In/Utile : Incorporer


The project of modernity in dance, its ideal, is to give each and every one the means to be, at all times, the author – or inventor – of their own gesture –.” Annie Suquet, dance historian, contributor to the Utile/Inutile Project

Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.” Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (tr. Harry Zohn)

In the second and central phase of our Useful/Useless Project, we want to concentrate on the body as the center of our being-in-the-world: incorporating all informations, thoughts, sensations, images, memories, emotions and movements. The body is the presence in which we convey our humanity to others through art.

Utile and Inutile coexisting in one piece

In/Utile : Incorporer is the second-year creation, the central chapter of this three year-long project. It makes sense for Foofwa and Jonathan to have the /Utile 2 and the /Inutile 2 creations coincide. Each part will be developed and created as an entity yet both will be performed simultaneously as one piece. Hence /Utile  and  /Inutile will feed one from the other, the artists and the spectators incorporating the two works.

/Utile 2 will evolve with the young dancers, /Inutile 2 will include the second half of the audience wearing unidimensional glasses and headphones. To allow this juxtaposition, each creation will have its space but both will be performed simultaneously. /Utile 2 will be inside the structure/wall, while /Inutile 2 will be outside. The audience will be separated in two groups, each group attending one part and after the first half of the piece, each group of spectators will swap places. The scenography is conceived by Jonathan O’Hear as a three-side wall, or scaffolding, with three levels, allowing half of the audience to walk, attend and watch on both sides of the structure.

/Utile 2: dancers revealing the ‘invisible’ part of movements

/Utile studies innovations, new ideas, new momentum in the 19th century announcing modernity in dance in the 20th. /Utile 1 discovered how the 1830’s in France were a ground for new, revolutionary ideas leading towards modernity. /Utile 2 will focus on the 1850’s and see how the writings of Henry David Thoreau, the poems of Walt Whitman, the philosophy of Karl Marx, the development of the Minstrel dances by african slaves in America, or the first “abstract” ballet : Pas de quatre, gives us insight on how to embody modern dance in a renewed way.

In Incorporer, the young dancers will never be more than four at a time in the space, in order to change from the large groupings in Redonner Corps. They will dance excerpts from 19th century and 20th century dances. The aim is to see these old dances as alive and as spirited as possible, these movements from the past seeming to emanate from this very dancers in a very present manner. For this we will be working on developing an acute consciousness of presence. Presence for a dancer means the capacity to be hyper aware of being a singular person in a particular moment; presence is being here and now as this one unique person in the present.  

Furthermore, from time to time, the dancers will engage in discussions with particular spectators and explain why a movement is done this way,  what he or she is thinking or imagining while dancing, also collecting information from the spectator on his impressions. The idea is for everyone to start experiencing the ‘invisible’ part of dance: the projected models, the inspirations, the imagination and the knowledge informing the movement.  

/Inutile 2 : a kinesthetic experience for the audience

/Inutile 2 puts its audience in a particular sensory situation. Each spectator will wear unidimensional glasses and headphones.

Devised by Jonathan O’Hear, the unidimensional glasses allows each person to experience changes of light and colors but see no other images or forms. The headphones allows to listen to a poetic and theoretical discussion between a dancer-choreographer, Foofwa, and an artist-teacher-blind woman, Sylvie Raphoz.

The dialogue feeds from the information of the /Utile dancers evolutions and brings it into a contemporary and political questioning: how can one perceive without using the sense of sight in a society that dwells in images? how can one develop ‘invisible’ senses in order to apprehend reality without the use of pictures or videos ?

After having attended the two creations, the spectators will end up with an enriching mental and bodily experience that they will hopefully carry onto their life.


In/Utile : Incorporer
Concept Foofwa d’Imobilité, Jonathan O’Hear
Chorégraphie Foofwa d’Imobilité
Scénographie Jonathan O’Hear, Martin Rautenstrauch
Collaboratrice Sylvie Raphoz
Danseurs Interprètes Eléonore Cabrera, Judith Desse, Luca Häseli, Johanna Heusser, Foofwa d’Imobilité, Ivan Larson, Emeline Quinet, Sylvie Raphoz, Dina Sennhauser, Alizée Sourbé
Lunettes 1D Jonathan O’Hear, Shana O’Hear
Son Clive Jenkins
Costumière Aline Courvoisier
Assistante à la chorégraphie Caroline de Cornière
Assistante jeu et voix Nathalie Ponlot
Intervenants Brice Catherin, Nunzia Tirelli, Filbert Tologo, Franck Waille
Coordination Sylvia Amey, Patricia Buchet
Coproduction Neopost Foofwa, ADC – association pour la danse contemporaine, Genève
Partenaires L’Abri – Espace culturel pour jeunes talents, le Centre National de la Danse – Pantin, la Tanzhaus – Zurich
Soutiens La Fondation Ernst Göhner, la Fondation Fernando et Rose Inverni-Desarzens, le Pour-cent culturel Migros, la Loterie Romande, la Fondation Prof. Otto Beisheim, en cours
Remerciements La médiathèque du Centre national de la danse  – Pantin, La Fête du Théâtre – Genève, La Librairie du Boulevard, Genève
Neopost Foofwa et le Projet Utile/Inutile (2015-2017) bénéficient d’un soutien conjoint de la Ville de Genève, de la République et canton de Genève et de Pro Helvetia – Fondation suisse pour la culture.
Tous les livres de recherche pour In/Utile : Incorporer ont été obtenus à la Librairie du Boulevard à Genève.

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