by Jeremy Buben
Shortly after last night’s opening performance of Cedric Andrieux, choreographer and director Jerome Bel’s first work shown in Seattle, I had a chance to speak with Cedric Andrieux on the front steps of the theater. The solo performer of this weekend’s show bearing his own name, Cedric has led a life devoted to dance, as total commitment is what it takes to work at such a rigorous craft. As a lifelong professional dancer, Cedric has had the unique opportunity to be an integral part of modern dance history.
After the performance, as some friends and I were talking to Cedric about details in his life, the night’s audience streamed down the front stairs, all graciously thanking the dancer for his performance. It was clear that this sincere and amazingly artistic show had connected deeply with the viewers.
What most connected with me, however, was how fortunate we as dance enthusiasts in Seattle are this very weekend. Here at OtB several hundred people were...
by Eric Pitsenbarger
A bare stage holds such promise. The mystery of place that speaks of many stories and much work, the slicing random patterns of many feet skidding across the stage, the scaffolding and lights, framing curtains all drawing my attention to the energy hovering within. Without embellishment, an empty stage advertises confidance that the performance will be rich enough on its’ own, large enough to provide every sustenance.
Enter Cedric with his dance bag and water bottle, a dancer’s life instantly profiled in his walk, comfortable workout clothes and simple gear. Taking his spot, he gathers the energy of this moment and then proceeds to unfold a mushrooming first person document of a life grounded in passionate zeal to perform. An exploding panoramic lecture-demo testimonial to the proof of a dancer’s world. The frame of space once empty and waiting has instantly become an elegant cameo as I’m convayed by Cedric’s deft storytelling, expert, purloined examples...
by Jim Kent
Cédric Andrieux walks on stage wearing his workout clothes. He puts his gym bag and water bottle down, and gives a run-down of the beginnings of his life in small sentences. It is entirely personal, cinematic in nature, and filled with intimate pauses. He speaks with the “questioning tone” of a child.
Cédric is not going to work out for us. With the help of Jérôme Bel, he will conceive of a way to tell his story really well.
Cédric Andrieux moves through an excerpt of Biped by Merce Cunningham, a choreographer and company he danced with for 8 years. The excerpt is very simple in form, but the syntax of the movement has an impossibility about it. His muscled, tie-dyed unitard does not hide anything: you can see the attempted outcome before the outcome happens, successfully (usually) or not. He rests, doubled over. He's had to work. His hollowed eyes look into yours, subtle smirk forms, and you know he’s regained the...
by Dylan Ward
Among the first things Cedric introduces about himself is his age: He is 36. And he is a dancer. He has spent the last twenty-four years of his life trying to be good at contemporary dance, with an added urgency, because, according to his own description, he has little natural talent.
What a conundrum exists here; his mother has planted the idea in his 12 year old brain that Contemporary Dance is egalitarian and eschews the elite, but there is obviously a conflict with this sentiment when he is asked to execute “cerebral” and idyllic movement as clearly as possible in front of an audience of high-minded contemporary dance donors and enthusiast.
In Cedric’s account of his experience with Merce Cunningham, this idyllic form is based upon the movements of a computer program. The instructions are just as automatic.
The idyllic can easily be understood to be elitist: for only a few can master...
John Cage, Foucault, choreography vs. dance, and getting kicked out of theater class: read an overview of (the immensely quotable) Mr. Bel's work in the New York Times.
Sat, Nov 16 | noon | On the Boards
$12 | $7 with ticket stub
RSVP to Sean Ryan email@example.com
Lecture/Q&A style masterclass with Andrieux (Merce Cuningham Company, Lyon Opera Ballet). Andrieux will speak about the work of French choreographer Jérôme Bel, including the solo piece Cédric Andrieux.
This solo is in line with a series of performances initiated in 2004 with a solo for the dancer of the corps de ballet of the Paris Opéra, Véronique Doisneau, followed in 2005 by Pichet Klunchun and myself, a duet created with Khôn dancer Pichet Klunchun. It is suggested that those who are planning to attend the...
photo by Herman Sorgeloos
Educate yourself in Bel's background with this guide from The Guardian: lawsuits, dance philosophy, previous work, quotes, video excerpts & (nearly) falling asleep at the ballet.
"In Cédric Andrieux the show’s eponymous star unassumingly traces his journey from child to adult, illuminating en route the aspirations, struggles and rewards that a life dedicated to dance entails. Clad in a simple track suit he stands on a bare stage and, in effect, bares his soul."
Read the article at Dance Umbrella.