A strike back from the past.
In 1998 I was working on an innovative prototype application: an archive of dance videoclips to be streamed from a remote server (did I already mention it was 1998?). One of the sample clips was called “Aunis”.
But “Aunis” was astounding. The place, the music and the dancers. Two accordions, three dancers, the sea, the wind.
And so much France.
I loved it and from time to time it happened to me to recall that video clip I loved and never had the chance to see again.
Today I was struck by the memory and tried to look for it.
See it by yourselves:
AUNIS / 1994
Choreography Jacques Garnier
Dance performance Kader Belarbi, Jean-Claude Ciappara, Wilfried Romoli
Two accordionists and three dancers on a sand dune overlooking the sea. There is an open sky, the wind is blowing and billowing their shirts while the movement of the waves provides a visual backdrop to this resolutely-cheerful mock folk dance.
A sort of allusion to the hidden origins of classical ballet.
“Aunis”, originally a solo, was composed in 1979 by Jacques Garnier. At the time, he and Brigitte Lefèvre had distanced themselves from the Paris Opéra and founded their own company, Le Théâtre du Silence. A name (Theatre of Silence), which says much about the quest for a dance which is pure, freed from the yoke of narration and libretto. “Aunis” is a hymn to the rediscovered joy of releasing the body in movement, rhythm and music. In 1980 Jacques Garnier revived “Aunis” for three performers, and for the Biennale de Lyon 1988, Kader Belarbi, Wilfried Romoli and Jean-Claude Ciappara from the Paris Opéra, took on the roles. We see them here in this film which opens with a tribute to Jacques Garnier, no longer with us: “Smile at life and, bursting with laughter, love.”