10 February 2016

   Cristina Ghinea

Yama at FITS 2016

Among the events confirmed for FITS 2016, there is also Scottish Dance Theatre, a rare company in the UK, fearlessly approaching a daring choreographic path. Their production, Yama (Japanese for mountain), realized together with the renowned Belgian choreographer and dancer, Damien Jalet, is a work that deserves to be encountered and conquered.

Mountains are being worshipped since ancient times and believed to be in numerous cultures a place of transcendence, a gate between worlds. Yama finds it s source of inspiration in different pagan and animist rituals, and in particular those practiced by the yamabushis, Japanese ascetic monks still practicing today in the sacred mountains of Tohoku, the region of Japan devasted by the Tsunami and nuclear catastrophy in 2011. Yamabushis believe that mountain is a mother, a womb from wich you come from and to wich you return when you die. Constructed on an abstract geometric form created by American artist Jim Hodges, that suggest at times a ant's nest, a vulcanic crater or a medicine wheel, pierced by a mysterious passage hole, Yama oscillates between a moving sculpture and a possession ritual.

Jalet has taught his very specific dance technique all over the world including at Pina Bausch Tanztheater (Wuppertal), Impulstanz (Vienna), Architanz (Tokyo), Centro de las Artes (Mexico), Menagerie de Verre (Paris), Atelier de Paris Carolyn Carlson (Paris), Iceland Academy of the Arts (Reykjavik) and Suzanne Dellal (Israel).

As a dancer, he worked for several companies such as Les Ballets C de la B, Wim Vandekeybus and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui/Eastman. As choreographer he’s been involved in many collaborations with companies such as Eastman, Chunky Move, Icelandic Dance Company, Akram Khan, Erna Omarsdottir, Sasha Waltz and guests.

Damien Jalet is entitled “Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres” by the French government.

“Great things are done when men and mountains meet.”
William Blake

      © Brian Hartley