What dimensions must the body engage in to relate or evoke something?
In what dimension can a body engage to tell or evoke something? This is the first question I ask myself when the need to create comes to me, because the essence of my research could be summed up as giving a sensitive translation to what may at first seem abstract. Above all, I need to talk about us. The human beings that we are and that I observe with as much fascination as aversion. All of us, small and big, rich and not so rich, a little lost between the temptation to enjoy an ultra-efficient, greedy and comfortable modern world, the growing guilt in front of the climatic stakes that this way of life represents and the powerlessness in front of the bloody conflicts of territories that continue to break out (again)… In fact, I see above all and simply beings enclosed in boxes, sensitive boxes that gesticulate, interact, and struggle as best they can to give meaning to their little bit of life on earth. Beings who, in my eyes, are above all full of a divine force, of which they are the very essence, but who are often barely aware of it.
The crisis we are experiencing is not only economic, climatic or health-related, it is also philosophical and spiritual. If this situation does not seem to have an immediate solution, it at least has the merit of confronting us with vast universal questions: what really makes us happy? What can be considered real progress? What are the conditions for a harmonious social life? So many questions that cross my mind and generate in me the need to share the few snippets of answers that I discover on my way. Sometimes obvious, sometimes complex, sometimes illusory and certainly naïve, the notions I try to convey through my creations do not aim to defend a single truth but to reflect a journey that is at once intimate, personal, artistic and philosophical, quite simply a quest for meaning. Daring to express our thoughts, whatever they may be, our intuitions, our doubts and our fears, will always be the starting point for a shift, perhaps even a tiny step forward that will one day allow us to reach a higher state of consciousness and therefore serenity.
Having chosen dance as a means of expression, I seek to express these notions through bodies in movement, for the body never lies. Dance, like any other art form, is for me the pure expression of the soul. When we dance with an open heart, the soul that vibrates within us can sometimes reach the heart of the other person if they agree to open up. Dance is this universal language that unites all peoples, all ages, wherever we come from and whoever we are. I perceive a body in movement just as I listen to music, the art of choreography is for me a visual and graphic body song. Thus, like music, dance can be summed up as the sharing of an inner truth freed from all the limitations of language. The abstraction of dance is in every way its strength and weakness, so the challenge is to find the perfect equation to make this abstraction magically intelligible and, in the best of worlds, perceptible to all. I see choreography as a celebration of humanity at its most instinctive and I always strive to reveal the ineffable in all of us. Working with a palpable material, that of the body, I knead it by seeking most often to retranscribe the physical effects of a “crossing”. How, for example, can a body be crossed by a tenfold gravitational force (P=mg), by a psychic disorder (Diagnosis F20.9), by the presence of one or more others (Compact and Quintet), by the absurdity of a world where one literally walks on one’s head (Reverse), or by the arbitrary decision of an outside group to whom all the powers are given (Carte Blanche). I often create by imposing a central constraint on myself, a sort of personal challenge specific to each of my creations. I use this constraint as a fuel that feeds the engine of my creativity, an essential support, forcing me with each new project to get out of my comfort zones even if it means losing myself sometimes, but in order to open doors to discover new things that otherwise would probably never have occurred to me. Being able to innovate while remaining true to my own artistic signature, daring to take risks even if it means risking the public’s approval, this is my vision of a quest that I have fully covered, whether it be artistic or philosophical.
I like to finish with a quote from the yoga master B.K.S Iyengar whose remarkable work and comprehension of the body is a profound source of inspiration to me : “The challenge is to learn that the body is not an obstacle but the instrument of its own realization.”
In 2012 after a strong professional experience as a performer, Jann decided to found her own company, Cie BurnOut, and to write her first own solo piece, P=mg for which she was 9 times awarded by national and international prizes, such as Paris Young Talent Prize and Beaumarchais-SACD Prize in Paris, Solo-Tanz Theater Prize in Stuttgart, Masdanza Prize in Canary Islands, Machol Shalem Prize in Jerusalem, and Gdansk solo dance contest Prize in Poland.
In 2015, Jann Gallois confirmed her artistic signature, combining hip hop and contemporary dance, by creating once again a solo-piece called Diagnostic F20.9, for wich she was nammed “Dance Bearer of Hope” of the year by the german newspaper Tanz.
Based in Paris, she was first supported by the Louis Aragon Theatre in Tremblay-en-France (2016-2017) before being one of the official supported artists of Chaillot – National Theater of Dance (2017-2021) and the Maison de la Danse in Lyon (2018-2019). Since 2020, Jann Gallois has been associated artist at the Paul Eluard Theater in Bezons and at the National Theater of Beauvais. On 2022, April the 15th, she is officially recognized as “Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Ministry of Culture.
Since her very beginning, Jann Gallois has created 12 pieces :
- P=mg – 2013 – solo piece created at the SACD-Beaumarchais Contest
- Diagnostic F20.9 – 2015 – solo piece created at CCN Atelier de Paris – Carolyn Carlson
- Compact – 2016 – duet created at the Suresnes Cités Danse Festival
- Carte Blanche – 2016 – trio created at La Parenthèse – Avignon Festival
- Quintette – 2017 – piece for 5 dancers created at the Dance Festival of Cannes
- Reverse – 2018 then revival in 2020 – piece for 5 dancers created at the Yokohama Festival in Japan
- Samsara – 2019 – piece for 7 dancers created at Chaillot – National Theater of Dance in Paris
- Ineffable – 2021 – solo piece created at Montpellier Danse Festival
- Mandala – 2021 – piece for 20 amateur dancers created at Paul Eluard Theater in Bezons
- Imperfecto – 2022 – duet piece created at Chaillot – National Theater of Dance in Paris
- Block Party – 2022 – participative event created at La Chaufferie – Cie DCA in Saint-Denis
- In Situ – 2023 – quartet created at Châtillon Theater
In addition to her personal projects, she regularly receives commissions all over the world. In May 2014, she responded to a commission from the MPAA in Paris and created Humanoïde, a piece for 7 amateur dancers, in February 2017 Jann created One Step One Dream in Burkina Faso, a piece for 5 Burkinabe dancers following a commission from the French Institute of Ouagadougou and in July 2017 she co-created with the director Lazare the duet L’éclosion des gorilles au coeur d’artichaut at the Avignon Festival as part of the Sujets à Vif program. In July 2022, Jann also co-created Just your shadow with the famous duet of visual arts Adrien M & Claire B, performed at the Avignon Festival for the Nuit Immersive organized by the Arte’s magazine Tracks and ADAMI.
Each of these creations are unique universes and aesthetics, going from a demanding and precise dance to an asserted theatricality. Since the creation of her company in 2012, Jann Gallois has been in tour with her entire repertory for more than 400 performances in France and abroad (Switzerland, Spain, Italy, England, Germany, Denmark, Israel, Brazil, Japan, Norway, Laos, Russia, Panama, Burkina Faso…)