Since their first work together on Amour sorcier (Bewitched Love), written with the orchestra conductor Marc Minkowski and the stage director Jacques Osinski, Olivia Ruiz and Jean-Claude Gallotta have been keen to renew the experience and collaborate on a new project where they can explore their respective artistic universes...
… Jean-Claude invited Olivia to collaborate on a musical show based on her songs and on the themes of the foreigner and immigration. In late 2014 Olivia Ruiz and the playwright Claude-Henri Buffard began work together on a scenario based on an idea of the choreographer.
In what might appear to be a classical story of forbidden love, various themes began to emerge : the difficulty of belonging to two countries, the richness that comes from belonging to two cultures, the pain and suffering that can also sometimes emerge. Born into an immigrant family, Olivia Ruiz wanted her character to project a strong image, to tell a powerful story, to express regrets, to embody the wounds and suffering of her own parents and grandparents.
The young person that Olivia portrays has to find the strength to emigrate from her native land in the South and embrace the big city. She will have to face another world, and new forms of violence. She will struggle against her fears, and she will open herself to desire, as well as to unreasonable demands.
Will she emerge from this turmoil changed in some way ?
PROJECT NOTE - JEAN-CLAUDE GALLOTTA
With Volver I am keen to pursue my experimental work with dance and different musical styles. The starting point was meeting Olivia Ruiz.
It was our collaboration together on the show L’Amour sorcier by Manuel de Falla in 2013. Olivia sang the lead role Candelas, but my secret hope was that she would agree to dance as well. She not only accepted but insisted on rehearsing with the dancers, sweating blood and perspiration day after day in the studio, until she became very much part of the dance company. I found her to be strong-willed and compelling.
I also went to one of her concerts which convinced me that, more than a singer, she is a consummate artist : the author of her own lyrics, a showwoman able to move between musical genres from variety to rock.
I had one previous experience of this kind of project (L’Homme à tête de chou – The Cabbage Head Man – sung by Bashung). So one evening, over dinner, I described a new project and sketched it out with some drawings on the table cloth. The idea was to tell her life story in a musical show : a girl from the South struggles with her dual allegiance to her native countries and native cultures, with her conflicting desires for both, and with her regrets sometimes. I began to realize that « native country » cannot be expressed in the plural.
We have called the show a « musical ». There is no doubt, it is that, with musicians on stage, with dancers. But we also want it to be our very own artistic expression of performing and being on stage : a seamless collaboration, and a spectacular medley of music and dance which co-exist in harmony and create an upbeat atmosphere. For ourselves and for the audience, it is a happening on stage.
Our deepest desire is to address the audience and say, in the words sung by Olivia : « Quiero volar, contigo ».
artistic conception Jean-Claude Gallotta, Olivia Ruiz / choreography Jean-Claude Gallotta / assisted by Mathilde Altaraz / text by Olivia Ruiz and Claude-Henri Buffard / dramaturgy Claude-Henri Buffard / with Olivia Ruiz (song and dance) / dancers Agnès Canova, Paul Gouëllo, Ibrahim Guetissi, Georgia Ives, Fuxi Li, Lilou Niang, Gaetano Vaccaro, Thierry Verger, Béatrice Warrand / musicians Vincent David, Martin Gamet, David Hadjadj, Frédéric Jean, Frank Marty /
lighting design Manuel Bernard / costume design Stéphanie
Vaillant et Aïala, assisted by Anne Jonathan /
video Maxime Dos / production Groupe Émile Dubois / Cie Jean-Claude Gallotta / co-production Théâtre National de Chaillot / Biennale de la danse de Lyon 2016 / Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble / MA scène nationale – Pays de Montbéliard / With the backing of Asterios Spectacles, MC2 : Grenoble, the Centre National de la Danse, the MAGASIN Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Manush and Bloch