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Bibliothèque corporelle: a multimodal dance archive based on the performer's oral history, body memory and internal dramaturgy

On February 1, 2023

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Construction of an archive based on the experience of Stéphanie Pons, a professional dancer with the Ballet Preljocaj, in Angelin Preljocaj's Paysages après la bataille (1996).

The result of several work sessions and recordings with professional dancer Stéphanie Pons since 2020, the interface Bibliothèque corporelle presents a set of bodily data from the memory of the performer in Angelin Preljocaj's Paysages après la bataille (1996). This retrospective work, oral and danced, concerned a choreographic fragment chosen by Stéphanie Pons.

Originating from the Performance Lab's Gestures & frequencies research axis, this interface was concerned with diversifying the perspectives from which the body is represented and the dance is archived.

Movement capture tests in the dancer's working environment formed the basis of this multi-layered archive, which was augmented by the dancer's internal dramaturgy - memory of the choreographer's instructions and personal memories of those who danced with her, by Benesh notation and by artist Lisa Moore's drawings which offer another reading of the movement.

The team focused on highlighting the body memory and internal dramaturgy of the dancer, whose voice is rarely heard. For this purpose, Stéphanie Pons' voice was very much in demand and made it possible to extract three different temporalities from the archiving process: the past time of the Ballet Preljocaj's dance, the present time of the recording and the later time of the returns on the experience.

This archive offers several entries based on a description of the context of the project, the video and audio captures, and the dancer's internal dramaturgy.

This tool is intended to inspire the world of performing arts research and to propose other ways of building archives. Moreover, the rare access to the performer's oral history, to her body-memory and to her internal dramaturgy offers an unprecedented dive into the movement whose expression becomes much more concrete.

For more information, contact us.


On February 1, 2023

Submitted on October 11, 2023

Updated on November 16, 2023