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Cecilia Bengolea | La Danse des Éléments


Within the framework of the exhibition

Cecilia Bengolea | Deary Steel


Featuring 9 dancers and presented at Socle C, the remnants of the former Blast Furnace C in Esch-Belval

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14 May 2022 | 16h00 & 18h00 | Socle C, Esch-Belval
15 May 2022 | 15h00 & 17h00 | Mudam Luxembourg

La Danse des Éléments is a new performance by artist and choreographer Cecilia Bengolea featuring nine dancers from Jeune Ballet du Conservatoire national supérieur musique et danse de Lyon (CNSMD Lyon). La Danse des Éléments is an integral part of Deary Steel, a new body of work spanning video and sculptural installation presented in Mudam Grand Hall through 29 May 2022. It explores the genesis of the social and material dimensions of the industrial era, and how they have choreographed the post-industrial era including connections to the early 20th century dance form danse libre (Free Dance). Collaging gestures, images and sounds from the past and present, Bengolea’s new work reveals ‘new synthetic narratives’ within a location where the artist says ‘the roughness and strength of metal, the hardship of strikes, the mechanical choreography of industrial work and the beauty of dance come together’.

Deary Steel is inspired by the artist’s fascination with the mineral origins of our planet (represented by the collisions of meteorites) and the production of steel as an alluring choreography of the elements reflecting these origins. Describing the industrial production of steel as an ‘alchemic process’ Bengolea maintains that it is ‘not just into the orchestration and composition of these elements’ that interest her ‘but also how they influence and manipulate our bodies, natural cycles and lifestyle’. Referring to Chinese medicine, the artist cites the ‘key role’ the metallic elements play ‘in regulating our meridians in chi gong, reiki and tai chi’. Deary Steel thus suggests ‘our intimacy with manufactured heavy objects is non less personal and affective than our intimacy with the metals our body carries’. Invoking the sci-fi character of the Metal Woman (from Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis), Bengolea seeks to explore the attraction of ‘hard manufactured objects and their alchemical secrets and memory’, composing a 3D avatar as ‘an inventory of functional and bellic steel objects which construct and threaten our history and ecosystem’.

Vincent Crapon, Project Manager of Exhibitions at Esch2022
Joel Valabrega, Curator of Performance and Public Programmes at Mudam Luxembourg,
assisted by Caroline Schmit

Performance credits
Performed by: Jeune Ballet du Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Lyon
Artistic Direction Jeune Ballet du CNSMD Lyon: Kylie Walters
Dancers: Clara Chastagnac, Lucie-Mei Chuzel, Marie-Lou Durand, Eléonore Ghyssaert, Caroline Maquignon, Vincent Mazerot, Mathis Nour, Circé Persoud, Magdalen Wood
Ballet mistress: Gaëlle Communal Van Sleen
Rehearsal assistant: Franck Laizet
Costumes: Maïté Chantrel

Cecilia Bengolea (Buenos Aires, 1979) has presented her work at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2021); Bourse de Commerce, Collection Pinault, Paris (2021), E.A.T. / Engadin Art Talks, Switzerland (2019); Desert X, Palm Springs (2019); Fondation Giacometti, Paris (2019); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018, 2015); Fiorucci Art Trust, Stromboli (2018); Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh (2018); TBA21–Academy, Venice (2018); Dia:Beacon, New York (2017); Elevation 1049, Gstaad, Switzerland (2017); Spiral Hall, Tokyo (2016); 32nd São Paulo Biennial (2016); Hayward Gallery, London (2016); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016, 2010); 13th Biennale de Lyon (2015); Tate Modern, London (2015); ICA, London (2015) and 10th Gwangju Biennial (2014). She received the prize of the Critique de Paris in 2008 and the Young Artist Prize in Gwangju Biennale in 2014. Her work can be found in major public collections, including TBA21 Academy, MIRE – Fond cantonal d’art contemporain, The Vinyl Factory, Le CNAP, Le Consortium, Fiorucci Art Trust, Tank Shanghai, Fundación Arco, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, KADIST France. She lives and works in Paris and Buenos Aires.

© Cecilia Bengolea