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Interview with Olivier Dubois

Olivier Dubois is a French dancer and choreographer who will perform his work PRET A BAISER (Ready to Kiss) at the Invisible Dog this January as part of "French Highlights", a survey of contemporary French choreography at venues around New York City.


How is PRET A BAISER different from the work you have made previously?

In English you don’t have the difference between ‘performance’ and ‘spectacle’, but in French when you say ‘performance’ its absolutely this specific kind of work, not following the rules of the theater.  So it’s not a theater piece, its really a performing piece.  Every time the audience sees it, it will be different.  If you go and see it and want to see it again, or advise your friend to go and see it, you can be certainthey wont see the same piece you saw, because the partner will be different for each show.  So the partner is already different, but also the relationship is different, and the path the piece will follow will be absolutely different.

I had auditions here, searching for young and beautiful dancers less than 25 years old.  Really, I’m never looking for specific bodies, but for this one, yes, it has to be that relation of artist and muse, and the question of desire is extremely important.  

Does anything in anything in American culture particularly influence your work?  

It’s an interesting and tricky question.  For sure if I give you a serious answer, and in a way a diplomatic answer, I would tell you that America, Asia or Europe have no importance for me.  I’m from a no-where world, I’m a no-territory artist.   So first this is a big no, and then I would say a big yes: this amazing ability to always stay young. With a terrific appetite.  Take it in both ways, this terrific appetite.  But this I like.  It makes me question how old I am.

And are there any American artists that you see exploring similar ideas to yourself, anyone you identify with?

Mathew Barney is maybe one of the most important shocks that I had when I was younger.  Among dancers I like the work of Ann Liv Young.   Trajal!  Trajal, for sure, that’s a great artist.  There is a link here.  The link:  being absolutely sure you possess the truth of being from your own time.  It means:  I am from the present, so I am right.  Fuck the past.  But fuck the past because I have respect and I know the past. Not because I don’t have respect or I don’t care.  No, I care so much that I’ll tell you, now it’s my time.  That’s why I feel linked to him.