This publication presents research conducted by Berlin-based choreographer and performer Jule Flierl over two years, in the frame of the exerce MA in choreography and performance (National Choreographic Center of Montpellier / Occitanie). This text manages to maintain a sense of orality, of vocality, within a written format. It is at once a description, an analysis, a score, a piece of music, a voice, etc.
"Dear John Cage
A sound has no legs to stand on Un son n'a pas des jambes sur lesquelles se tenir. Hey John, did you want to say that the sound is not ruled by gravity as a body with legs usually is? Does that make the sound a kind of a bird? The sound flies and can be everywhere in a room at once. So Mr Cage, is that the difference between the dancer and the sound- the dancer has legs, the sound doesn't? Hm, apart from this difference of dance and sound, where do they meet? I think about the voice: it stems from the two-legs body and dissolves into the space as invisible sound. You know John, I find this moment exiting when the tone gets produced and it detaches from the vibrating flesh and starts flying around in the air. The tone itself I would say is like a bird, but the voice is something else. It carries the presence of somebody to places in the room where the person is not. I think the voice is like a ghost, an invisible presence of a body. You know John, what I would like to do is that the dance itself would be the source of the sound.
Two legs and a cage
After he said that a sound had no legs to stand on , I couldn't sleep. I was turning around in my bed and fantasized a performance. It would be performed by sounds with legs. I wanted a sound that stands in the room. When I woke up the next morning, I had a walk. I walked on my legs. I was no sound. But I was humming and singing, I could make sounds. I stood still, watched the river and sang sounds. I wanted to dissolve and leave my body for the sound. To become a two-legged sound."
"Exerce, écrits chorégraphiques" is a series that offers a chance to read, see and practice a key stage in the work of students/artists/researchers as part of the "Exerce" training program, initiated in 2011 by the National Choreographic Center of Montpellier / Occitanie, directed by Christian Rizzo, and the Paul Valéry Montpellier 3 University.
Each edition presents the writings of former Exerce students at the time of their thesis defense at the end of the Master's program. The publication is neither reprinted nor reworked. It is restored in one color to its original format. At the end of the book, each artist is given carte blanche to contextualize and extend this research in the form of texts, images and documents.
Jule Flierl is an artist from Berlin who works with choreography and the voice. Using choreography and somatic singing methods, her scores unsettle the relationship between seeing and hearing: What you see is not always what you hear, and what you hear is not always what you see. Through her work and practices, she proposes that the voice itself is dancing.
Jule Flierl wonders how the baroque voice of bel canto would inhabit the gestures of the romantic ballet (Operation Orpheus, 2016), how anti-propaganda of Valeska Gert's dancing sounds would have mooved in the Weimar Republic (Störlaut, 2018) and how to choreograph the separation of body image and vocal sound from Katalin Ladik's avant-garde performances during the Cold War (UFO, 2021). She is fascinated by how conceptions of the body change with historical time, the media and political context, that the voice as technology of the self always finds new relationships with the body.