Picture Mark Hoflack
Blondes have no soul dance for silence and whiteness, solo
The performance ‘Blondes have no soul’ was already conceived in 2001, and had its world première in Japan while Pé was artist in residence in the Kyoto Art Centre, intensively studying Noh at that time and working with Akira Kasai and Min Tanaka. This work has NO STORY and is a statement against banalized and eroticized nudity used so many times in contemporary art works. With this nudity Pé proposes a pure and non-provocative, but utterly fragile nudity, to be observed not in an erotic, but in a natural and evident way.
The soundscape is mainly based on Pé’s own breathing and on a few lamentations related to traditional Noh songs. A few times, a seven-second sound disturbs the silent happening (Pahle Dählstadt). With this work Pé clearly demands another way of watching at contemporary dance. With facial expressions, subtle movements and minimal gestures, she strings together an hypnotizing stream of experiences. Dance, here, is a moving sculpture. An intense experience proposing another approach to time to contemplate and to sense.
‘Blondes have no soul’ is a radical solo dance concept born from the desire to find out what the dancer could communicate or offer to the public when relying only on movement, without a narrative context, without a musical support. Pé looked for that kind of performance liberating dance from any kind of athmospheric support and was curious to see if she could touch the audience by only relying on movement and voice. The result of a quest that took many years, and that is still an on-going process, is a work for nudity, silence and whiteness. A work purely abstract and energetic, in which, as in an abstract painting, it is possible to undertake a journey. The white stage of ‘blondes …’ is like an always virgin canvas on which endless but clear lines are drawn. ‘Blondes have no soul’ is made for a future in which there would not be any room for theatricality but where there would be a perpetual cycle of song and dance. The play is like is a way to exist, as if taken out of an endless cycle. As there is no narratic frame dealing with political or social issues, its significance arises from the kind of body which is proposed and the kind of energy in which it communicates. She proposes an ‘evident’ and pure nudity without the intention to provoke or eroticize. This nudity is only the one from a non-traumatized dancing body. Dancing the silence is another big challenge. A silence a few times countered by the use of the voice in a hoarse lament. With this creation, Pé developed the pillars of her artistic language and discovered the importance of ‘the life of the mind’ during the act of dancing.
‘Blondes have no soul’ is a work also offering one of the most precious things : time. Here, dance is a complex and hypersensitive state of being. No movement is anticipated, but the quality in which to move is strongly decided. In a long continuous ‘improvisation’ of one to two hours, Pé seeks to ‘be’ incomprehensible and imprevisible, ever-changing. The dance exquisitely wallows in paradox, and creates a complexity with a very fine motoric, a hyperlucid awareness of the body, a vivid imagination and a profound sense of delivery. This dance seeks to create an inner piece through the multitude of movement. Similar to the relaxing effect could be a rapidly moving river. ‘Inner speed is slow, outer speed is fast’. With ‘Blondes..’ Pé wants to reach a dance as complex as a rainforest, motionless in its universality but composed of a lot of unpredictable, inperceptible, inidentifiable movements. She ties this corporeal work that can be seen on stage here-and-now with the searching of a hybrid body – the result, not the purpose of a long nomadic process. How could a dancer assume the complexity of civilization, a world of generalized and global communication, at a corporeal level ?
‘I do not exactly know what I give to the public, it depends on each one of them. I only know that I do give and the more I live, the more I can give. I search then what is wonder, spiritual, ritual. I try to make visible what is invisible. I try to re-connect, otherwise dance nor art, to me, make sense‘. (Pé Vermeersch)
Support for ‘Blondes have no soul’ in 2000, date of its creation
Kyoto Art Center : Artist in residence; Bunka-cho (Japanese Ministery of Culture); Flemish Ministery of Culture; City of Ghent.
2011 : France : L’Avant- Seine, Théâtre de Colombes, Paris
2006 : Belgium : CC Menen, CC Evergem
Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp : Gorge(l) exhibition
2004-05 : Spanish tour in Cadiz, Seville, Madrid, Santiago de Compostela, Valladolid
series The Small House for Radical Art and ISTF / Ghent
2004 : France, Paris : Théâtre de la Cité Internationale and Théâtre Choisy Le Roi. IFOB, series
2003 : France, Paris : Théâtre de la Cité Internationale
2002: Belgium ‘Kunstencentrum Belgie’, Hasselt; Poëziezomer in Watou (only the songs);
Théâtre Marni, Brussels, series
2001 : creation in Kyoto Art Centre, Kyoto, and the ‘Flanders Centre’ in Osaka, series