ESSAIS – d’après Montaigne

Conception and choreography Raphael Bianco
Choreography Assistant Elena Rolla
Maitre de ballet Vincenzo Galano

Music Meredith Monk, Alessandro Cortini, Rafael Anton Irisarri, Mika Vainio, Senking
Lights Enzo Galia
Scenery Massimo Voghera with Renato Ostorero
Dancers 7
Duration 50 min

The work is inspired by the famous “Essais” by Montaigne, where the dance, between physicality and abstraction, conveys aphorisms, moral precepts and reflections about existence and in particular about freedom and individual action. This  is the first chapter of a project entitled “Ergo Sum” divided into three parts, performed from autumn 2018 until autumn 2020, inviting to reflect on the idea of existence, through the exploration of ideas and intuitions by outstanding personalities of philosophical and scientific thought (Montaigne, Leonardo, Einstein and Descartes). It is a collection of Choreographic works in a contemporary style developed from the choreographer Raphael Bianco and other prestigious names from the Italian and European contemporary dance.

The Essais are attempts, tests, as suggested by the French verb esseyer, a way of questioning without pretending any truth. Just like the dance made of choreographic, surreal and cryptic experiments, inspired in its structure and autonomy to those who, even confused and frightened, closes up in a room to write about themselves, for themselves and a for few close friends affirming their free spirit.
This is a dance untied by any narrative content, that I wanted however deeply full humanity, to explore the kaleidoscopic labyrinth of the soul that emerges from the Essais, with a substantial difference: Montaigne wrote three volumes, composed of dozens of chapters dedicated each to specific behaviors, characters, human situations, but the dance, thanks to its evocative power, can summarize in a few gestures, a multitude of meanings, inspiring different reflections in each of us.
For this reason I chose a decomposable scenographic element (conceived by Massimo Voghera)  that fragmented the space and, like a palace of mirrors, reveal or hide, images and actions, and what you find in the foreground is not necessarily a priority respect the main perspectives.
Even the music is fragmentary and heterogeneous, just like the subjects and the writing of Montaigne.
These are my choreographic experiments, a way to escape the world and return back with the serenity awareness of the ignorance that join all of humanity, the only security, along with death, that match and approaches myself  to Montaigne. Raphael Bianco