La danse d’Oona Doherty entre violence quotidienne et grâce spirituelle

Oona Doherty présentait Lazarus and the birds of paradise lors du dernier concours chorégraphique (re)connaissance, elle a raflé le premier prix et le prix du public. Deux prix totalement mérités étant donné la force de sa proposition, la qualité de sa danse et une présence au plateau incandescente. Nous lui avons posé quelques questions à propos de son travail que nous vous livrons ici.

Lazarus and the birds of paradise, Oona Doherty ┬® Christian Rausch.

Votre pièce à (re)connaissance débutait à l’extérieur, dans l’espace public, comme si pour vous, il existe une porosité entre cet espace et l’espace dédié de la scène…peut-être une nécessité de gommer les limites entre l’art et la vie ???

Hope Hunt & the ascension into Lazarus started from an interest in the particular rhythm of young men from my hometown Belfast. I began researching 1970’s, 80’s, 90’s council estates such as Easter House Glasgow, Divis flats Belfast. The equivalent of which in France is HLM Housing, with a history of unemployment and crime. I began to become very interested in the term ‘Delinquent’ a socially constructed word which allows middle to upper classes to ignore suffering in my opinion. I was deeply inspired by the work of Mathieu Kassovitz 1995 film La Haine.

These people are not the normal audience members in Avant-garde dance theatre performances. These people do not get the same chance to see Art.

I feel sometimes that Art and the contemporary dance world have become incestuous. And even though desperately underfunded in my country, dance is still in a poor way performing to other dancers. This makes it a bubble, and in way has similarities to elite groups bound by hierarchies and a risky possibility to become similar to a bourgeois sub culture. In contrast to this, the global development of Hip Hop dance seems to me to have achieved greater  balance between different classes and different cultures in the involvement of performers as well as audience. This is something Avant-garde, contemporary dance and performance work needs to learn from.

Starting in the street is an invitation to share my movement with people who walk by, who do not walk into the theatre.

Starting outside is a reminder to the audience of the rhythms and organic choreography, which exists far from the lights, and safety of the frame of the stage.

Starting outside and moving the audience in on command is also a tool I have used to instigate a movement within the bodies of the audience. A shake up. A wake up. This brings people out of the norm, hopefully instigates feeling, excitement, uncomfortably. From this place then we (the audience) are in the now. And only from being in the NOW are you in a possible place in your mind, body and soul to receive the full depth and meaning of dance. To receive what your body thinks and feels by watching another body feel and move.

This is the aim, the hope, the attempt.

Lazarus and the birds of paradise, Oona Doherty ┬® Christian Rausch

Après avoir vu votre pièce, j’ai pensé que votre travail se nourrissait très profondément du monde dans lequel vous vivez, quelque chose comme un acte politique mais empli de poésie. Votre travail est à la fois puissant et delicat, comment parvenez-vous à en articuler les différents éléments pour en sortir quelque chose de si cohérent ?

I am not sure how to answer this question.

I have a concept. A meaning. A reason. From there I create a language, a way of moving, speaking, performing to fit the concept.

This is a set of rules. This is the world you have made.

I try to dig the most out of my ideas of humanity within this set constraints. The rules of this world.

It is different for each dance. I am constantly changing what I think is important. The rules of the world depending on the work I am making.

I am still new, and still learning, I have only made a few dances, I have a long way to go.

One thing that I think keeps coming up is ‘truth’ ‘honest’ to be in service, to submit fully to a feeling or an emotion. This for a long time has been interesting and beautiful to me. More than form.

These days I am working on what I call ‘method’ dancing. Trying to open up the body to intense emotions, I am trying to develop how can I remember and feel, how traumatic, joyous and overwhelming it is to actually dance.

Lazarus and the birds of paradise, Oona Doherty ┬® Christian Rausch

Vous proposez une corporéïté très particulière au plateau qui gomme la notion de genre, vous passez d’un adolescent furieux et violent, aisément reconnaissable parce qu’on en croise chaque jour dans nos villes et parfois vous figurez une piéta comme surgie d’un tableau classique. Comment travaillez-vous ces différentes qualités de corps ?

The nervous system holds lots of movements you have done and seen in your whole life. I think most people have within them the possibility to move completely different to their habitual way.

The choreography is in service to the meaning, the intention, the emotion. This then makes the details, the smoothness, the holiness, the gritty shake, the angry muscle tension. You just have to believe in your intention moment to moment and the body will support that.

Propos recueillis en décembre 2017.


Lazarus and the birds of paradise

Chorégraphie et interprétation Oona Doherty

Episode I Lazarus and the concrete birds of paradise from oonadoherty on Vimeo.

Oona sera en  tournée en France et dans toute l’Europe en 2018, proposant représentations et workshop, programme complet ici !


Imge de Une, portrait d’Oona Doherty crédit photo Simon Graham.

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