Projet In Situ: The Rounds
2015 Lab Artists: Martin Chaput + Martial Chazallon / Projet In Situ
At the core of Projet In Situ’s work is the way the body interacts with space. Over the last decade the French choreographic duo of Martin Chaput and Martial Chazallon have been inventing new ways of challenging audiences’ perceptions of their surroundings. Their immersive performance experiences expand our notions of dance, affirming our sense of the body and its presence in the everyday environment.
Since the creation of Wake Up! in South Africa in 2000, Martial Chazallon has been exploring ways to reinvest in urban spaces through art installations and dancers’ bodies, and investigating how creative processes can work to transform places and their original purposes. After training in dance in Montreal, Martin Chaput settled in France, where he worked most notably with Jean-Perreault, Philippe Genty, Claire Jenny, Thierry and Marion Bae, Luc Perrot, and Rémi Uchéda.
In August 2015, VPL hosted Projet In Situ for a three-week residency to recreate The Round with the help of local volunteers and artists. The Round is a 90-minute experimental site work that combines movement, media technology, theatricality and sound installation with community involvement. It is an unconventional performance experience where audiences “make the rounds” of a city or town rather than enter a theater. On arrival they receive ear-buds to use with a smartphone. Audio and text instructions lead audiences one-by-one on a choreographed journey of a neighborhood or district, in this case downtown Brattleboro.
This residency and performance represented an unusual opportunity for audiences to "get inside" a work that exemplifies contemporary conceptual performance practice. During VPL’s Progressive Performance Festival in September 2015, The Round interrogated and altered our relationship with a familiar mobile phone technology, raising questions about the uses and potentials implicit in its ubiquitous presence in our lives.