© Silvano Magnone © Silvano Magnone © Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker © Silvano Magnone © Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker

Light Solos

Text / Press / Video

Ula Sickle & Yann Leguay
Performance: 20 min & 15 min & 25 min (2011-2013) 

Strobos means “whirlwind” in Ancient Greek. Scope comes from skopeïn which means “to look at”. Light Solos is a sequence of optical pieces written for a female dancer… and an ensemble of the kind of stroboscopic lamps usually found at concerts or in nightclubs. For several years, Ula Sickle and Yann Leguay have been working on a series of electrifying short solos that incorporate light sources as an active agent in the choreographic process. How can perception of a moving body be altered by light? What active role does the spectator’s eye play in a choreography’s construction? Caught in a retinal twirling and cut out by bursts of light, the body starts to look like a projected image. The dance’s space-time joins that of animated film sequences. The amplified light also provides the subtle sound score for each solo. Working in concert with the body, the technique of the theatrical dispositive, becomes itself an instrument, if not an active performer. The complete trilogie premiered at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels in May 2013.

Solo #1 (Atomic 5.1) / Concept, Choreography & Performance: Ula Sickle / Live Sound: Yann Leguay / Light programmation: Ula Sickle / Dramaturgy : Shila Anaraki / Created with/body doubles: Ramona Nagabczynska, Elisabeth Schilling & Artémise Ploegaerts / Production assistant: Guylaine Huet / Residency: Teatr Nowy (Warsaw), WorkSpaceBrussels (Brussels) & Les Brigittines (Brussels) / With the support of Brigittines & Teatr Nowy / Production: Le Fresnoy 

Solo # 2 / Concept: Ula Sickle & Yann Leguay / Choreography & Performance: Ula Sickle / Live Sound & light manipulation: Yann Leguay / Created with/body double: Elisa Yvelin / Dramaturgical assistance: Adva Zakai / Residencies:  Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek (Brussels BE), WorkSpace Brussels (Brussels BE) / Support: Traject Subsidie Vlaamse Gemeenschap Comissie (VGC) & The Canada Council for the Arts (CCA)

Solo #3 / Concept: Ula Sickle & Yann Leguay / Choreography & performance: Ula Sickle / Live Sound: Yann Leguay / Light programmation: Yann Leguay, Ula Sickle / Created with/body double: Ana Cristina Velasquez
 Technical assistance : Raphaël Noël
 & the technical team of KVS / Production: Caravan Production / Coproduction Kunstenfestivaldesarts. with the support of  the Flemish Community Commission of the Brussels Capital Region (VGC), Residency Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek (Brus­sel, BE), KVS (Brussels, BE)

Première: June 9th, 2010 - Le Fresnoy Studios National des Arts Contemporains FR, Atomic 5.1 & Light Solo #2: December 15th & 16th, 2011 - Working Title Festival, Les Brigittines, Brussels BE, July 29th & 31st, 2012 ImpulsTanz Festival, Vienna, May 22nd, 23rd, 24th & 25th, 2013 Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels BE. See tour dates.

The performative body is a complex composite and shifting aesthetic fabrication, a heterogeneous ensemble of various percepts and affects that – notwithstanding its artificial nature – is ‘more real than real’. Producing such a hyper-real performative body differing from the involved performing body is the hallmark of Sickle’s performance works. This exploratory quest is vastly inspired by her interest in the multi-layered materiality of the live produced image and, concomitantly, in the physicality of the imaginary relationship linking spectatorship and stage-events. Simple but effective means may do the work. Thus in Lights Solos, a set of stroboscopic lamps accompanied by the sound of the amplified light remediates Sickle’s moving body into a succession of vividly juxtaposed images. Theirs is a slightly uncanny optical materiality that has a ghost-like quality but is at the same time all too real and genuinely affective in its fragmenting of the dancing body (and this even if one is acquainted with the stroboscope-effect from discotheques).

Rudi Laermans "Ula Sickle: Assembling materialities, creating performative bodies" - PARTS 20 years, 50 Portraits