Choreography : Cindy Van Acker
Music: I am sitting in a room - Alvin Lucier

ELEMENTEN I - Room © Arno Paul

Premiered on March 3rd, 2016at the Opera national de Lorraine 

Choreography : Cindy Van Acker
Music : I am sitting in a room - Alvin Lucier
Set design : Victor Roy & Cindy Van Acker
Lights : Luc Gendroz
Sound collaboration : Denis Rollet
Costumes  : Kata Tòth 
Choreographic Assistant : Stéphanie Bayle
Rehearsal Director : Isabelle Bourgeais

40 MIN. 

Production : CCN-Ballet de Lorraine in co-production with the company Greffe.
The company Greffe receives a joint support from the City of Geneva, the Canton of Geneva and Pro Helvetia.

For more than twenty years, Cindy Van Acker, a Flemish choreographer now living in Geneva – has been burning up our international stages with her astonishing works, which try to cross as many lines as possible, notably pushing the envelope sensorially with perception, sensation and of course with the dancers’ bodies. She uses sound, the set and the lighting to magnify and heighten her movements.
Cindy Van Acker is impressed by our company, by the intensity and commitment of its dancers who, according to her, go beyond virtuosity while also integrating it into their work and exploding its shapes. 


ELEMENTEN is a project encompassing several upcoming creations by Cindy Van Acker; its title refers to the treatise Elements by the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid. The thirteen books of Elements are a mathematical and geometrical treatise, organized thematically. The first books focus on plane geometry, others deal with arithmetic and spatial geometry, containing many axioms, postulates and definitions.
I am inspired by the treatise in that I am using specific geometric principles to determine the trajectories of the dancers, their positions in the space, the notation of the movement, the rhythm of the lighting, perhaps even the set design.
But these theoretical elements involve only certain layers of the creation; each section of the ELEMENTEN cycle will have a sub-title which will evoke the essence of the project. 


ELEMENTEN I - Room, the first section of ELEMENTEN, will be premiered by 16 dancers from the CCN ‑ Ballet de Lorraine in March 2016. It is a commission by Petter Jacobsson, to the mythical piece I am sitting in a room by the composer Alvin Lucier.
“I am working a lot with the idea of limitations. 
This idea relates to the creation of ELEMENTEN I-Room specifically because of the radical choice of music, I am sitting in a room by Alvin Lucier, created in 1996. It consists of a speech spoken by the composer himself, recorded, repeating and rebroadcast until the natural and resonant frequencies of the room come together, overpowering the concrete sound of the voice and any comprehension of the words. 
The focus becomes tautological, the structure of the speech, repeated over and over, provokes its progressive transformation, its dislocation leading to its dissolution. Repetition creates a throughline around which perception moves, varying without stopping the ambitus (the curving melodic line) of its intensity, forcing it to become active, to see, to observe, to listen, to feel, to receive.
The limitations evoked in this work appear in the common space between the scenic player and the spectator, respectively the tautological transmitter and the receiver ...
In terms of body language, the dialectic of limitations becomes part of my resistance when facing the virtuosity of the dancers, so that I may maintain the deep conviction which places the work between the two parties, weighting it with the restraint which allows me to push the dancers beyond their initial capacities, into unfamiliar terrain where a real exchange may take place.
The set consists of two elements, a dance floor measuring 8 meters x 8 meters imprinted with an image inspired by the spiral of Ulam, based on prime numbers, and a luminous object linked to software which regulates the light intensity relative to the sound.”

Cindy Van Acker – January 2016

Elementen II - Zaoum, a creation for 7 dancers of the Compagnie Greffe, will premiere at the Arsenic in Lausanne, based on Quando stanno morendo by Luigi Nono, co-produced by the Arsenic, the ADC in Geneva and the Théâtre Les Halles in Sierre.

Elementen III, whose subtitle is still TBA, will be a creation for 11 dancers of the Ballet du Grand Théâtre of Geneva for the opening evening of the Journées de la Danse Contemporaine Suisse in Geneva in 2017.

Cindy Van Acker

Trained in ballet, Cindy Van Acker danced with the Royal Ballet of Flanders and at the Grand Théâtre de Genève before moving into the contemporary dance scene in Geneva.

She has created her own pieces since 1994, founding the Cie Greffe in 2002 for the creation of Corps 00:00, which received international recognition. In 2003, she created two other solos, Fractie and Balk 00:49. In 2005, she created her first group work Pneuma for eight dancers. That same year she was invited by the Italian directorur Romeo Castellucci to the Venice Biennal where she presented Corps 00:00. This led to her collaborating further with Castellucci who invited her to create the choreographic part of his creation Dante’s Inferno for the 2008 Avignon Festival, as well as for Parsifal which he staged at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in January 2011.

In 2006, she created Puits at the Théâtre du Galpon in Geneva, in collaboration with Vincent Barras and Jacques Demierre and danced by Perrine Valli. She was invited by Michèle Pralong and Maya Boesch to the Théâtre du Grü in Genève, presenting a women’s trio, Kernel. This work was the beginning of a new, stimulating collaboration with the Finnish artist Mika Vainio, from the Pan Sonic group, which created and performed the score for the work. This collaboration continued into 2008 with her creation of the solo Lanx as part of the Electron Festival and in 2009 with the solos Nixe and Obtus at the Bâtie-Festival in Geneva. Obvie, Antre and Nodal were the final solos in this series of six, which wwre also the source for several film creations byr Orsola Valenti. The choreographer presented four of these solos: Lanx, Obvie, Nixe and Obtus at the Avignon Festival in 2010. That year she also renewed her collaboration with Mika Vainio and the Electron Festival for the creation of her solo Monoloog.

In 2011 she created Diffraction, a work for six dancers and a light machine. In 2013, Diffraction was awarded one of the four Swiss prizes for dance in the category “Current creation,” by the Federal Office of Culture.

In 2012 she and Victor Roy concived the project Score Conductor, visual objects are created, materializing her choreographic scores. At the same time, initiated by Michèle Pralong, the book Partituurstructuur was published by Editions Héros-Limite.

In 2013, she created Magnitude for 22 dancers of the Junior Ballet, directed by Sean Wood and Patrice Delay, as well as LINIAAL for the Compagnie Virevolte under the direction of Manon Hotte, for the Bâtie- Festival in Geneva. She created Helder that July at La Belle Scène Saint Denis, per a proposal by Myriam Gourfink as part of her residency at the Forum Blanc-Mesnil.

Then there was Drift, her final creation for 2013, a duo danced by Tamara Bacci and the choreographer herself. Anechoic was created in July 2014, created for Expeditie Dansand on the beach at Ostende for the 53 dancers at the P.A.R.T.S. school.

Cindy Van Acker was also in charge of physical training for actors at the Haute Ecole de Théâtre, the Manufacture, in Lausanne from 2006 - 2010. Her artistic journey has been influenced by her collaborations with Myriam Gourfink and Romeo Castellucci, as well as her other collaborators in the Cie Greffe.