Recto Verso

J-Ch. Maillot

Based on Dominique Drillot’s stage design and music by Schnittke, Recto Verso escorts us to the other side of the mirror: this archaic divinatory medium within whose depths the Sufis, deep in contemplation, behold the “infinite essence” in its multitude of shapes and forms.

Jean-Christophe Maillot provides food for thought on the age-old experience of the dancer and choreographer, on the narcissism of the artist, on the theme of split personality, of male/female duality.

So what exactly is this silent form imprisoned by the mirror and what does it have to tell us? What do the lines on the still pond of the silvering portray, true reflections or the depths of oblivion, experience of loneliness, search for one’s true identity, trysting place giving the choreographer and dancer intense pleasure or acute vertigo? Who is gazing back at me in this confrontation, and who is seducing who?

Recto Verso examines the issues confronting the choreographer in his creation, especially with regard to his relationship with the dancer: what is his role in the development of the work, what does authority actually signify, who is responsible and for what? By refusing far too obvious, overused gestures, Jean-Christophe Maillot inverts relationships, causes ambiguity, thwarts his primary desires and feelings at every turn and, through such repeated subversion, plants the germ of a reply.

Choreography: Jean-Christophe Maillot
Music: Alfred Schnittke
Costumes: Jérôme Kaplan
Scenography and lighting: Dominique Drillot
Duration: 26 min

Created on November 30th 1997 in Cannes, as a part of the Cannes International Dance Festival
Premier held on January 2nd 1998, Salle Garnier Opera de Monte-Carlo