Jan 30, 2021 in Creating

Rehearsals for Emanuel Gat's Act II & III Page Title Photo

Without a doubt the COVID-19 pandemic keeps having a significant impact on the performing arts; between March 2020 and February 2021 I’ve only managed to maintain one single tour date with Emanuel Gat Dance. Very luckily this one date was the World Premiere of our new creation LOVETRAIN2020 at Montpellier Danse last October. Looking back at all the cancelled work periods that the coronavirus caused, this short moment of relief seems even more precious.

Shortly before the end of the year, Emanuel came up with a mildly insane but totally intriguing idea: to transform another cancelled tour date into a creation period for a new work. So against all odds, we found ourselves at the Arsenal in Metz in early January, and only ten days later ACT II & III – THE UNEXPECTED RETURN OF HEAVEN AND EARTH was born.

Here’s Emanuel in his own words and a first idea of what you can expect to see whenever the situation allows us to present it to you:

Contrary to what I thought for many years, I see choreography now (the practice, processes and resulting objects, works, events and whatever other manifestations it may have), more like something with the logic and characteristics of a Big Bang type of event. An ever expanding kind of thing. A three (four?) dimensional fractal traveling simultaneously in all directions (dimensions?).

It’s a major shift from the linear, forward moving perception of it I had before, as something that moves from point A to B to C and so on, gathering information along the way, adjusting, adding, revising, evolving on a clear path towards whatever point in the future (overall process and separate pieces alike).

Looking back (up and down, sideways and straight ahead), I’m starting to realize that this linear perception I’ve had, is merely a fragment. A sort of tunnel vision in the midst of a radically wider field of happenings and possibilities.

Within this kinetic three dimensional space/event/situation, time as well as ideas and acquired perceptions, become fluid and flexible. Everything can move at anytime in whatever manner and in any direction. Yet surprisingly, nothing is random. A coherence of another nature emerges. One which seems to be more in-tuned with ‘how things are’.

Early January, we found ourselves in the studio for ten long days, after yet another cancellation of scheduled performances at l’Arsenal Cité musicale-Metz. By the end of these ten days, after a somewhat improbable creation process and only three months after premiering LOVETRAIN2020, a new work was fully present and with it, a myriad of new realizations.

I am privileged to have had the best companions possible for this sort of voyage in time and space. Some doors open only when certain conditions are present, and only with the right people.

Below, a video by Julia Gat that sums up pretty well what happened during those few magical days.

Emanuel Gat

Emanuel's second big undertaking at the Arsenal in Metz was setting up his photographic installation 2020. The show notes read:

In the intimacy of the rehearsal studio, immersed in the workspace of his dancers and artistic collaborators, choreographer Emanuel Gat uses the camera to pierce the visible layers of the action in progress (or its absence), in search of an autonomous visual imprint, both of the choreographic elements being created, and the tangible human presence of its dancers.

Neither documentary nor staged, these images give off an ambiguous sense of one reality that takes place within another. 2020 is a kind of retrospective exhibition that tackles the question of photographic interpretation in a different way, guiding the eye and the viewer's experience through different entry points towards the heart of the choreographic process.

Naturally theatres in France are still closed to the public, but hopefully the Arsenal will be able to open again soon. The exhibition is scheduled to run until May 10th.

Find out more about ACT II & III - THE UNEXPECTED RETURN OF HEAVEN AND EARTH and about all of Emanuel Gat Dance's other activities on
Header photo by Julia Gat