BLUEBACK // MONIA MONTALI & FRANCOIS BODEUX

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“Standstill and silence, but also stuttering, stumbling and almost falling: these are so many moments at which a flow that propelled us forward is interrupted, in which our thoughts, our senses can do their real work in peace and quiet”.

Marianne Van Kerkhoven, The ongoing moment

 

 

Based in Brussels and Liege, Monia Montali and François Bodeux have built a career connected to dance, photography, and sociology. Since 2010, they have been developing a joint stage work, in which choreography, theatre, visual and sound arts coexist.

For the stage, they jointly created Wavering Abode, Company, and ILL Seen, a trilogy around some of Samuel Beckett’s last texts.

Their stage work has been previously coproduced by Les Brigittines, Charleroi Danse, workspacebrussels, BUDA Kortrijk, WP Zimmer, Pianofabriek, and La Coop (Belgian government tax Shelter). It has been supported by WBI, WBTD and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (Interdisciplinary Commission on Performing Arts).

 

«A THEATRE OF DISRUPTION AND HYPERSENSITIVITY»

Their plays are continuously run through with a form of starkness, suspension, fragility, and abandonment. They seek to question our «being in the world», our resilience, and our private showdown with emptiness and the void.

Their approach is based on the concept of a staged image. For them, the challenge is not to present a story, but to generate a unique space for perception, into which everyone can throw themselves and question their own gaze. It is an approach in which each stage language jointly participates in the theatrical writing.

Today, the theatrical space establishes a possibility of resistance for them, in opposition to a world increasingly engaged in simultaneity, the fragmentation of memory, and the overabundance of events. It is a place that makes it possible to offer a different experience of time, that allows our senses and thoughts to accomplish their task in peace.

 

 

 

MONIA MONTALI  is Italian, she lives in Brussels.

After a period of study at the University of Bologna (DAMS-disciplines arts music performance), she trained in contemporary dance by attending several workshops in Europe. She moved to Brussels in 2001, where she also received a photography diploma from Ecole de la Ville de Bruxelles. She began to develop her own photographic and scenic work in 2006.

As a dancer, she has worked with choreographers, visual artists or theatre makers (e.g. Romeo Castellucci,Ted Stoffer, Kendell Geers, Georgio Khumalo). As a photographer, she was part of the international collective SMOKE. Her work has been published and exhibited through Europe (including Biennale de Liège, R.I.P. Arles, Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles in Paris, Festival Séville, Marseille 2013...).

For the stage, she starts with two solos: Amaurosis and TNNF (finalist for the Italian GD’A 2008 prize and selected by EXTRA, signals from the new Italian stage). Since 2010, she has been the author, with François Bodeux, of performances where theatre, choreography, visual and sound arts coexist.

She also collaborates since 2016 with EKLA (Centre dramatique de Wallonie pour l’enfance et la jeunesse) as an artist working in schools.

 

 

FRANCOIS BODEUX is Belgian, he lives between Liege and Brussels.

He worked several years as a PhD student in urban sociology before to study photography (Saint-Luc - Liège) and stage management (Infac - Brussels).

From 2007 to 2012, he was part of SMOKE, a European collective of photographers committed to author’s documentary. His meeting with Monia Montali led him to take an increasing interest in contemporary dance and theatre, both from the point of view of creation and technical management. Since 2010, he has been working as an author with Monia Montali, and as a stage manager, lighting designer or set designer for several venues and companies.

 

As a photographer, he has exhibited his work - most often in the form of installations - in many festivals and galleries (R.I.P. Arles, Biennale de Liège, Festival Séville, Biennale Balte de l’art contemporain, CWB Paris, Neunplus Berlin etc...). For the stage, he has collaborated with Charleroi Danse, Wim Vandekeybus, Thierry De Mey, Lefeuvre & Demestri, Antoine Laubin, Les Daltoniens etc...

Today his work with lighting and scenography remains largely influenced by his experience with visual arts. It is based on a logic of research, craftsmanship and openness to the most advanced technologies, which most often leads him to create its own «technological crafts».