Myriam Gourfink & Kasper T. Toeplitz
28 June 2013 - 29 June 2013
POST-SHOW CONVERSATION ON 29 JUNE
Courtesy of Myriam Gourfink
Conception, composition & live electronics: Kasper T. Toeplitz
Choreography & dance: Myriam Gourfink
From one of Europe's leading choreographers Myriam Gourfink and acclaimed Polish-French composer Kasper T. Toeplitz comes Breathing Monster, a synthesis of hypnotic sound and uncanny physical movement. A woman gently glides through a long, narrow, invisible maze creating a series of micro-movements in extreme slow motion. As her body propels forward with the stillness of time itself, it gathers incredible momentum, and her gestures become a gravity-defying feat. With prodigious precision, her bodily contortions alter the surrounding musical landscape, breathing new meaning into everything that we see, hear and feel. Blending live music, motion-sensing technology and extreme physicality, Gourfink and Toeplitz design a suspenseful journey through the void, where a Breathing Monster emerges out of an uncut breath. Time span is infinite, carrying a body that moves with unparalleled fluidity, from the tip to the toe to the neck and which assigns to each member, each muscle and each cell its own respiration, its own expression, in an outstanding reflection on abstraction, time and space.
A leading figure in choreographic research in France and regular guest of numerous international festivals (Springdance in New York City, the Künsten Arts festival in Brussels, the Festival de la Bâtie in Geneva, the Danças Na Cidade festival in Lisbon etc.), Myriam Gourfink is best known for her minute choreographic scores often based on extreme stillness and supported by intricate sound scapes, often composed by partner Kasper Toeplitz.
Yoga respiratory techniques that she explored and trained in for several years as well as her Laban-based computer re-generation of pre-written scores, often executed real-time, have built the reputation of her outstanding compositional language. She was among the very few dance makers to have a residency with IRCAM, the Paris Music Research Institute and director of the Royaumon Foundation
Polish-French composer and electric bass player Kasper T. Toeplitz has developed a body of work in the no-mans-land between academic, electronic composition and sheer noise. Known for collaborating with such unclassifiable musicians as Zbigniew Karkowski, Dror Feiler, Art Zoyd, liane Radigue, Phill Niblock and Ulrich Krieger, Toeplitz makes use of the computer both as a real instrument and as a tool for reflecting on music differently, transforming the musical parameters of pitch data and temporality.
Myriam Gourfink's agenda revolves around a radical subjection of the constrained dancing/moving body to other, stretched time frames (slowness as resistance), other interacting spaces (sensors and micro-movements) and other invented idioms (post-Laban in the digital era). This notion of (re)composition, but also of notation of contemporary movement is the core of the choreographer's approach. Gourfink is closely associated with composer/sound sculptor Kasper T.Toeplitz, equally concerned with making spectator-listeners push back their perceptual boundaries. This ongoing exploration redefines the deepest parts of our inner lives. -Philippe Franck
Books on Myriam Gourfink:
Myriam Gourfink: Danser sa creature by Magali Lesauvage and Celine Piettre (Les Presses du reel 2012 - French only)
Breathing Monster will also be presented by Performance Space as part of ISEA (International Symposium of Electronic Art)
14-16 June 2013
In partnership with Performance Space Sydney, Critical Path, with the support of the Institut Francais and the French Embassy