"Brilliant Corners" is a choreographic playground for a group of nine dancers. It explores the ways in which structures emerge, and how a deep understanding of these processes allow an intense look into some of the most intriguing questions out there.
"Brilliant Corners" is the title of an album by Jazz musician Thelonious Monk released in 1957. Monk’s music appears in no way in the score of this piece, but many aspects of his music are very much present. I have always found in it endless inspiration for dance making, and although the piece contains no direct reference to this music, it shares with it a certain understanding regarding the process of transforming concrete artistic matter (sounds and musical composition / dancers, movement and choreography), into environments where both artists and audiences are offered a somewhat clearer glance at life.
The starting point for the work focuses on the initiating forces, which determine the shape the choreography will eventually take. Rather than looking at ‘what will it look like?’ or ‘how do I want it to look?’, it investigates the ‘why does it look the way it does?’.
The process abandons the wish to control the end result. It concentrates on playing with, and understanding the forces that generate movement and the ways in which they (if not interfered with) determine the overall composition.
The work starts with the elaboration of an environment, in which both the dancers and myself can look into the nature of the complex process in which structures emerge. Trial, speculation, experiment and revision of the basic choreographic substances (movement, time, space), allow the work to slowly grow, turning into a coherent and autonomous world.
The music for “Brilliant Corners” was created through a process, which “borrowed” most of its tools and mechanisms from the choreographic one. The idea was to create a parallel and independent structure that will coexist and merge with the choreographic one as a result of a shared inner logic. It contains hundreds of musical samples from enormously varied sources, which are later thrown into a slow process of manipulating, interacting and influencing each other. The result is a rich musical environment, which escapes categorizations but converses accurately and naturally with the choreography.
“Brilliant Corners” is made of an enormous amount of carefully assembled details. It is both extremely complex and quite simple at the same time - complex in its structures yet direct and simple in its ability to convey the immediacy and intimacy of the human presence.
One way to look at “Brilliant Corners” would be to say that there are no ideas except the work itself. That the purpose of the work is first of all to direct the sensorial perception to the choreographic reality, and out of this to later awaken our intellectual mind to the fundamental questions about life, culture, society and the world around us. Preconceived ideas and stylistically pre-fabricated formal and intellectual concepts, block access to this goal and their absence preceding to the actual creation process, leaves it open. Open to numerous and perhaps endless layers of meaning that overlap and interweave, creating a multifaceted choreographic event.
“Brilliant Corners” wishes to allow its audience to feel comfortable in front of something, which cannot be fully apprehended, to accept the offer of grasping it in its infinite unintelligibility. To let go of the need for an abundance of interpretation on content, and to focus on seeing more, hearing more and feeling more in order to maximise the potential of fully experiencing the proposition made by the choreographic reality.
Further reading: THOUGHTS ON THE MAKING OF BRILLIANT CORNERS
Choreography, Music & Lights: Emanuel Gat
Additional music: Franz Schubert - Nacht und Träume, D. 827. Singer: Gérard Souzay
Dancers: Hervé Chaussard, Amala Dianor, Andrea Hackl, Michael Löhr, Pansun Kim, Philippe Mesia, Geneviève Osborne, François Przybylski, Rindra Rasoaveloson
Commissioned by: Dance Umbrella (London), La Biennale di Venezia (Venice) and Dansens Hus (Stockholm) within ENPARTS - European Network of Performing Arts, with the support of the European Commission
Co-production: Festival MontpellierDanse 2011, Sadler’s Wells, deSingel
With the support of: BNP-Paribas fondation, Régie Scènes et Cinés-Théâtre de l'Olivier, Conseil Général des Bouches du Rhône, Domaine de l'Etang des Aulne