To the project Negatovas

Le Soir, March 1999

Jean Marie Wynants - Le Soir

« Negatovas » Le rire en négatif de Karine Ponties (Le Soir) mars 1999

At the Biennale of Charleroi-Danses Karine Ponties gets out the comic from the darkness.

There are four, dress in dark grey, quiet dark.Four men inside a vast space, naked, also dark. Stuck in a thin wave oflight, lightly illuminated. From the first seconds Mauro Paccagnella, Alessandro Bernardeschi, Neil Cadger and Didier Casamitjana, imposing their presence, their faces, and their anxious looks. The first, Didier Casamitjana makes a general laughter with his astonishing moving pattern, and his uncommon costume. From the total obscurity out comes the hilarious totality, we think about Kafka, Beckett, Daniil Harms,…

The four men seem to have problems to stand up, always hesitating, doubting, or obliged to move so not to be shadow. They hold their head with their hands or with the others. They talk in the dessert, like those illuminated we cross from time to time in the big cities. But their words are replaced by gestures that hurt, scare, make you tender, calm or even anxious. Sudden or tender, sinuous or disturbing. Gestures that melt in the space, like when the serpent holds and eats his prey, or the chameleon sending his long tongue holding at the end the innocent fly, the piece of floating wood transformed suddenly into the bloody alligator. Funny and disturbing, everything here is ambivalent, like the lights of Florence Richard. Regularly the voice ofYma Sumac arises, unbelievable, like a call from another world to which none of the presents have access.

They get close to each other, sniffing, judging, uncomfortable, doubting, in guard, down the forehead as cheeking out. They don’t stop to look at right and left, looking for a glance of an horizon in this dark universe that is seemingly digesting them. Jail ? Home for the homeless ? Kingdom of ignorance ? Vertigo of the depression ? Each lives inside this small dessert, trying from time to time to catch the others attention. Idiots ?

And here they are again trying a different quarter of a new gender, getting little by little a kind of look that says « we are getting there, holding it by the hair… »

The waiting, the blocked horizon, inexistent, afraid of the other, of the world, of the solitude…With all those themes non of them really joyful, Karine Ponties invents a dark dance theatre, poetic and very funny, greatly served by four interpreters with a formidable presence and an incredible gesture very precise in deed.

(tranlated by Jordi Granados)

Nord Eclair, October 1999

C.R Nord éclair

« Negatovas »

Premier rendez-vous avec Danse à Lille

Clin d’œil à huis clos

Their space is limited by an invisible thread. Four dark men in a closed space look at each other, walk about with indifference. Discovered last year at the “Reperages” of Danse à Lille, Karine Ponties in her latest creation “Negatovas”, makes her characters wander about in an informal uniform, at same time masculine and feminine, inside a universe basically empty, a weighted silence only disturbed by some moaning of small water drops.

Everything is slowed downsweet approach of the individuals like in a transparency. Hardly can we appreciate throughout some suddenand ample movements, the premises of a dance constructed like a building game. And then the first encounters nearly passing trough unnoticed…where the body of the other comes, pinned by the pointed movement of the first. Impression of lightness in choreography in constant unbalance, that plays in a game of frantic and extreme simplicity.

Decalage. Behind a shadowed appearance and the unsmiling faces of the dancers, the light brings a kind of particular humour. Where the movements talk to us in a second degree. Each of them in his particular mimic precise gestures, having fun and taking pleasure from one another, the crescendo arises. The dance evolves from the line of caricature, but always alarm, obvious and calculated. It’s developed at the minimum detail, a glance, a hand raising, a leg in suspends and the slightest detail is being multiplied…In pairs and then all four, the dancers take you suddenly in a sweet vertigo. A sweet craziness where the movements are brought to with an incredible hold. The bodies touch, and disappear again or gather surprisingly. Karine Ponties grows with jubilation the art of mechanical construction, geometrical and absurd positions. With a remarkable suppleness she offers a portrait of a family with this four anonymous dancers making us being surprised by our own laughing and natural dreaming.

(tranlated by Jordi Granados)

La Nouvelle Gazette

Anne Soumoy - La Nouvelle Gazette

« Negatovas »

La Nouvelle Gazette

Biennale de la Danse

D’un côté l’absurdité de l’autre la poésie

This Wednesday between the Palais des Beaus Arts de Charleroi and the Ecuries, two young dancers and choreographers shared with us their imaginary universe.

In the new dance space Les Ecuries of Charleroi, and thankfully for us, “Negatovas” was presented in the second part of the program at the Palais des Beaux Arts, and it was a great performance. Karine Ponties has overcome her own experience by working for other choreographers before daring her own creation process. We have seen her in shows of Charleroi-Danses, Michele Noiret’s works and with the Mosoux/Bonte Company too. This last project of hers is created around four male characters: two dancers a musician and an actor that have developed and proposed her own ideas. At the stage this four characters wander about in the darkness, in the emptiness facing each other. Throughout the movement Karine establishes the question of: how can anyone develop kindness, tenderness inside such an environment?

With out forgetting what that could bring whether is comic or tragic the quarter gets to the quest perfectly. They make us laugh with that special gesture close to the sign language of the deaf from another planet. The hand on the chick of another, head under someone’s kilt, those men make us tender by their indifference, and their detachment, although seemingly enchanted. Always following her own feelings, Karine stages a combination of bodies with a great sense of minimalism, calculated and meticulous. Searching inside a universe more than in a choreographic language. This talented woman makes us dive in the lighting darkness of her imaginary, where the burlesque and the estrange meet. She develops an intriguing dance, poetical to a point where we can no longer explain but from which we are completely seduced.

(translated by Jordi Granados)

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