Minutes opportunes

Creation on 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30 November and 1, 2, 3, 4 December 2010 at Théâtre National, Brussels

Created in collaboration with the dancers: Dominique Godderis, Filipe Lourenço, Igor Shyshko, Lise Vachon


«Man is passionately, infinitely attached to that which lasts only a second or only occurs a single time, as though the fervour of his dilection alone could reflect and perpetuate divine flimsiness; still more renewable, the charm of music is precious to him like infancy, innocence or loved ones doomed to death are precious to us; the charm is labile and fragile and the foreboding of its demise swathes in a poetic melancholy the state of grace it gives rise to.»

Vladimir Jankélévitch, La Musique et l’ineffable, p.149


A moment is all it takes to change the course of a life, to give it a new turn. Between two long intervals there is always a key moment, a dazzling instant when there is a break with the past and the future begins to take shape. This moment is not part of the continuum. It is as though it is outside of time. It is an event that leaves its mark on the whole of one’s life. It is an opportune, sometimes inopportune, moment when destiny appears to meddle with our lives.

Time is at the centre of this choreography by Michèle Noiret: time that goes by, the sense one sometimes has of time passing quickly or slowly, or ‘empty’ time, ‘suspended’ time, time that appears ‘heavy’.

Michèle Noiret and the four dancers with whom she has created Minutes opportunes have fixed this time of meetings and relations. The paths of four beings cross, between complicity and suspicion, tenderness and rejection. They seem to play a role in a strange intrigue in which every one of their actions appears to involve their destiny, like Hitchcock’s characters, giving the piece its haunting atmosphere. Sometimes, however, these beings appear to free themselves from the machinations in which they seem to be playthings. They attempt another way to live time. Their relationships become freer, more essential. The dance comes to life with the unsettling mystery and fleeting charm of these few instants when our existence is at stake.

The music, too, speaks of the importance of opportune instants and minutes. While everything goes by, everything passes by, the music of Jean-Sébastien Bach manages to magnify a moment and prolong an emotion. It appears, disappears, escapes, fluid and precise like a counterpoint. That is why, perhaps, it bewitches the humans with a passion for that which escapes ordinary time.

In Minutes opportunes Michèle Noiret continues to explore the way in which diverse stage compositions are combined. The structure of the dance seems to suggest an anthology of short stories. Some of them unfold in the same place, others present the same scenario in different circumstances. They are crossed by identical beings, whose destinies sometimes diverge. The art of choreography thus multiplies the possible readings, which are as numerous as life is complex.