Acrobats and luminaries of extreme sports meet all the way up in the air, fathoming the limits of the human body. They defy gravity, lift off and stand on the edge between life and death. The fear, excitement and suspense that are revealed in these extreme situations shine a poetic light on human nature.
In his 2019 piece “Möbius”, Rachid Ouramdane transformed acrobatic lifts performed by Compagnie XY into vertiginous swarms of starlings. In “Corps extrêmes”, created in 2021, he took this one step further:
He invited two athletes to join the team who are used to finding expression in the solitude of the high mountain air: Nina Caprez, Swiss climbing champion and Nathan Paulin, holder of the highline world record and famous for his tightrope walk between the Eiffel Tower and the Palais de Chaillot in 2017.
“Corps extrêmes” renders their practices tangible to the audience and reveals the motivation and the philosophy of these extraordinary adventurers.
At the same time, the piece shows their fragility and their ability to liberate themselves on this existential search for themselves. Ouramdane reconstructs a climbing wall on the posterior part of the stage as the performers’ launching point on their flights, where they are subjected to rain and wind. In a beautiful natural landscape projected onto a large screen, the performing bodies seem to hover between high-altitude euphoria and the fear of falling.
World premiere: 23 June 2021, Montpellier Danse
Rachid Ouramdane – Conception
Jean-Baptiste Julien – Music
Jean-Camille Goimard – Video
Stéphane Graillot – Lighting
Camille Panin – Costumes
Sylvain Giraudeau – Stage manager
Laurent Lechenault – Sound and lighting operator
Juliette Bones – Tour manager
Joël Azou, Airelle Caen, Charlie Hession, Nathan Paulin, Maxime Seghers, Nina Caprez, Löric Fouchereau, Chloé Frappat, Peter Freeman, Owen Winship
A production by Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse
With the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels.
Co-production with CCN2 – Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble, Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Montpellier Danse 2021, L’Estive – Scène nationale de Foix et de l’Ariège, Le Bateau Feu – Scène nationale Dunkerque, Le Carreau – Scène nationale de Forbach et de l’Est mosellan, MC2: Grenoble, Théâtre Molière – Sète, scène nationale archipel de Thau, Le Théâtre, scène nationale Saint-Nazaire.
Thanks to Patricia Minder, Xavier Mermod, Guillaume Broust, Romain Cocheril.
With the technical support of Espace Vertical und Music Plus Grenoble.
With the support of MC93 – Maison de la culture de Seine-Saint-Denis