity calls upon me and interests me essentially in regard to a community.

An intense fragment of thought.

It relies on the performers' capacity to bring themselves into play. It also refers to an adverb related to the notion of time:


The preparatory technical frame consisted in vocal and gestural interplays.

As the creation of the piece went along, a singular state began to arise: An absence of expression, a disarticulate and decomposed word which cannot convey any tangible meaning, even though it is coherent; broken items having difficulty to take shape, a divided memory, a disjointed and fragmentary time.

Through innocuous impressions of lightness emphasized by luminosity, a flouerie of constant concerns emerges, a multitude of discontinuous ideas, an overload of expressions; thoughts which countless fragmentations render unfathomable.

They are people who never cease to be disconnected, then connected again, and who are unable to communicate because they cannot bring an idea to its full term, because they stand in a notion of time discontinuity.

They are individuals, singular responsibilities, persons who through their histories, their factual encounters and their affects have the capacity to express themselves at the "indefinite" article -- as defined by Gilles Deleuze.

Set phrase implying that : "One isn't quite able to say... "

This is an inquiry into the subjective perceptions of time; in other words, it is an attempt at finding multiple responses to the notion of time that one has or might have.

A play on voices, languages and movements, it conveys a closed universe of disarticulated time in which three people continuously assert their identities in order to exist.

At the core of this fragmented time, fears, evoked by discontinued time, become apparent, where all thought is voiced by snatches of conversation, where ideas are incessantly disconnected, then reconnected, and where the memory has become disjointed.

In this display of a mechanism of fragmentary thought, these three individuals flit from one subject to the other with an utterly instinctive logic, but being undeniably unable to communicate.

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