Created in 1995, and performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 1997, Végétal was a collaboration between choreographer Régine Chopinot, with her company Ballet Atlantique - Régine Chopinot, and the sculptor Andy Goldsworthy.
Chopinot brought the rhythms of nature, of generation and falling away, and of deep, geomorphological time into contemporary theatre-based dance. In her engagement with the elements and the spirit of the natural world, Chopinot created a work with a demanding simplicity, slow meditations in real time using natural materials, on the structures and processes of nature.
The dance is composed of five parts, in each of which the dance incorporates the creation of evolving sculptures using materials of the natural world, in movements which are between the choreographed and the spontaneous. The stage is circumscribed by the slow pace of Chopinot herself walking, marking real time.
Earth / terre : dust throws of red earth
Seed / graine : the building and falling of balanced rocks
Root / racine : dancers responding to a background of dried ferns glued to a canvas, forming a snake-like pattern.
Branch / branche : the dancers build a circular nest from branches
Andy Goldsworthy designed the set, and writes:
‘Stone has shown me many things about the structure of growth. I have found an energy in stone that can be best described as a seed that becomes taut as it ripens - often needing only the slightest of touches to make it explode and scatter its parts. The precariousness of a balanced column is like the fine edge between success and failure - the tension of growth.’
Végétal is listed on both the Ballet
Regine Chopinot and Edinburgh International Festival pages.
See also the online exhibition enterchange that includes Végétal
Chopinot colaborated with Goldsworthy on La Danse du Temps in 1999 , not performed in the UK.
photo: © Tristan JEANNE-VALES Agence Enguerand
with permission from BARC