Duet with a pianist (2021)

Sonatas and Interludes (1946-1948) is highly recognized as one of John Cage’s distinct masterpieces; a hallmark of an era during which the composer was drawn particularly to eastern philosophy and to new sound sources. However, this piece also deeply reflects the influence on Cage’s oeuvre owed to his collaboration with several modern dance choreographers in late 30’s and 40’s. Indeed, Cage worked as a composer for pioneer African-American choreographers like Syvilla Fort and Pearl Primus, both of whom are rarely associated with his breakthrough in music composition and performance. Though it may not be widely known, Cage explored the sound effects and placements of different materials in the prepared piano while he was composing music for a new dance by Syvilla Fort, Bacchanale.

Lenio Kaklea takes her own approach to Cage’s emblematic work by focusing on this minor, ‘lost’ (or hardly cited) detail. By recalling the presence of those leading female dance figures, among other references drawn from cinema, jazz and musical of the modernist era, Kaklea proposes a new reading of herstory, an archival incision which gives a whole new perspective to her own work based on Cage’s score. At times playful, at others insinuating a more emotional –yet not expressionistic—approach to the score, her body becomes a way to explore the subtly colored musical structure of Sonatas and Interludes. The stage, thus, becomes a kaleidoscope to contemplate not only on the relation of the choreographic and musical score, but also a critical tool for the genealogies, feminine and embodied, that inform Kaklea’s work.

Duration: 1 hour

Music: John Cage
Choreography and Performance: Lenio Kaklea
Piano: Orlando Bass
Sound and Technical Direction: Éric Yvelin
Light Design for Black Box: Βruno Pocheron
Light Design for Site Specific Versions: Yannick Fouassier
Costume: Pierre Paulin
Fabrication: Laszlo Badet
Styling: Lenio Kaklea
Dramaturgy and Research: Lou Forster
Choreographic Assistant: Dimitris Mytilinaios
Video: Guillaume Robert
Production: abd / Chloé Schmidt
Co-production: Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, ADC/Association de la Danse-Genève, BUDA Kortrijk (BE) and NEXT Festival, La Place de la danse- CDCN Toulouse, CN D Pantin.

Creation residency at Tanzhaus Zürich, ICI- Centre chorégraphique national Montpellier Occitanie / Direction Christian Rizzo in the frame of Par/ICI. The project benefits support for residency at the studios of CN D Pantin/National Center for Dance.

With the support of DRAC Ile de France au titre de l’Aide au projet 2021.

Photos: Marc Domage