The theme of recollection

Anamnèse’s research is based on the intimate relationship we have with our memories and with time.

The memory is not only a human function, it’s also a mythological character and therefore a complex symbolic construction. Mnemosyne is the goddess of memory for the ancient Greeks. Consequently, our research starts by the quest of this Titanide woman.

During the first part of the show, we explore how recollections shape our body and our whole being.

Taken as such, recollections are like permanent footprints, traces or scars that make us who we are. We try to understant the outbursts of movements erupting from carnal memories, appearing without warning, suddenly exposed. Sometimes these movements are deep-rooted and date back to childhood or even before birth.

During the second part of the show, we explore reminiscence, our daily life and our capacity to forget. We specifically explore the relationship we have with time.

As opposed to the first part of the production, we interrogate our memory as an intentional movement. We evoke incandescent moments, ephemeral bedlam of our immediate personal history, fragments… we re-experience, and things shatter from the mouth and the body, reaching fantasy, delirium almost, as we savour that fictive past.

Then we explored the relationship we have with our accessible memory, the memory of habits. What is the “auto-pilot” attitude, and what pushes us to repeat selected and loved habits?

Toys playing the game of the world…

We merely want to occupy a continuous present, a present filled with reassuring activities, repeated over and over again. The strength of habits faces resistance as time passes, and we invent rules which become ours. We give ourselves “rewards”, sometimes even tolerate reassuring “OCDs”… Made-up beacons diverting our attention away from the little slow hand of the clock, feeding us the illusion of a daily accomplishment.

However, if the forward movement is stopped, memories overtake us like a verdict, but remain our sole possibility to exit such a scary present.

Then there’s dreaming… Dreams could become our only loophole.

The anamnesis becomes a ceremony, a commemoration. Dreams, souvenirs and imagination meet up to create a dreamlike being out of a human being, who dances, forever.

The drum, like a heartbeat narrates its Eternity.

The choreographic creation process in a studio

“Anamnèse” uses a unique creation process called “mental imagery”.

Ideas are explored during guided improvisation sessions. Claudine invites to work with the feelings that the study of a word, a verb or a text arouses.

The feelings created by the mind – and vice versa – are observed and questioned. A constant dialogue is established between thoughts and physical sensations. Everything is intrinsically linked – imagination, emotions, attitude and balance.

Each artist brings in a unique perspective, drawing from his or her own experience, from his or her own  inspiration and kinaesthetic approach.

Staging and other satisfactions

The staging was imagined and written by Claudine. Afterwards, by means of the entire team, the show takes shaped in the studio during specific rehearsals in relation to the chosen topic. Anamnèse is constructed and developed into a story with the help of the entire group.

The costumes not only guarantee an exceptional and illusive viewing experience but are also the masterpieces of the décor. They are metaphors of disembodied memories.

The different scenic accessories – dancing drum, eternal sand – were designed to accompany the choreography and conceptual research of the artists.

Original works, as well as music and lighting are inspired by the surrealist movement. The fine boundaries between reality and imagination are explored, like in a dream.

Literature

By definition, writing means remembering, keeping track, challenging death. Chiefly in the aftermath of the Second World War, numerous French writers, from Georges Perec to Patrick Modiano, Claude Simon or Nathalie Sarraute, reinvented this ancestral art. Their works reveal to what extent the human memory is fascinating, sometimes destructive, dishonest or even becomes an unrepentant thief, is sometimes sweet, comforting and loving.

“Anamnèse” uses various representations of the memory, therefore several literary inspirations have nourished the writing of the Voice’s texts – Barbara, Beckett, Bergson, Bim, Kierkegaard, Lewis Carroll, Nietzsche and Platon to quote only the main ones.