A truly trance-inducing performance inspired by three masterpieces from Steve Reich, interpreted by the new generation. A string quartet and a dancer will sweep you away in the powerful confrontation of dance and music amidst hypnotic images and soundscapes. The Steve Reich Project is a pulsating fusion of dance, music and video art, a raw, deeply moving statement on the frailty of the human condition. The team spoke with The Fountain about the influences and their plans for The Fringe.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
We are excited to be part of the Dancebase program for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. My productions have already been presented in various international festivals such as the Festival IN Avignon (FR), the Kunstenfestivaldesarts (BE) … but this is the first time we perform at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. This is a great opportunity to publicise our work at the international scene.
TF: The Steve Reich Project certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
The Steve Reich Project was built around two emblematic works of the American composer Steve Reich. Different Trains composed in 1984 evokes the Holocaust and WTC 9/11 the first great tragedy of the 21st century: the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
For this project, I worked with the american light designer Jim Clayburgh and the video artist Kurt d’Haeseleer. We imagined a scenographic device that evokes those tragedies in a subtle way. On stage, four musicians and a dancer deploy sounds and movements in a constantly evolving space, tackling the meaning of existence and history repeating itself.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
The MP4 String Quartet initiated the musical project. They proposed to create a play around Different Trains and WTC 9/11. I hesitated a lot before embarking on this adventure, the emotional charge was too important. Being part Jewish myself made it seem almost impossible for me to render the historical and tragic depth of this work on stage. Then, I decided to make the leap, overcome my emotions and create a choreographic and multimedia piece with a string quartet, a dancer and a visual artist. It was crucial to find the form which would make it possible to create a total work without betraying the very subtle and complex work of Steve Reich. Different Trains and WTC 9/11 are two commemorative pieces that seem essential to me today. They remind us that everything can always start again, in other forms, if we are not commited, attentive and informed.
TF: Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
Edinburgh is a very important place for an artist to publicise his work abroad. I am particularly happy to settle down in Edinburgh for three weeks, to be immersed in the energy of the festival, to meet programmers, journalists and other artists.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond The Steve Reich Project?
Beyond Steve Reich Project, there is STRETCH. As part of this project I collaborate with the English visual artist Jonathan Sullam. We experiment on a performance with a group of 15 dancers / performers within museums. This project was premiered at the MAD Museum in Brussels. The dance, sound, movements related to the installations take place over a period of 6 hours.
My next project to be created in 2020 is 3.0, a Cyborg-Opera written for an electro musician, three actresses and a sound designer. 3.0 is a look at our near future where the border between human and artificial, intimate and strange intelligence, science and art, reality and fiction fades. I want to create this dance, theatre and music project for a large stage.
You can see The Steve Reich Project at Dance Base Studio 1 from 2nd – 18th August at 19:20. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com