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La Biennale di Venezia

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Introduction by

Marie Chouinard

Director of the Dance Department

AnD NoW!

And now is the time-honoured expression that people use to announce that a show is beginning
And now, ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to present...
And now, for your pleasure…

and now

we, the spectators, have shared a state of expectation
which suddenly ends with the presenter's and now
excitement, joy and hope
the curtain rises 

and now
we are inside the living matter of the show
a series of present moments, linked together
each in the present
inside a present that lives on until the end

a present that has been made just for us
to keep us in a state of presence for the whole show
to keep our presence in the present
inside the thing being created, now, before our eyes
bedazzlement, revelation:
the present / that which is living can only be approached
in that which is infinitely unfinished and never ends

the curtain falls

the work was destined to evaporate
or to be kept in our memory 

how much is our memory worth
can you put a price on it
does its value increase over time?

it is the poorest art
but its artists will tell you that it resides among the treetops
brushing the sky

‘memory’, we say, but we remember very little:
a few images, an impression
what remains in memory may precisely resemble
things which lived inside the author before she started her creation:
a sea of sensation and some blazing images

we the spectators are really adventurous and brave
because each time we buy a ticket, we reaffirm hope
we return to the act of faith

moments of grace are rare but sublime
they are worth having wasted our time, a little—so it may seem, on occasion
this loss is a reservoir of hope for the next time
and when grace appears, it will ravage us in all the cruelty of its beauty

one spectator will carefully keep his programme notes, the other his ticket
a woman will ask for an autograph
another will attend the public talk after the show
while still another rushes home
to try to dance like the performer she has just seen...

I was there!
I saw Steve Paxton, I saw Louise Lecavalier, I saw Marlene Monteiro Freitas
I saw Carol Prieur, I saw Benoît Lachambre
I was there!

Sarah Bernhardt said, on seeing Vaslav Nijinski dance: I'm afraid

and they will all be with me at the moment of my death

Biennale Danza
Biennale Danza