French artist Rachid Ouramdane combines strong visuals and striking costumes with unforgettable soundscapes to create an atmospheric piece. Drawing on the performers’ pasts, he reveals portraits of life to create poetic, often dark, and ultimately compassionate work.
Ouramdane is at the forefront of Europe’s new generation of conceptual dance-thinkers and performers, bringing vital new ideas to the stage, mixing dance, documentary and multimedia art. His performances probe the emotional and imaginary worlds of whomever he encounters and are full of poetic and compelling images. The ever-present video images serve as an extension of the other, giving us access into his/her mental space and setting up a dialogue between individuals and their doubles.
For me the theatre is a place to reveal intimacy. I’ve always approached the stage as a poetic field that exposes the fragility of someone, that’s why I often rely on the use of interviews or personal statements of people I work with in order to reach a distinct depth of feeling. Collaborating with Candoco has been an opportunity to dig deeper into this intimate way of working. I focused on the relationship with music instead of concentrating on words. Through Jean Baptiste Julien’s musical score, partly performed live by the dancers, a narrative without words appears. The emotional charges that emerge are invitations to the audience to create open-ended fictions. In the live sound score each musical note resonates like words, drifting towards a sub-conscious space shared with the viewer.
For all its bleakness, it has an ineffable beauty, especially when the human presence disappears
Jean-Baptise Julien and Rachid Ouramdane
Darren Anderson, Elinor Baker, Dan Daw, Mirjam Gurtner, Annie Hanauer & Chris Owen