First Memory is a new piece for 7 dancers and places gesture at the heart of a research that is at once choreographic, musical and visual.

Noe Soulier’s new creation took place at the Raffinerie in Brussels in may 22 as part of the Kunstenfestivaldesarts, then at the Festival Montpellier Danse in june 2022.

Noé Soulier’s first new work as director of the Cndc-Angers delves deeper into the question of the relationship between gesture and memory. At the heart of this choreographic, musical and visual arts-inspired experience, dance is used for dissecting, and for the extraction of signs. This enables new light to be thrown upon the affects in evidence beneath the apparent simplicity of everyday movements.

What do we perceive, in a conscious manner, of what our body does when we carry out an action? Is it possible to gain access to the sensations experienced by a body prior to language – in advance of the reflexes, automatic reactions and perceptions which structure our relationship with the world? Starting with the premise of the impossibility of a global experience of the organism, Noé Soulier constructs a choreographic fabric capable of revealing the sensory elements of the driving force which stirs us into action. In order to disrupt our perception-based habits, he has withdrawn the various discursive and narrative frameworks, thereby endowing our physical impulses with meaning – which in turn enables the building up of a vocabulary of practical actions which have been diverted away from their aim. Accompanied by musical gestures composed by Karl Naegelen, at odds with the chopped-up playing space designed by the artist Thea Djordjaze, the dancers combine, recompose, and juxtapose real-time activities, giving rise to a space in which a network of correspondences and echoes is in existence. In a continual to-and-fro between the visible and the invisible, the controllable and the unpredictable, this gestuality spreads throughout the whole space – in sensorial, sound and visual-based terms – digging deep into the multiple, memory-based layers of the performers themselves and throwing light upon a syntax of intensities.
Gilles Amalvi

Conception, choreography: Noé Soulier

Performance : Stephanie Amurao, Lucas Bassereau, Julie Charbonnier, Adriano Coletta, Meleat Fredriksson, Yumiko Funaya, Nangaline Gomis
Assistant to the choreography: Constance Diard

Music: Karl Naegelen, created and recorded by the Ictus ensemble
Tom de Cock - percussions, Pieter Lenaerts - bass, Aisha Orazbayeva – violon, Tom Pauwels – guitare, Jean-Luc Plouvier – Piano, Paolo Vignaroli – flûte
Sound recording and spatialization: Alex Plouvier
Stage design: Thea Djordjadze
Costumes: Chiara Valle Vallomini

Lights: Victor Burel
Light manager: Benjamin Aymard
Song engineer: François Baron
Technical director: François Le Maguer

Head of production: Céline Chouffot
Tour manager: Emma Audichon

Production: Cndc - Angers
Coproduction: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Montpellier Danse, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Les Spectacles vivants - Centre Pompidou, La Place de la Danse CDCN Toulouse / Occitanie
With the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels.

2022
May 21-24: Kunsten Festival des Arts, La Raffinerie – Brussels (BE)
June 27-28: Festival Montpellier Danse 2022 – Montpellier (FR)
November 8-10: Cndc – Angers (FR)
November 16-19: Festival d’Automne, Centre Pompidou – Paris (FR)

2023
January 21: Theater Freiburg – Freiburg (DE)
February 9: Scène Nationale d’Orléans – Orléans (FR)
February 15-16: Festival ICI & LA avec la Place de la danse, Théâtre de la Cité, CDCN Toulouse-Occitanie – Toulouse (FR)
March 2: Festival Schouwburg Kortrijk – Courtrai (BE)