Little Perceptions (2010)

To give a clearer idea of these minute perceptions which we are unable to pick out from the crowd, I like to use the example of the roaring noise of the sea which impresses itself on us when we are standing on the shore. To hear this noise as we do, we must hear the parts which make up this whole, that is the noise of each wave, although each of these little noises makes itself known only when combined confusedly with all the others, and would not be noticed if the wave which made it were by itself.”

Leibniz, New Essays on Human Understanding

In Little Perceptions, movements are defined as actions. They are primarily defined by their goal, not by their visual qualities. Each sequence is constituted of a single type of actions: hitting, avoiding, looking… This creates a specific homogeneity within the sequence. All the movements are different, but the differences are not big enough to isolate singular movements. The sequence has to be apprehended as a whole and can’t be decomposed into distinguishable parts. Yet the sequence in itself is recognizable, and distinct from other homogenous sequences that use the same type of movements.

There is something that remains impossible to identify and to fully comprehend in the perception of the movement. As the material isn’t defined on a visual level, it’s almost impossible to frame it through explicit categories of visual analysis such as geometry and mechanics. Yet it is precisely defined and it can be repeated consistently. The differences are too subtle and too complex to be clearly identified but they are perceived and recognized in the whole. Because of the homogeneity of the material, there is no evolution, there is no development, it doesn’t go anywhere. Noé Soulier is trying to seize that level of complexity without reducing it, and at the same time to define it so that it can be displayed.

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With Little Perceptions Noe Soulier was laureate of the first prize of the Danse Élargie competition in June 2010, organized by Le Théâtre de la Ville – Paris and Le Musée de la Danse – Rennes. In 2012 Little Perceptions won the second prize in the Concours de la Danse Contemporaine Reconnaissance.