For Josef Nadj, ‘playing (‘asobu' in Japanese), and all the various aspects of that act, is a new challenge to the stage and to gesture which is present in all his work.
After last year's fabulous conversation between music and dance in Last Landscape, entirely focused on the act of the painter and writing for music – colours and variations developed while working closely with Russian composer Vladimir Tarasov – the choreographer revisits one of his favourite fields, the study of the life and work of an author, drawing imaginary connections with that person and his own artistic research on the body, movement, poetry and image.
Nadj has for a long time been fascinated by the works of Henri Michaux, for two basic reasons. One is that the poet takes drawing and markings deeper into the meaning of language, and he uses travel to invent imaginary peoples, small, unusual tribes who leap out at you as if they were visible apparitions.
Weaving ‘the fable of origins', the title of one of Michaux' first texts, is one of the themes shared by the two artists; Nadj, continually digging further and further to find material for his creations in his home region, material which he metamorphoses by infusing it with elements from elsewhere, from other cultures and other forms of artistic expression. Henri Michaux travelled to Japan and from that trip drew his story called Un Barbare en Asie. Josef Nadj, for his part, left Kanisza to visit the Land of the Rising Sun and created Asobu. The voyage is real but also metaphorical, crossing the river, the Tisza, which runs beside his native town of Kanisza and constantly beckons you to ride on its lazy waters elsewhere.
So Josef Nadj decided that for this new piece he would take six modern dancers from Japan, four of them having been trained in the art of Buto. Twenty-four actors, dancers and musicians, including composer Vladimir Tarasov, melt into the scenic landscape out of Nadj's imagination. Costumes, masks and dummies play a part in the enigmatic effects of transformation which make them move.
Bodies melt into each other, change shape, roll-up, lay-down, rise or fall, revealing strange and interior worlds, an abundance, saturation of material, effects of mass, density and which focus one's gaze. And then the dance suddenly launches into the space of the Courtyard of Honour in the Pope's Palace, across the entire vast stage, across that horizon, exploding, taking-off, vibrating.
It is a work of view, of vision and that, like a sketch, a stroke, a line, continues its movement until it disappears. Asobu, crossing over from one place to another.
A journey into the world of bodies and matter.
Chorégraphie et scénographie Josef Nadj
Composition musicale de Akosh Szelevenyi et Szilárd Mezeï
Avec Guillaume Bertrand, Istvan Bickei, Damien Fournier, Peter Gemza, Mathilde Lapostolle, Cécile Loyer, Nasser Martin-Gousset, Josef Nadj, Kathleen Reynolds, Gyork Szakonyi, Ikuyo Kuroda (Compagnie BATIK), Mineko Saito (compagnie Idevian Crew) et Ikko Tamura, Pijin Neji, Tomoshi Shioya, Yusuke Okuyama (compagnie Butô « Dairakudakan »)
Musique interprétée par Akosh Szelevenyi, Szilárd Mezeï, Gildas Etevenard, Ervin Malina
Assistante à la chorégraphie Mariko Aoyama
Conception des lumières Rémi Nicolas
Assisté de Christian Halkin
Réalisation de la scénographie Michel Tardif et les ateliers du Festival d'Avignon
Décoratrice Jacqueline Bosson
Costumes Yasco Otomo
Assistée de Fabienne Orecchioni, Francine Ouedraogo, Sayo Maeda, Françoise Yapo
Conception vidéo Thierry Thibaudeau
Production et diffusion Martine Dionisio
Ce spectacle est dédié à Thomas Erdos
Coproduction Centre Chorégraphique National d'Orléans, Festival d'Avignon, Setagaya Public Theatre (Tokyo), Théâtre de la Ville - Paris, Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione (Modène)
Avec le soutien du Carré Saint-Vincent-Scène nationale d'Orléans, deSingel (Anvers) et de Cankarjev Dom (Ljubljana)
Avec l'aide du programme « Performing Arts Japan » de la Fondation du Japon et du programme Culture 2000 de l'Union européenne
Avec le concours de Kirin Brewery Co, Shiseido Co et Air France
Asobu est réalisé grâce au soutien de la Région Centre
Le Festival d'Avignon reçoit le soutien de l'Adami pour la production
Le Centre Chorégraphique National d'Orléans est subventionné par le ministère de la Culture et de la Communication – Direction de la musique, de la danse, du théâtre et des spectacles DRAC Centre, la Région Centre, la Ville d'Orléans, le Département du Loiret.