I often think we take for granted the access provided by the web. The fact that whole worlds of information – previously unknown – are there at our fingertips to be discovered still amazes me. Today, I had one such discovery. After viewing a dance film on YOUTUBE the screen went – as usual – to an assembly of dozens of snapshots from other suggested similar destinations, and one image caught my eye. I pressed play and ended up discovering a dance company that I had never even previously heard of let alone seen: Carte Blanche, Norway’s national company of contemporary dance. To be fair, this two- minute and change piece is not literally a dance film but rather a promo for a live performance. I have no idea how this company’s works hold up on stage, but their promos – and I ended up watching most of them – include beautifully produced, shot, and edited sequences of dance on film. And that’s the other remarkable thing to me. The fact that companies of all kinds have such a tool as the web to serve as a free, 24/7 promotional vehicle is really amazing. And this company is clearly cognizant of the power that strong, beautifully filmed dance can have, and they’ve seized it with gusto.
Carte Blanche seems to work with a range of choreographers from all over the world, and have apparently been around in some form or another, since 1989. Sang Jijia, an ethnic Tibetan from China who is choreographer for this work, has himself won awards for dance films (“There is a Place”) and worked with William Forsythe’s company. Since 2008 Carte Blanche has been under the Artistic Direction of a man named Bruno Heynderickx from Belgium. This work – “Not here / Not ever”— shot mostly on a stage (and some apparently from performance), swings from confrontational, to disturbing, to stunning, and the dancers are beautiful. I was captivated and energized by the mere fact that a two-minute promo could have such power, and it left me wanting to see more. And isn’t that that the point? Enjoy.