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Copyright Audoin Desforges

Ciao bella

Creation 2009

Conception and choreography : Herman Diephuis

In collaboration with and interpreted by : Julie Guibert, Claire Haenni, Dalila Khatir, Maud Le Pladec and Catherine Pavet

External view : Julien Gallée-Ferré

Light : Sylvie Mélis

Sound : Alexis Meier

Costumes : Alexandra Bertaut

Music : Paul Misraki, Madonna, Johan Strauss, Peter Ilyich Tchaïkovski, Olivia Newton-John, Bee Gees, Richard Wagner, Amilcare Ponchielli


Production : association ONNO

Coproduction : Le Manège de Reims-scène nationale / Festival Montpellier Danse 2009 / Arcadi (Action régionale pour la création artistique et la diffusion en Ile-de-France) / Centre Pompidou, Les Spectacles Vivants – Paris / Centre Chorégraphique National de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon 

The company was accommodated in residence for the following rehearsals: à CANGO Cantieri Goldonetta Cie Virgilio Sieni – Florence, at the Ménagerie de Verre – Paris as part of the Studiolab, at the Quatrain – “communauté de communes” Sèvre, Maine & Goulaine, at Manège de Reims and at Atelier de Paris - Carolyn Carlson

With the help of the French Institute in Florence

Working on Italian Renaissance painting for the creation of D'après J.-C., I realised how the artists of that period were inspired by traditional art and literature when establishing the icons of feminine beauty. The image drawn from an unreal and unnatural body became a carnal package of the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene or Venus and from then on it served as a model for all Western art.

Paradoxically, what has remained unchanged from the virgins of Quattrocento to the silhouettes of XXIst century models is the idealisation of feminine beauty. It remains a fantasized projection of male desire, in which the images ensnare even those who refuse them. Women are supposed to define themselves in rapport with that ideal - an aesthetic assigned to them and which subjugates them.

I wanted to tackle our ambiguous relationship with these images and question the representation of women through the ages, using a variety of materials. In Ciao bella, the five performers personify these stereotypes in the extreme, subverted from within. They toy with these clichés and construct a perfectly artificial creature, manufactured to the point of becoming monstrous but also capable, in fine, of evading all references and maybe finding its freedom in this paroxysm of appearance.

Herman Diephuis 


2011 Maison de la danse - Lyon

2009 Festival Montpellier Danse // Centre pompidou, les spectacles vivants - Paris // Le Manège de Reims - scène nationale, dans le cadre d’un grand soir // Festival Globalize - Cologne (DE)

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