Great Hall of La Villette, Paris. 10-V-23. As part of the off-the-walls program of Chaillot – National Dance Theater. Mette Ingvartsen. Skate park. Concept & choreography: Mette Ingvartsen. With: Damien Delsaux, Manuel Faust, Aline Boas, Mary-Isabelle Laroche, Sam Gelis, Fouad Nafili, Júlia Rúbies Subirós, Thomas Bîrzan, Briek Neuckermans, Indreas Kifleyesus, Arthur Vannes, Camille Gecchele, Mathias Thiers and local skateboarders Laurène Begaud, Christopher Cafournet, Antonin Malartic, Aurèle Robquin, Garance Tassin Mostini, Vincent Szewczyk. Choreographic assistant: Michaël Pomero. Sound design: Anne van de Star and Peter Lenaerts. Lighting: Minna Tiikkainen. Music: Felix Kubin, Mord Records, Why the eye, sonaBLAST! Records, Rrose, The Fanny Pads, Restive Plaggona. Dramaturgy: Bojana Cvejic. Costumes: Jennifer Defays. Scenography: Pierre Jambé/Antidote. Technical set design: Stéphane Thonnard. Set construction: National Theater Brussels construction workshops: Joachim Pochet, Joachim Hesse, Pierre Jardon, Yves Philippaerts, Andrea Messana, Boyd Gates. Technical Director: Hans Meijer.
After The dancing publicsolo, demanding that Mette Mette Ingvartsen imagined post-pandemic, the Danish choreographer returns with Skate parka large format show on a new form of urban expression.
Children, teenagers and adults form the heart of this skateboarding community to which Mette Mette Ingvartsen leaves the floor of this Skate park. Far from resembling ultra-modern solitude, these new urban playgrounds are born on esplanades or are inserted between two buildings. More than the art of sliding, they offer their followers a lifestyle and a community spirit. Respect, mutual aid, solidarity, Mette Ingvartsen makes these values the cement of these boys and girls skateboarders or perched on rollerblades. The constraint of sliding and the “merry-go-round” dimension of this infinite circle however restrict the possibilities of choreographic writing, particularly in unisons.
More interesting, the duets or trios bring a change of rhythm and depth to the staging, like this trio of girls singing a piece “Hush” allowing to sketch gender solidarity. However, it is the intergenerational aspect of the project, which is quite rare in live performance, which is the most striking. Beyond sliding, the group plays together with the ball, measures itself and films its exploits for social networks. In short, behaves like a constituted social body! However, this competition is not formalized, as in hip-hop, and the challenges are launched informally, children and adults having roughly the same technical level. All this to music that is very Pussy Riot or Riot girls.
Ability to accept failure, to get up and start over again in an energy that becomes more and more rock under the impetus of the two singers. A real course is then organized to raise the difficulty and speed up a notch over the BPM (beat per minute). The dramaturgy marries the different energies and styles of music, stylizes and makes practices interact, confronts aesthetics, in an extremely lively demonstration of urban and contemporary virtuosity. The show ends in a nocturnal atmosphere, more melancholy and softer before leaving for a festive celebration close to the codes of the electronic scene.
Photo credits: © Bea Borgers
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