Allez à la rencontre d'une artiste aux multiples talents dont l'engagement et la détermination la mèneront dans ce qu'on pourrait appeler l'art véritable : jusqu'au bout de soi, sans concession aucune, par le corps, la voix, l'écriture et ses créations sonores qui accompagnent si magnifiquement son chant, sa danse et ses mots

Depuis plus de 35 ans et en

véritable précurseur, elle a été la première à baser son travail de chorégraphe sur l'association du yoga et de la danse auxquels elle a ajouté le chant. Son écriture chorégraphique caractérisée par la lenteur du geste donne à ce corps devenu sonore par l'utilisation de la voix chantée, l'impression d'être en état de suspens

Interview Isabelle Barbat par Curtain Rising Magazine Londres

Getting to know dancer Isabelle Barbat
1. Tell us a bit about your style and your work.I’m a dancer, and I am also a singer. On stage, during my solo dance, I sing Maurice Ravel’s “Kaddish” and “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.” I also dance to the music of Arvo Part and Gustav Mahler. It seems to me that when I dance or when I sing I carry the weight of humanity on my back.

2. Do you have any themes that you find recur in your work?
Everything that I do when I dance is always brought about by, when I look back on my performances, everything that I have done seems to have revolved around the same story: human beings, love, humiliation in this world, violence, childhood…I wrote a novel, and the story involved is also the same story that I tell through my dance. It involves the same connection to humanity. I needed to discover who the writer inside of me was. It turns out that the message that I want to convey as a writer is the exact same message that I need to convey when I’m dancing on stage.

3. What is your greatest achievement as a dancer to date?I don’t know how I can answer this question. I firmly believe that the success that you achieve in your life should be based on doing something intelligent. However, I am French. I am a free woman. There is no religion against me, and no politics against me. I can do anything I want because I live in a free country. I can travel almost everywhere in this world. And because of that I have the opportunity to meet all kinds of different people from many different cultures. I know that this is not an answer in response to my greatest achievement as a dancer…but I believe that maintaining my sense of individuality is probably one of the things that I am most proud of. The most important aspect of life, to me, is the human being.

4. Who are your influences?People. Life itself. My childhood.

5. What has been your most rewarding experience?Traveling as often as I have, and to so many different places in this world because of my art. That has been a very special experience.

6. When did you realize that you wanted to be a part of the world of dance?I can’t really explain it properly. I just felt an unbelievable urge to follow something deep inside myself. It was the dance. It was the music. It was the written word. It was the opportunity to travel.

7. Who is your favourite dancer?I don’t have one dancer that I would consider my favourite. But, having said that, the dancers I do like tend to be the ones who lose themselves within their art; those who pay attention to humanity and the connection between us all.

8. Do you have any professional training, and if so, where did you study?I have received professional training in dance, singing as a jazz vocalist and as a classical singer.

9. Who is your favourite theatre director?
I have two: Ariane Mouchkine and Peter Brook.

10. What venue would you most like to dance at?The stage of the world.

11. What do you think the purpose and value of dance within the world of theatre is?To instill and maintain a sense of integrity and to influence an engagement with the live audience.

12. Pertaining to dance and theatre, what do you think art is?
As artists, we should simply consider ourselves messengers. We should try to empty ourselves; to tap into the creativity that is within all of us.

13. What pressures do you think theatre artists face today?
Politics. If you don’t have the right names in your address book, the right connections within the industry...then it may become very, very difficult for you.

14. What advice would you give other emerging artists?
Forgot about yourself and your just are an artist and must do everything in your power to serve your art, and above all else – to maintain your integrity.

15. What are your short and long term ambitions?To keep myself heading in my present direction.

Photo courtesy of Isabelle BarbatIsabelle Barbat’s Requiem Pour une âme Seule.
January 15, 2008
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