A great piece of news that is sure to please a good number of you: Plapla Pinky are playing at the Villette Sonique festival on Saturday 25th May at 7pm.…
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Although they were all trained in classical ballet from early childhood, the five young women who make up Project Oh!Yama are far from being your straight up ballet rats. They have always wanted to keep a distance between their art and professional careers (to preserve the pleasure of dancing intact?). They got to know each other on the lecture hall benches of the “Litterature and education” course at the “Art, expression and activities” department, option “Teaching choreography”. So it isn’t altogether by chance that they’re doing what they’re doing! That said, Project Oh!Yama was first conceived among girlfriends, as a way of keeping in touch after finishing college.
Project Oh! choreographer, Yuri Furuie, lives to be creative. Books of images, little ditties on the piano, choreography, no matter; it’s the creative act itself that’s important. With an almost social approach she says: “I have never believed that age or lack of experience are a handicap; nothing prevents anyone from creating anything.” Her choreographies often come from sensations or images. An example: “two cornered crabs that can’t escape”. Then the girls play around with what she has given them, invent poses, try out moves. The choreographic ideas distil themselves into gestures that are then selected, discarded, repeated and put together into routines.
Project Oh!Yama shy away from conceptualisation, as if the idea of attaching words to their work would automatically limit it, throw a net over the imagination. Yuri Furuie’s artistic intention is nevertheless unambiguous: “I simply aim to produce unexpected happenings on stage and give the public things to see that they don’t get to see in everyday life. I want to wake the sleepers!” No real critical dimension to the onstage clowning there then, or at least not consciously.
Project Oh!Yama’s choreographic impact is undeniable. The speed and precision of their bodies, the faultless orchestration of movement, their liveliness and spark. The stage is bare. They ornament it themselves; frank, straight up, uninhibited, unhampered. Their rapidity is astonishing, the juxtaposition of situations frontal, then absurd. To the point where you ask yourself if the Project Oh! girls might not, by some mysterious filiation, be the direct descendants of Dada.
© 2008 text: Franck Stofer, translation: Jack Sims, photo: Eric Bossick