Has this crisis been an opportunity to think or get inspired?
The crisis started at the end of a very intense period for me, with a lot of touring. Many people in my company or in the dance communities asked me if I could give dance workshops but I was blocked. I needed to refocus and take this time to think. If I want to provide something new, I need to get inspired from new things. My sources of inspiration are varied and range from high to low culture, which I like to combine. I took the time to catch up, to read all these books and watch all these films I never had the time to read or watch. I read The Girls by Emma Cline, The Loser by Thomas Bernhard, Mi Ultimo Suspirio by Luis Buñuel (my next creation being inspired by Buñuel)…. When you start reading Les Choses by Georges Perec, you connect with Houellebecq, then with Emma Cline, then with Castellucci. It was also a moment to digest. For example, I started a project many years ago on Solaris, the movie by Andrei Tarkovsky. I was 18 when I saw the movie for the first time and I did not understand anything back then. I am now twice as old, and I thought it was the right moment to come back to this idea. In my creations, I put a lot of attention into the space, the lights, the relations between the characters. I am obsessed with details and I always say to my team that the devil is in the detail. I did a show for children recently and I noticed that they were very obsessed with everything. I feel like them!
You are now back in the studio with your company. How does it feel?
We came back to the studio with the dancers in the end of May. Everybody was excited and looked forward to seeing each other and to dancing again, but the bodies were a bit “out”. We still need to come back to the feelings and the quality of movement we had before. After three months without practising, we combined cardio and “brain” exercises, to go back to shape but also to sensitivity. On the first day, we arrived with masks and gloves but we took them off after only five minutes. Now, we are using alcohol and common sense to take care. We know what the risks are but we also need to prepare for a premiere in July, so I trust everybody to be responsible. It is anyway impossible to be 100% safe: even if we avoid touching each other, we remain close, we talk, we breathe and we sweat. When dancers came back to the studio, some of them were full of information, desires and experiences to share. Others were full of fear and sort of blocked. At the beginning, we tried to touch each other with our elbows, but I saw that some people needed to hug each other, to express something. We are not robots.