ECCE / Claire Croizé & Etienne Guilloteau 

Residency: Mer-
21 > 30/07/2017 – Studio

Mer- is a piece for five dancers and five singers, built on songs around death, sorrow and pain from the Renaissance period. Mer- refers to the Indo-European roots of mourir, the French word for dying. At the same time it also refers to the sea, la mer, which carries the idea of something ‘beyond’ the horizon, a sense of boundlessness, mystery and the unknown. The music is executed by Marnix De Cat’s Pluto-ensemble.

The concept of ‘finiteness’ is a vital part of the work of Claire Croizé and Etienne Guilloteau, and played a central part in productions like Affected (2006), The Farewell (2009) and Chant éloigné (2012). In Mer- the choreographers can explore this theme more deeply: death is front and center, but there is still room left for lightness and joy. Dying is, after all, an integral part of life, and Claire and Etienne research both sides of this balancing act: dying as the most exceptional, most unthinkable thing to happen in a human life, and at the same time the most trivial, most common human experience. Gilles Deleuze famously said that death begins at birth. Not a static event, but a constant movement, like a free fall that lasts our entire life. The idea of dying as a performance is the motor of movement in this dance creation.

The five dancers are presented as a group, but at the same time the personality and individuality of each dancer shines through. This way, the choreographers build on techniques that they developed in previous productions, and that are wonderfully compatible with the principle of polyphony: multiple, independent melody lines performed simultaneously. Moreover, this presentation echoes the concept of death as the most individual, yet the most generic experience possible. The piece tries to bring the dancers as ‘close’ to the audience as possible, not just in a physical sense, and without actually making contact.

The piece will focus on the 15th and 16th centuries, also called the early period, and will be based on the Requiem, Missa pro defunctis of Johannes Ockeghem and on compositions from Pierre de La Rue, Josquin Desprez, Richafort, Jean Mouton and Guillaume Dufay.

Première: 29 & 30/09/2017 – Sint Walburgakerk (Bruges)
Tour: CC Hasselt, De Grote Post (Ostend), Schouwburg Kortrijk, Kaaitheater (Brussels)

Claire Croizé and Etienne Guilloteau met at P.A.R.T.S. and have worked together closely ever since. Like many choreographers, they settled in Brussels. After working as artists in residence at wpZimmer for a few years, they founded the company Action Scénique in 2008. In 2016, Claire and Etienne continue their artistic partnership under a new name, ECCE. ECCE stands for ‘Etienne and Claire, Claire and Etienne’: two artists, each with their own voice, but working from a shared philosophy and expertise. Music, especially live music, plays a prominent role in their work. Some
of their previous collaborations include EVOL (2016), Synopsis of a Battle (2013) and Mouvement pour quatuor (2012). From 2017 onwards, Claire Croizé and Etienne Guilloteau will be the new resident dance artists of Concertgebouw Brugge. The work of the two choreographers has a strong taste for classical and contemporary music and this, therefore makes ECCE a natural partner. The theatre will support them in a variety of ways providing residency in their studios and venues, networking opportunities as well as financial advice and support. Concertgebouw Brugge will be the  structural partner of ECCE for the next five years (2017-2021) and in turn ECCE will intensively contribute to the artistic programme with lectures, workshops and their beautiful dance performances.

Concept and choreography: Claire Croizé and Etienne Guilloteau – Dancers: Claire Godsmark, Tarek Halaby, Mikko Hyvönen, Emmi Väisänen, Young Won Song – Music interpreted by: Pluto-ensemble – Musical direction: Marnix de Cat – Singers: Marnix De Cat, Kristen Witmer, Adriaan De Koster, Tore Denys, Harry van der Kamp – Light design: Hans Meijer – Costume design: Anne-Catherine Kunz – Production: ECCE vzw – Co-production: Concertgebouw Brugge – In collaboration with: STUK, wpZimmer and Workspacebrussels – With the support of: the Province of West-Vlaanderen and the Flemish Government


wpZimmer regularly invites Belgian and international artists for a two-week research and/or creation residency in our studios and apartment.


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