The result of a seemingly unlikely encounter between a contemporary dancer and a folk-dance troupe, Au coeur is a work as singular as it is rich. Over the course of a long-term residency spent working amongst the artistic community Lous Castellous, Dalila Belaza sought to “interrogate the moment in which dance bursts forth, whatever form it may take”, to understand what traverses dancing bodies and what links them together. Alongside the folk-dance group, and with the support of the Foundation, she began to work on a new choreographic piece during this residency.
The result, Au coeur, sees men and women in traditional local dress – clogs, scarves, dresses, bonnets – come together with a fellow artist deeply attuned to their gestures, their movements, and the rhythm of their feet, in order to search out new creative terrain. Dalila Belaza invites the dancers to work in interstices: to halt their movements, and to experiment with a slowed down or even suspended version of their dances. She encourages them to draw upon the deep memory of their ancestral practice, passed down from generation to generation. Through this highly original collective experiment, the dancers and the artist together construct a shared language that serves as the basis for a hybrid piece that moves between figuration and abstraction, the past and the present, the personal and the universal.
One of the nineteen finalists of the Danse Élargie festival in 2020, Dalila Belaza was accompanied through the production phase of this bold project by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, which provides further support as her piece is brought to the public in September 2021 during a series of performances dedicated to the finalists of Danse Élargie. This support, which comes as part of the Artists in the Community programme, further bolsters the Foundation’s engagement alongside artists, here helping to ensure that this already accomplished dancer enjoys the optimum conditions for the next stages of her career.