CHORA is a space of possibilities and potentiality. A space in which things can take place and live in constant breathing, expanding, and contracting – connecting the outer world with our inner world. A space shared with the audience that suggests our interconnected-ness to the world around us through all means of perception.
CocoonDance, which is known for their powerful works that deconstruct the body, focuses in “Chora” as never before on space and its perception. It is about understanding choreography as a cultural technique capable of interconnecting bodies as well as things, driving transformative change and opening groundbreaking resonant spaces. In “Chora”, the theatre space is transformed into a topography that holds places, paths and experiences. In its original Greek meaning, “chora” means “to give space to things that have their own place”; which is a pretty good description of what theatre should do.
CHORA created by CocoonDance Company with its co-authors is inspired by the metaphor of “diffraction” as a mode of thinking and stands for the search for new creative processes. The project focuses on co-authorship and its multiple possibilities. It is a way of rewriting, transforming and fusing movement and a polyphonic aesthetic. It features seven dancers in an evolving and shared sound/space installation where the bodies of the audience and performers coexist, communicate and network in a concept that creates an extraordinary scenic space.
The choreographer and artist in residence at the Théâtre du Crochetan invites the audience on stage to get as close as possible to the movement. She invites us to dive into the heart of her work and at the same time to question our relationship with the other, the stranger, so far away and yet so close. …. Little by little, the ballet becomes the world. The performance changes its content and becomes hyperactive and fascinating as soon as we allow ourselves to become part of the tableau, to enter the dance. The bodies of one and the other communicate in an almost physical, if distant, trance. A tensed muscle, the curve of a breast, a scent, a fold of fabric, all are amplified by the zoom of our imagination. Time stands still… After captivating us with Vis Motrix and seducing us with Hybridity, the Bonn-based choreographer continues her work on the different dimensions that make up a performance: she breaks the fourth wall and multiplies gestures to force the spectator to leave the comfort of darkness and his place as a witness to act and interact. Although some members of the audience on opening night found it difficult to let go and fully immerse themselves in the performance, the seeds of this community of souls and bodies are just waiting to germinate. … In collaboration with her dancers – Martina De Dominicis, Margaux Dorsaz, Álvaro Esteban, Clémentine Herveux, Marin Lemic, Bojana Mitrovic, Evandro Pedron – Rafaële Giovanola has created a profound piece that builds slowly but literally enchants in the end! (Olivier Frégaville-Gratian d’Amore, loeildolivier.fr, 06.10.2023)
The dance company CocoonDance presented the German premiere of their new choreography “Chora” at the Ringlokschuppen in Mülheim. The performers merge with the audience. A real experience, the likes of which are rarely seen. The company is directed by the Swiss choreographer Rafaële Giovanola. With this choreography, she and the seven dancers have made dance a completely new experience for both sides. Stage and space are not separated from each other. The space is the stage on which both sides can move freely. The principle is explained to the audience during the introductory workshop. They should feel the space as a cosmos in which they meet. The guests are an important part of the evening. They determine their own position, can move freely,
sit on the floor or even freely determine the distance to the dancers. Sometimes they also become part of a gathering of dancers, so that they are very close to them and right in the middle of it. … Everything fits together perfectly. The visitors creatively shape the space, the dancers adapt to it and fill it. Light and sound round off the evening perfectly. We live in a society with many problems that is changing a lot, including culture. Creative ideas are needed. This evening is such a successful example of how people can come together again in a social way. (Holger Jehle, abenteuer-ruhrpott.info, 20.10.2023)
The audience becomes part of the whole – The Bonn-based ensemble Cocoondance presents its impressive new creation “Chora” at the Theater im Ballsaal. [Headline] What happens on this premiere evening in the ballroom is an event of great power, an adventure for everyone present. The audience experiences itself in a completely different way in the theatrical context, torn out of its role as spectator without being forced into an embarrassing participatory theater. The choreography is extremely clever in its strategy to make the interaction between performers and audience artistically fruitful, but nothing here seems too cerebral.
On the contrary: “Chora is an extremely sensual work. The dancers give everything. Martina De Dominicis, Margaux Dorsaz, Álvaro Esteban, Clémentine Herveux, Marin Lemic, Bojaana Mitrovic and Evandro Pedroni show an enormous physical presence for 60 minutes, at all speeds. When they run through the space, as well as in the moments when they crawl across the floor like some kind of amphibian. Or when they roll through the space like a coherent cluster of cells, constantly changing position. Towards the end of the hour-long performance, the dancers occupy black mobile platforms, the only props that can also serve as seats for the audience. A moment of silence before the dancers once again enter a kind of slow ecstasy. Big applause! (Bernhard Hartmann, Bonner General-Anzeiger, 04.11.2023)
Space min.: 12 m x 12 m
Duration: probably 1 h
Premiere: 05.10. 2023
Théâtre du Crochetan Monthey (CH)
In Coproduction with Théâtre du Crochetan Monthey, Theater im Ballsaal Bonn, Ringlokschuppen Ruhr Mülheim, Tanzfaktur Köln.
Funded by Kunststiftung NRW, Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, NRW Landesbüro Freie Darstellende Künste, Fonds Darstellende Künste aus Mitteln der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien im Rahmen von NEUSTART KULTUR, Bundesstadt Bonn und Pro Helvetia, ThéâtrePro Valais, Loterie Suisse Romande, Conseil de la Culture État du Valais, Ernst Göhner Stiftung.
By and with: Martina De Dominicis, Margaux Dorsaz, Álvaro Esteban, Clémentine Herveux, Marin Lemic,
Bojana Mitrovic, Evandro Pedroni/ Jenna Hendry/ Cristina Commisso/Colas Lucot
Direction: Rafaële Giovanola
Choreography: Rafaële Giovanola in collaboration with Martina De Dominicis, Álvaro Esteban
Co-Authors: Fa-Hsuan Chen, Martina De Dominicis, Álvaro Esteban, Susanne Schneider
Composition: Franco Mento, Jörg Ritzenhoff
Light, space: Jan Wiesbrock, David Glassey, Boris Kahnert
Costumes: Fa-Hsuan Chen
Dramaturgy and Concept: Rainald Endrass
Texts: Augustin Casala, Mélisende Navarre, Martina De Dominicis
Movement research: Morgane Stephan, Werner Nigg, Francisco Ladron de Guevara
Sound research: Manuel Riegler
Video documentation: Michael Maurissens, Hugo Pratap Parvex
Press work: Fabiana Uhart, Rainald Endrass
Social media: Maud Richard
Production: Marcus Bomski
Administration: Maxime Rappaz, Till Skoruppa
Management: Godlive Lavani, Aurélie Martin