To the project Brutalis

Ballet Tanz Magazine, February 2003

Pieter T'honk

Ballet Tanz Magazine, February 2003 - 1/1

Brutalis - Biennale nationale de danse du val-de-Marne

Maria-Daniella Strouthou

Biennale National de danse du Val-de-Marne

“Brutalis” un solo six sensibilities

Karine Ponties surprises again in a solo work rich in artistic complicities.

Karine Ponties possesses above all an extraordinary sense of dialogue in which she engages herself with the public as soon as she gets on stage. The audience reactions are very alive and spontaneous and are a signature of all her creations. More of a reason in order to give on self the chance and pleasure to watch them, to watch this new solo, full of complementary richness, a great lighting design, a plastic artist, a drawer and a musician. It’s a kind of defeating challenge taking bay all of them together in this marvellous trip, everything done with great results. She leaves her traces all over though, her signature is all over the piece, she goes to meet all possibilities of encounter, fragmentation, amusing, assuming the irony to the point of self sarcasm, to vindicate the primary material, anaesthetics, uneasy. A sort of front façade behind which we find an estrange and uncommon body control. “Brutalis” delivers an intimate dance brought trough an underground sparklingly effect, that leaves us to discover this appearance sometimes simple and others a kind of overflowing emotional senses that don’t stop coming out the pretending flat surface.

(translated by Jordi Granados)

Scenes Danse, December 2000

La libre Belgique


Corps brut en confrontation (Scenes Danse) December 2000

By proposing her work “Brutalis” Karine Ponties gives her fully, confronting herself with the risks of being confined in a research of sensibility. She in her whole also because she dances alone. Not alone in the conception because it has being done in collaboration for the project together with drawing designer Thierry Van Hasselt, they had worked as a team and this is their accomplishment. With the interaction of a black base and with a body as element, a book and a choreographic piece are born. So in the drawings we discover the dance and in the choreography we go trough the book. The duet work generates here a great amount of fascinating and surprising images. At the Brigittines scene the scenography is signed by Thierry Van Hasselt we have also Eric Domeneghetty (artist) and Wilfrid Roche (plastician) the actual choreography begins with the light effect in order to give a starting point in the development of the evolution of a body in a sweet violent, fragile, ironic and all that in the opposite order too. We assume the birth, the growing, the introspection, the quest of oneself, the need of appearing, the abandoning point and again the search, the quest…

The half dark ambience pushes to de discovering and send us to meet the body linked to the object and the consistence. The darkness talks to us, the subtle lighting of Florence Richard in deed working in the same pattern as the whole piece has being conceived. She offers us great examples of contrast in which she gets even to draw trough her lighting of the space, touching and defining the body itself. Body for which the “dance is only a mean a way to experience the boundaries to be explored, the limits and the what the body will become from and after that” something Karine Ponties knows how to do very well. Guided also in her search with the music of Jean Kuijkes, parallel alchemist component.

(translated by Jordi Granados)

Le Soir, December 2002

Jean-Marie Wynants


Danse dessinée, dessin dansé (Le Soir) décembre 2002

Karine Ponties and Thierry Van Hasselt combining in an intimate way their respective disciplines. A dive in the dark universe coming out the bottom of age.

The solo is defiantly in the air of time in the country of dance. After Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Tomas Hauert and Michele Noiret, here comes the piece of Karine Ponties at the Brigittines. The first two mentioned here inspired themselves over the music; the third operates a perfect marriage between the new technologies, particularly the filmed images. Karine from her side has chosen the complicity of a drawing designer. Is in deed the close collaboration with Thierry Van Hasselt (from the Fremok organisation) that she has conceived her piece?

The body of the dancer becomes a trace of light, like the trace of a designing feather and at the same time the designer realises his work in an incredible short time, towards his vision of dance. It is disturbing to look at the pages of this book; some of the drawings seem much alike what we have seen on stage. And we don’t know what is more difficult to accomplish if to make a dance movement after the drawing or to recreate with the body a game of lines and light effects inspired on the designs. In the creation process both approaches have been combined, succeeded, interpreted as we can see after this beautiful work where the ink sculpts masses, traces making up landscapes, abstractions, body in stillness or in action, unmatchable movements although they have been captured.

On stage all starts in pitch black from which a strange sculpture comes out, a kind of luminous icon placed over a fine thin angular structure. This are her legs, alone coming out from the dark in a wonderful lighting effect sculpturing them with a great sense of the effects made by Florence Richard.

From this first stage of the performance where the body is the structuring line, seemingly devoiced of flesh and blood, we are being taken trough the evolution and constitution of a personality. Somehow is like if we are being told in forty-five minutes a complete history of the human race. The body is dressed, gets up still bouncing a little, the face swollen like a newly born child. Later on lying on the floor stretching itself, making sharp and edge cutting movements with arms and legs. At each stage of the development a lighting effect corresponds, out of the incredible range of drawings from Thierry Van Hasselt. At the present moment the dancer’s evolution is being hold in a small square platform lighted from underneath, she turns around herself, the square becomes a frame and the dancer a drawing. She hides and appears at will, after a while disappears coming back in a black dress, interpreting a diva, funny and forced to smile though. Later the mask of this character will drop and the dancer becomes herself again. Going back to normal is not so simple, she hesitates, turning around, a naked torso facing back, the rest in black, flesh and muscles, tensing and releasing, breathing, performing the incredible landscape of the human body.

From the pitch black night of eternity, forms, shapes, materials, personalities appear inside a strange, untouchable performance, devoiced of a narrative intention, but constantly in quest of the deepest mysteries of humanity.

(translated by Jordi Granados)

Le Devoir, May 2000

André Martin de Montréal


Destination Wallonie!“ Le Devoir “ Montréal mai 2000

The Belgium dance has a specific place inside the international choreographic panorama. With the “Objectif Danse”, that took place this last week in Brussels, the dance in Wallonie has given herself a place in the performing scene.


…In this context “Brucelles” the choreographic piece of Karine Ponties shines on trough the richness of the choreographic universe staged. In this piece for five men and a women irony encounters the absurdity together with the implicit relation of surrealism and humour approach. Close to the conducting line of work of people like Kantor, Bausch and Nadj, using also as part of her inspiration the identity of Brussels, “Brucelles” is among those works that take you and mark you by the presence of the interpreters, the originality of the choreographic, setting and staging elements used, as well as for the intelligent use of the conjugation of all of them together. In this frantic coming and going of imprevisible actions, a man gets on top of a pile of dishes and starts singing with the register of a castrati, another takes a dish and uses it as a pillow, the other sets the table on the floor and one starts a coughing crisis and so on. As the absurdity of the circus clowns mixed with the intelligence of theatre actors, their dance as their actions, real gesture discussion, transferring a strong energy inside the astonishing corporal density. An ironic poetry enhanced with a delirious imagination, unsung for a delicious piece.

(Translated by Jordi Granados)

Le Monde, March 2003

Rosita Boisseau


Entre les vedettes de la chorégraphie, des stimulantes anomalies “Le Monde” mars 2003

Between Merce Cunningham who opened the twelfth Biennale Nationale de la Danse du Val-de-Marne the 26th of February 2003, the Odile Duboc, Maguy Marin, Jose Montalvo, Bernard Montet, who are closing the bill as a mixed bouquet that seems never ending, is the gathering conceived in 1981 by Michel Casera loosing the aimed departing point? Fortunately not! Among the twenty companies programmed in the twenty theatres of the department, we could point out the names of the young choreographers, the most, curious personalities, unknown of the big public scenes, their works being revealed as stimulating anomalies.

An exercise of sight, of look, suppleness guaranteed – you have to focalise your sight as if you where looking trough the lenses of a photographic camera in order to believe what you are seeing is true-, “Brutalis” a solo work conceived and performed by the Belgian Karine Ponties in complicit work with plastic designer Thierry Van Hasselt, maximizing the potential of a body inside an illusive game simple and clever at the same time.

Cut off by the lighting effects of Florence Richard, a pair of huge legs floats up in an immense darkness, lighted only by a kind of small painted tissue frame at the specific place where the sex is located. A beautiful way of revising and correcting the mystery of the woman and the origins of the world. A head is moving on the space like if nothing happens, being just held by a plate, being carried by it. With a great appetite devoiced of the possibility of seeming ugly or grotesque, Karine Ponties makes herself minced out, deformed in order to build up a body made only of bones and latex, from which the dry appearance is being combined with a great elasticity. Presented at the Cultural Space, Andre Malraux du Kremlin-Bicêtre, this cycle of metamorphoses redistributes the carts of a female that is not being taken by the hills of clichés.

(Translated by Jordi Granados)

Brutalis - (L’Humanité) mars 2003

Muriel Steinmetz - L'Humanité

“ Brutalis “ (L’Humanité) mars 2003


11 mars 2003 – Cultures


Dance. The twelfth edition of the Biennale du Val-de-Marne, keeps going till the 3dt of Aprilthroughout the entire department.

One gets out of the frame and the other takes his foot

Karine Ponties approaches her anatomy from a dry point of view, inside a lighting effect that cuts her body like a sculpture artist digging in the stone.

The twelfth Biennale nationale du Val-de-Marne animated by Michel Caserta is presenting a bill of more than twenty companies’ in as many theatres as companies can this department welcome to. With “Brutalis” The Belgium Karine Ponties sets a hybrid work. The paintings-drawings of Thierry Van Hasselt (plastic designer and artist) are at the same level as the dance. The choreographer lends her own dry and knotted like anatomy for this experience. The show starts on a small and reduced kind of tissue located between the legs of the dancer from which the rest of her silhouette is being protected by a pitch-dark ambience. Our eyes have to accommodate and get used to this all the time. The body of the dancer seems like the object used for the drawing designer. Everything is used in a game between the dancer and the painter in a perpetual dialectic movement. The light arrives to her like a raw look getting to the point of having the impression she is being devoiced of her flesh and bones by it, so subtle and well acquainted that it seems she becomes after all only a skeleton. But in thisinked pitch like darkness, a head, a hand one foot survives. This is a body treated like a sculpture, finely designed.And then under a single light boll the silhouette becomespart of the design of a group of threes being painted at dawn; the arm being raised like a small thin three branch, her breasts liketiny slopes. Devoiced of sensibility Karine Ponties gets down to the floor inside a monumental frame installed there, flattering herself down she getsinside the picture; but didn’t she just get out of it? She becomes a living portrait, making up the ground material, like producing the earth, the soil where she is in a where she comes from. Suddenly the real woman appears, the portrait disappearsmeanwhile Karine Ponties comes out in a black night dress, she has not stopped to surprise us, what is she up to now, is she going to do a strip-tease. She stumbles smoothly, displacing her hips voluntarily…she is not pretending to be funny but working in between the both sides ofthe character, the surprise, the sensuality all that being taken away suddenly by a simple hand movement. She is taking pleasure in posing like this getting to the limit of nearly being grotesque, not afraid of using and playing with her angular body structure. She disguises with great care all possible sentimentalist expression. At the end she gets back into her shoes from which some left soil comes out.

(Translated by Jordi Granados)

© 2013 Dame de Pic / Cie Karine Ponties Design : Speculoos