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A documentary film project by Stéphane Chazelon and Patrick Séraudie
« The artist : who is he ? Where does he come from ? What can he bring to his art and the world? What contribution can he offer to history ? And after he has gone, what remains of him ? What traces of himself and his work will he leave, and in what manner and what ? All is a history of tracks left behind…
‘Une histoire de traces’ tells us of the singular route taken by a young choreographer at the dawn of his career : Hervé Koubi. Through his shows, his journeys, his encounters, and in the style of a road movie around the world, we follow him step-by-step equally in his creative process and in his quest for identity.
The idea is to explore the itinerary of a young choreographer who, from the debut, has wanted to construct his work around an essential problem to his eyes : That of leaving a trace.
But what sort of footprint ? His ? Those of others ? Those which he follows or those which he leaves ? Are they from where has he been or from where he is going ? What guided or built him ? Or maybe it is a trace of what he lives today, that which others give him to play with, to dance to… Lastly, could these tracks be the path that he follows day after day, according to his experiences and his encounters ? Will it be a line that he has imagined drawn on a map, that he has created and which, finally, will remain for others, in the hope that they will themselves wish to follow it ?
Fundamentally, what does this choreographer, still at the dawn of his career yet full of experiences, an artist already known yet only now recognised, want to leave behind ?
In his work Hervé Koubi attempts to reply to these questions : this trace, he feels, is the foundation of his dance, it is what nourishes him. He divines the curves, the lines, the to-and-fro’s on the stage ; he imagines multiple routes which cross and sometimes collide, the dead-ends, the paths which traverse, the sombre roads and the great avenues…
Throughout all , we speak of the work of an artist and of the creative process : structure and methodology, introspection and relations with others , recreation and retranscription of emotions, of joys, of problems, of encounters, of pains…
And the finality of all that ? To explain why and how choreographic art can or should leace a trace somewhere. Certain arts leave traces behind them : Painting, music, photography, literature, cinema… Their ‘cartography’ exists, it is codified, regulated, their language supports themselves and the support is perennial : drawing, scores, written pages, film…
But what is there in these arts that we qualify as ‘alive’ ? In theater or in danse, who do we fix the trial and the emotion of the moment ? Who do we conserve it’s trace ? What support can the ephemeral memory offer ?
Hervé Koubi ceaselessly reflects on the means to understand, to translate, to reconstitute on stage that which enriches his daily life. He trys to develop this matter which feeds permanently his creative process. It is due to this that we thought that it would be interesting to follow ‘the trace’ of this man who draws from the depths of his body and his spirit inspiration and sensitivity : we must discover it, in full introspection, at the same time as his life and his company, through his collaborations and exchanges with the dancers he encountered from the four corners of the world and revealed on stage. Because from there is born dance : it is a question of, for the artist, a departure point towards an intellectual process which will finally end in a creation, an essential trace, evident, indispensable, vital… with, at the centre of this choreographical language, the entirety of humanity.”
Stéphane Chazelon - Alain Séraudie - Extracts from notes of intention - Limoges - September 2009