// The Film
The purpose of an anniversary celebration is to keep a trace. I replied to Chiara Parisi’s invitation with the suggestion of a dance film that would revisit local heritage sites: the 800-year-old Metz cathedral, the blast furnaces in Uckange as iconic sites of the history of the steel industry, the battered fortifications at Fort Saint-Quentin, the Wendel coalmines whose past ties back to the first wave of North-African immigration and which have now been turned into an art space.
The suggestion was to bring together these fragments of the past to make them resonate with the architecture of the Centre Pompidou-Metz which explores memory from the perspective of present and future times. In recent work, I have been exploring the emergence and development of a
mode of thought and dance based in “marronnage”. The term historically refers to enslaved Africans who escaped from plantations with the goal of creating new societies where they could be free. The notion later extended to the arts under the influence of writers such as Dénètem Touam Bona, as a way to subvert a coercive system and regain a place of freedom: “In the beginning, all rhythm is the rhythm of a race: the beating of the feet on the ground, the beating of the heart inside the chest, the beating of the hands against tightly stretched skin. A vehicle of dreams, rhythmic phrasing produces distortions of the bodies, space, and time.”
The notions of flight and trajectory are central to my work. I wanted the actors to dance and engage with these places of stone and glass, concrete and rust, bringing out their areas of tension. Their dances are born out of different social and political contexts. Each channels its own history and counter-culture. I wanted the memories of the bodies to resonate with the memories of these places.
Be in the gesture
Of your tongue
Of your hands
Of your stance to the world
Dwell in it, live it, and breathe
The silences, stops and suspensions, the apneas
Let them come And you will see your story tell itself
To spark the public’s interest without taking the wraps off the project, three short video excerpts from -s/t/r/a/t/e/s- were produced and circulated on the Centre Pompidou-Metz’s social media, as teasers before the official Studio screening which opened May 29, 2021. With one video put out every week of May 2021 on the institution’s Facebook page and Instagram account, these clips allowed subscribers to discover Cal Hunt at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, Marion Gallet at Mont Saint-Quentin, and Nabil and Mehdi Hadim at Parc du haut-fourneau U4.
This film was directed by Bintou Dembélé at the invitation of Chiara Parisi, director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, as part of the Renaissance event.
Dancers // Bintou Dembélé, Cal Hunt, Nabil Hadim, Mehdi Hadim, Marion Gallet, Timothée Andriamanantena, Lorenzo Da Silva Dasse
Editing // Marine de Contes
Cinematography // Féroz Sahoulamide
Color grader // Ludovic Vieuille
Coordination // Boulomsouk Svadphaiphane
Music // Charles Amblard
Sound // Julien Vasnier
Mixing engineer // Xavier Thilbault
Production-Distribution // in’8 circle • maison de production – Anne Rossignol, Salomé Klein, Tiphaine Ausias
Parc du haut-fourneau U4 – Uckange, Property of the Communauté d’Agglomération du Val de Fensch Parc Explor Wendel, Petite-Rosselle – Syndicat Mixte du Musée de la Mine
Cathédrale de Metz / Archiprêtré de Metz-Cathédrale / Centre des Monuments Nationaux / Unité départementale de l’architecture et du patrimoine de la Moselle
Mont Saint-Quentin / Metz Métropole – Direction de la planification et du droit des sols
Centre Pompidou-Metz © Shigeru Ban Architects Europe and Jean de Gastines Architectes, with Philip Gumuchdjian for the design of the winning project / Metz Métropole / Centre Pompidou-Metz
Susanna Fritscher, Frémissements, 2020, Centre Pompidou-Metz © Susanna Fritscher And the teams at each venue
Amélie Le Renard, Josza Anjembé