LES INROCKUPTIBLES / 2 décembre 2013


Jean Guizerix, starry messenger

In “Cartel” presented for the Festival, Novart, Michel Schweizer interrogates the memory of a body: that of the former ballet star, Jean Guizerix. An homage to dance and transmission.

“Immobility is still dancing.” Jean Guizerix, timeless elegance, pronounces this quotation of Merce Cunningham. On the experimental stage of the Cuvier d’Artigues where Cartel is performed under the aegis of Novart, this former star of the Paris Opera ballet dives into his memories: a work session with Nureyev, the Manhattan studio where he met the master Merce Cunningham. And the impression that these experiences would inspire him forever, and make him what he is: a body of dance memories.

Guizerix explains the importance of marking with one’s hands for understanding movement. At his side, a young soloist, Romain Difazio, listens or copies him in mirror image. Jean Guizerix has seen everything: the glory days at the Opera, contemporary creations and research. Perhaps his on-stage partner is dreaming of the same career: in a dazzling finale, Difazio does a sequence of jumps and turns to techno music and tells us about his unsuccessful auditions: the juries who never tell him flat out no… but not really yes either.

We can easily see what fascinated a creator like Schweizer, who is a staged documentary-fiction enthusiast. After body-builders, dog trainers and teenagers – the very beautiful Fauves –, he fixes his gaze on the virtuosos of classical ballet. “How will these seasoned professionals, whose lives are saturated with the excellence of a particular skill and associated beliefs, know how to find a measure of freedom in a sort of testamentary impulse?” wonders Schweizer. And how does one invite, not a glory of the past, but a free man?

(…) Cartel is a homage to dance of rare power and Jean Guizerix is our idol forever.

Philippe Noisette