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 Association L'Avant-Scène Danse 

neither check nor mate just alive

Choreography and stage production: Jânia Batista and Etienne Frey
Musical creation: Matthieu Ramsauer
Lighting effects: Jean-Pierre Potvliege
Collaboration to costumes and stage setting: Fundação Fluminense de ballet et Rosi Morilla (Picpus)
With: Jania Batista, Etienne Frey, Alexandra Carey, Ramon Moraes and the Avant-Scène Young Ballet

  How tempting the Don Quixote by Cervantes is ….. The very myth of commonplace. You identify with the lanky figure. You can picture yourself fighting, pondering over what is unjust and taking lost causes in hand. Part and parcel of our cultural domain, the knight of the Sorrowful Countenance is a silhouette as much as a way of life that epitomizes our communication folly.

If the Don Quixote myth is closely akin to our modern reality, it is meaningful and the show must unveil this inconsistent and tragic face: today's man and woman battling with the world from their solitary confinement, genuine social outcasts, absolute pariahs.

Each given situation meant a risky gamble on our part. Comedy was to be inseparable from the tragic fabric of events. Dream was to be part and parcel of the real world.

The gestures would be those of our present-day motions. The sentences would be made of silences, looks, emotions and dance. One would dare total silence, the pure impression of movement. One would go as far as extreme inner tension, which, in turn, would be interrupted by sudden splits, the use of poetry, and character interplays.

It all requires total oblivion and the ability to agree to becoming a revealing medium.

Is there not anything sweeter than to dare answer the call of adventure?
Indeed, to dare fend for oneself and face up to one's soul.

Was Don Quixote really an erring knight or was he simply enjoying life and its meanderings?

On the stage dancers are pawns of their own existence. The choreography of Jânia Batista and Etienne Frey is a vivid illustration of this saying:

"Carpe Diem on the chessboard of life"

This perception of Don Quixote corresponds to an elaboration on the notion of "letting things go", which is essential to the two choreographers.
For five years now, Jânia Batista has been questioning the myth of Don Quixote, wondering about a figure, that of an original adventurer, who gives himself heart and soul to grasping his extra share of life. Such is indeed the fight of man when he wants to step in his own maze, move on that obstacle track, accept and taste change with his gaze riveted on the horizon.

It is the book by Spencer Johnson "Who has pinched my cheese?" which has enabled Jânia Batista to find the keys to the creation of this project.
This is indeed the maze each and every one of us enters in his early childhood.
"And it would be ever so much simpler if we had it mapped out from the outset. It is however not so… everything moves, everything evolves." (S. Johnson)… even the smallest speck of dust.
The thing to do is to put down roots in the earth and let oneself be invaded by the flux of water, to experience the cruelty of fire, to feel quite helpless, and breathe the greatness of life since we are its actors and not its leaders.

These metaphors might seem simplistic. To us they are of vital importance.

neither check, nor mate, just alive

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