With the contributions of Marie Baudet, Rosita Boisseau, Claire Diez, Bruno Follet, Bernard Foccroulle, Thierry Knauff, Brigitte Lefevre, Gérard Mayen, Jospeh Noiret, Jean-Marie Wynants.
Available at the Company, in the bookshops, on amazone.com, and by Alternatives théâtrales : +32 2 511 78 58 - email : firstname.lastname@example.org
The intimate territories of Michèle Noiret
"Dance is a complete but ephemeral art form that leaves no trace other than those inscribed on the dancers’ bodies and the audience’s dreams, which is why every book about dance or a choreographer presents a wonderful opportunity to relive all the emotions and pleasures experienced. This book – dedicated to twenty years of creation by Michèle Noiret and published by Alternatives Théâtrales – is outstanding in every respect and a wonderful homage just as the choreographer premieres her new show at the Théâtre National.
There is the joy of reliving all the emotions she has given us. “Twenty years already,” you say to yourself, “how time flies!” The book is primarily an incredible album of photographs taken by Sergine Laloux who has followed Michèle Noiret from the outset and succeeds in capturing a particular detail or a particular movement to reproduce the choreographer’s subtle and human universe. But it is also a book full of analyses, coordinated by Pascal Chabot, a philosopher who has the distinction of exploring the question of meaning with Michèle Noiret. He cites Spinoza: “You never know what a body can do”. The presence of Joseph Noiret, Michèle’s father and co-founder of CoBrA, is felt in two beautiful pieces of writing. He uses a wonderful phrase: “Dance is a cry from the body which finds itself in the nudeness of time”. Brigitte Lefèvre, the high priestess of dance at the Opéra de Paris, Le Monde critic Rosita Boisseau and La Libre’s Marie Baudet are among the contributors. All have been seduced by the choreographer’s rigorous but sensual work, technically avant-garde yet eternal.
In her own words, she uses every means available to “question the turmoil of my being when faced with the world, the inner life, the flaws that undermine the “passe-partout” certainties, the doubts, the fears, the hopes, the beings we are, tormented by the need to grasp the meaning, if there is one, of ourselves."
Guy Duplat, La Libre Belgique, 26 March 2009.
"For over twenty years Sergine Laloux has followed the work of choreographer Michèle Noiret, a celebrity on the Brussels scene. This handsome, varied book, briskly laid out, tells this hand to hand between a photographer-dancer and a choreographer-visualiser. The B & W images shot with a Leica are blended perfectly with colour photos from a digital reflex camera. As a result, we move through these twenty years of change with a sense of complicity and intimacy, in the image of the fine cover, which takes the risk of silence and mystery. Too often dance photo resembles a collection of colourised gymnopedic exploits. Here, on the other hand, the melodic line is kept to, it is respectful and fair."
JCB, Réponses-Photo, May 2009
Close landscape with Michèle Noiret
"Michèle Noiret is one of the great individuals of dance and choreography in French-speaking Belgium. She has acquired almost iconic status in her homeland. Her poetic choreographic grammar has something of the ritualistic about it in which dancers, filmmakers, technicians and musicians are equally involved and the colours, sound atmospheres, light effects and accessories play together with the dancers in a way that is close to enchantment. Piece by piece, everything is woven together almost imperceptibly. Without apparent transition, we are attracted into the labyrinth of an imaginary world.
These are so many strong, unforgettable images that etch themselves on the retina. This could be called the poetry of images, but it could also be called dance. The imagination is given free reign and one finds one’s own dreamlike interpretations, nothing appears affected or superfluous.
But how can one do justice to all this in images? Dance books often contain completely insignificant images, falling well below the artistic intentions. Thankfully, with notable exceptions.
Belgian review Alternatives théâtrales has just published Territoires intimes – Michèle Noiret – La danse-cinéma. This project is based on incredibly captivating images, most of them shot by Sergine Laloux, photographer and former Béjart dancer who has followed Michèle Noiret’s development with her inquisitive camera, since the beginning 20 years ago, when she was fresh out of the Mudra dance school. First as a solo dancer, then increasingly as a choreographer.
The book contains not only interesting texts written by dance specialists, theatre directors and poets, but also absolutely remarkable graphic material. It allows you to feel like you are truly taking part in the creative moment, in the architecture of movements in which everything is in permanent transformation. There are superb, magical images, whose texture seems to arise like part of the whole. They are generally very graphic images in black and white, huge video projections of different parts of the body with the face turned towards us or on the contrary refocused on a sort of meditation and permanent resonance with dance. Sometimes, the bodies on the video screens take their own path, abandoning the dancers for a sublime instant before, a little later, resurfacing in another form."
Ann Jonsson, Dans Tidningen
(translated from French, original in Swedish)
"23 years ago, in 1986, the Belgian choreographer Michèle Noiret wrote her first piece in Brussels, La Crevêche, a solo that would become a duo a few months later. Since then, no fewer than 24 productions and choreographic films have punctuated the choreographer’s career, making her an essential figure in Belgian dance. This issue is a tribute to this already impressive career, but not yet over, remarkably demanding and sensitive. ‘I try to choreograph the invisibility of ourselves, to reveal this 'off-screen' that underlies life.’ These words of the choreographer are very much in the image of her work, which journalists, collaborators and friends here are spectators and interpreters of. They give us their views and memories of those pieces that mix ‘complexity’ with ‘the uncluttered’, where is sketched a ‘perimeter of uncertainty around bodies and gestures’ (Rosita Boisseau), where ‘the choreographed gesture assumes an exceptional plastic quality of clarity and elegance’ (Bernard Foccroulle)... And the wonderful photos by Sergine Laloux, part of the company since the beginning, admirably confirm and complement these words."
Cathy De Plée, Nouvelles de Danse (NDD), Autumn 2009
"The first monograph devoted to the Belgian choreographer Michèle Noiret covers 20 years of choreographic creation. The book revolves around the photographs of Sergine Laloux, whose lens cuts to the quick, following and tracing rehearsals and performances. Contributions by critics, theoreticians and performers elucidate the various aspects of Michèle Noiret’s career: the regular use of poetry (through the work of her father Joseph Noiret), the precision and strictness of her choreographic composition, the alternation between solo and group work, links with new technologies."
Elise Avenet, Revue Patch, October 2009
Territoires intimes Michèle Noiret, la danse cinéma
"This beautiful, extremely well crafted book presents one of the most significant, yet also one of the most discreet, figures in Belgian dance. Michèle Noiret is among the few artists to have worked directly with Stockhausen. She has collaborated with the greatest French companies (Paris Opera, Lorraine ballet) and is among the names regularly mentioned as future director of the Centres chorégraphiques nationaux (CNN), most recently in Belfort. This ten-chapter portrait, with contributions by a highly diverse range of authors (Brigitte Lefèvre, Bernard Fouccroulle), coordinated by philosopher Pascal Chabot, with photos by Sergine Laloux, is a fine introduction to the extensive work of a choreographer whose name is starting to get a lot of mentions nowadays."
Philippe Verrièle, La lettre du spectacle, No 253, May 2010
"“I try to choreograph the invisible part of ourselves, to reveal this off-camera that underpins life,” says Michèle Noiret. This book, coordinated by the philosopher Pascal Chabot and combining the memoires, analyses and studies of ten journalists and artists (including two wonderful pieces by Joseph Noiret), is devoted to twenty years of creation. Her career is illustrated by photographer Sergine Laloux, who uncovers a dreamlike world that,” notes Jean-Marie Wynants, “has always drunk from several springs: the poetry of her father Joseph Noiret – one of the founders of the Cobra movement, the contemporary music of Karlheinz Stockhausen (...), the visual imagination of such film-makers as Andrei Tarkovsky (...), the world of painters and visual artists from Serge Vandercam to Maurice Pasternak.” The texts emphasise the demands choreography makes on inventiveness, “an artist through and through” (Claire Diez), to reach faraway interiors”."
Bernadette Bonis, Danser, January 2011