Ula
Sickle
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Holding Present

Text / Press / Video

Ictus & Ula Sickle
Performance 90min


Première: June 4, 2023
Concertgebouw Brugges

June 16, 17, 18, 2023
IRCAM & Centre Pompidou, Paris


Holding Present is a new collaboration between choreographer Ula Sickle and the contemporary music ensemble Ictus. Holding Present examines how an individual gesture can become a powerful collective act. Weaving a fabric of existing and newly commissioned compositions by Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, Stellan Veloce and Didem Coskunseven, a group of seven performers slowly and consciously build a moment, a momentum, moving toward the breaking point where individuals become a critical mass.


The performance stages unusual instruments such as a swinging bull roar, aluminum tubes, handheld rocks and megaphones, as well as a modular synthesizer. The dancers and musicians collaborate to realize both the musical and choreographic score. The performers engage with each other on new terrain, charting lines of flight in the present. And while they build over the duration of the piece, the audience integrates into the fabric. They too become part of the moment, becoming responsible for momentum.


Concept, choreography Ula Sickle
Concept, musical direction Tom Pauwels (Ictus)
Composers Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, Stellan Veloce and Didem Coskunseven
New Instruments by Gert Aertsen
Creation and performance Amanda Barrio Charmelo, Marina Delicado, Marie Goudot, Ruben Martinez Orio, Michael Schmid, Mohamed Toukabri, Tom Pauwels & Ula Sickle
Light, Sound creation Ofer Smilansky
Scenography Richard Venlet
Costumes
Wang Consulting
Dramaturgical Assistance
Persis Bekkering
Production Ictus & Outline

Co-commission of the piece by Didem Coskunseven: Ircam-Centre Pompidou and Ictus
Coproduction Ircam/Les Spectacles vivants-Centre Pompidou, Concertgebouw Brugge, KWP (in Pianofabriek), Perpodium
With the support of Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts


Ula Sickle's choreography is immediately appealing, with clear, powerful gestures that speak of resistance, uprising and combat: arms raised, hands open, fists crossed, head dodging blows: gestures that are repeated from one dancer to the next, almost in canon, as the movement becomes collective, culminating in a climax of intensity and fervor carried by all participants. Amanda Barrio Charmelo and Mohamed Toukabri, in black tunics and pants, soft high-top sneakers (like the rest of the troupe) dance a duet, a more intimate, fluid moment of floor choreography during the improvisation of the musicians on the perimeter of the stage. They are also at their posts for the performance of A giant Blowing machine or a pocket tin sandwich by Berlin-based composer, performer and Sardinian cellist Stellan Veloce. The instruments used here are harmonicas and megaphones, which amplify the harmonicas, reactivating the idea of collective protest.

Composer avec L'espace √† ManiFeste,  Mich√®le Tosi for Hémisph√®re Son, June 2023

https://hemisphereson.com/en/composer-avec-lespace-a-manifeste/