Project (2003)



Conception: Xavier Le Roy
Choreography: Susanne Berggren, Raido Mägi, Mart Kangro, Amaia Urra, Raquel Ponce, Juan Domínguez, Tino Sehgal, Paul Gazzola, Frédéric Seguette, Mårten Spångberg, Alice Chauchat, Carlos Pez Gonzalez, Pirkko Husemann, Ion Munduate, Nadia Cusimano, Geoffrey Garrison, Kobe Matthys, Christine De Smedt, Anna Koch
Technical Direction: Bruno Pocheron.
Music: Léonard de Léonard
Production: in situ productions (D) and Le Kwatt (F)
Coproduction: Berliner Festwochen Berlin, Gulbenkian Foundation — CAPITALS Lisbonne, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Centre de Développement Chorégraphique Toulouse/Midi-Pyrénées, Kaaitheater Bruxelles, Ballett Francfort & TAT and Centre Chorégraphique National de Montpellier Languedoc-Rousillon.
With the support from: Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin, Podewil and TanzWerkstatt Berlin
Thanks to: Pierre Le Roy (Le Kwatt administration), Jocelyne Le Roy (Skirts confection), Stefan Pente, Mugatxoan-Arteleku, Spring Dance Festival 2001, "I will never let you go" (Panacea Stockholm 2001).

"Project" is a piece that shows that a piece is more than just a piece. Initiated by Xavier Le Roy in 1999, it started as an investigation into the relation between production, process, and product in dance and theatre. How does the way we produce determine what we produce? Can we separate the representation of the body from the way this representation came into being? Do our social, political and economical working structures have an impact on our understanding of the body? In which way do they shape, limit and condition the content of our work? Can new modes of production lead to different types of movement and representations of the body? Between 1999 and 2002, "E.X.T.E.N.S.I.O.N.S." took place as an ongoing series of workshops in different places with different people, as a collaborative experiment with the process of process. "E.X.T.E.N.S.I.O.N.S." provided and produced working situations that, questioning, remodelling and reversing all parameters that determine the production, turned the whole process of working into the product itself, doing and reflecting, trying and showing. There was no separation between the object and its context, between action, research, rehearsal, production and public presentation - the ambition was to work on all these parameters at the same time.

The notion of games and play became a central tool, topic and method. As performative practices, games offer new perspectives on theatrical as well as social practices. With the ability to affect like no other social field, games are fictitious constructions that at the same time produce a cultural and social reality. These "constructions within constructions" figure as a tool to work on body affects and effect - they provide a ground to work on how bodies are affected by situations and in return effect their establishment - and at the same time constitute a choreographic principle: Games organize movement according to rules. Rules can be used as a means to communicate. They de- and reorganize the constellation of people in a situation that is neither pre-given and fixed (by the choreographer), nor an improvised scene as the sum of individual decisions. The choreography unfolds as a situation that as a composition depends on rules as much as on the individual use of them, on tactics and strategies and thereby on the choices and decisions taken by the individual players. Though composed, it always remains open and flexible. Where the game is choreography and the choreography turns into a game, other de- and reterritorialisations emerge; performers are simultaneously actors, players and interpreters, choreography becomes a mode of doing, seeing and understanding — and, in the space between, something like subjectivity might come into being.

From "E.X.T.E.N.S.I.O.N.S." to "Project" the stage came back in. Project leads the performance back to the dispositif of the theatre, back to the realm of the spectacle where it all started from. Where it began as a questioning of notions like production and product, the dislocation now acts on another level. It extends from the production of the piece to the perception of the piece - its secondary process of production, so to speak. Now the modes of exchange with an audience, the types of perception and the conventions of communication are questioned. So what happens when we watch people playing games in the theater? They play and they play playing, they perform and they perform to perform - the rules of the game and the conventions of theater. What starts as playing a game ends as the game of theater. And yet is it about winning?
Dorothea von Hantelmann


Springdance Festival, Stadsschouwburg - Utrecht, Netherland

Westend 05, Schaubühne Lindenfels - Leipzig, Germany

Augusti TantsuFestival, NO99 - Tallinn, Estland

Tanzplattform Deutschland, tanzhaus nrw - Düsseldorf, Germany

Panacea, Dansens Hus - Stockholm, Sweden

NottDance - Nottingham, Great Britain

Domaine de Chamarande - Chamarande, France

La Bâtie Festival de Genève - Geneva, Switzerland

with students of Giessen - Frankfurt LAB, Allemagne

Capitals Gulbenkian Foundation - Lisbon, Portugal

Berliner Festwochen, Haus der Berliner Festspiele - Germany

CDC Théâtre de la Cité - Toulouse, France

Tanzquartier Wien, Austria

Tanzquartier Wien, Austria

Kaaitheater - Brussels, Belgium

Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, France

Lignes du Corps | Théâtre Le Phénix, Espace Pier Paolo Pasolini - Valenciennes, France