« Primultime », an uncommon term, refers to what is both first and last or, in other words, something that happens only once. This word, coined by the philosopher Vladimir Jankélévitch, characterised for him time, memory or music, which he speaks about in his Prague and Paris classes.
‘Was it Prague?’ he writes, contemplating the pitfalls of memory. ‘Was it me? Have I not confused my memories with someone else’s? And thus everything that has happened a single time in eternity, and then never again. Never more! The first-last kisses, the primultime meeting. An eternal doubt will surround what never was repeated in its shroud of uncertainty.’
If Michèle Noiret has chosen La primultime rencontre as the title of this choreography that Bernard Foccroulle invited her to write in this so exceptional of locations, it is especially because she was interested in contemplating those moments that only occur a single time, that pass and disappear for ever… These meetings that are both the first and the last, and that do not return. Or at least so it is believed, because reading Alberto Manguel, the meetings that do not occur are the ones that seem doomed to repeat themselves endlessly.
For the dance, the choreographer has decided to play with the location by preserving its magic, its light and its lived-in silence, with the exception of a moment when the music of Henry Purcell, Music for a While, resonates with the sounds of nature. This unique framework inspires flowing body movements. The choreographic composition is based on the principles of circular figures, especially the figure 8. The fleetingness of movement is crucial here. The audience, arranged in a circle around the stage, surround the dance and create an imaginary space that the body can inhabit and fill with its presence. How is it possible, in this regard, not to think of that other space imagined by Alberto Manguel: the mysterious plain of souls Néstor Fabris visits at the end of A Return, in which all the memories he wanted to forget and that, paradoxically, he values most preciously, materialise once again before him.
This type of space and imaginary presence, halfway between dream and reality, has always set Michèle Noiret in motion. Here she creates a solo marked by a remarkable meeting.
Cast & credits
Scenic writing, choreography and interpretation Michèle Noiret
Sound mixed by Michèle Noiret et Jean-Christophe Scottis
With an extract of Music for a while by Henry Purcell (interpreted by Alfred Deller)
Costumes Azniv Afsar
Photography Elizabeth Carecchio
Duration 16 minutes
Executive producer Festival d'Aix-en-Provence.
The Compagnie Michèle Noiret is subsidized by Le Ministère de la Communauté française Wallonie-Bruxelles, Service de la Danse and receives the regular help of Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI). Michèle Noiret is member of the Académie royale de Belgique.