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Finding its source in antiquity texts, The river appropriates the myths of Ovid’s Metamorphoses through a delicate and unstable dance. Bodies, in constant imbalance, experience the laws of gravity, always threatened by the risk of falling. They offer us a journey through the symbolic and legendary figures of this poetic story.

Intended for public places, this creation is freely inspired by the myth of Orpheus and the story of his disappearance. At the heart of the performance is a three-way relationship. On the one hand, Orpheus, the inconsolable and dreamy poet. On the other, all the women he met in his adventures: Euridice in love, the Murderous Maenads, the mysterious Witches... And between them, this rope that connects them, like an inalterable link, a nod to the strings of the lyre of Orpheus, but also to the river in which his lifeless body is thrown.

Artistic intention

The river takes us into a symbolic story. It makes us travel to the depths of the bodies put to the test before us, combining the concrete situation of imbalance with the poetic imagination that emerges. Controlled breathing, awakened flesh, the dancers slowly apprehend the place of their action. Images of Trisha Brown’s iconic Man Walking Down the Side of a Building are mixed with the ancient myths of the Metamorphoses.

These unbalanced characters, both dancers, acrobats and tightrope walkers, hold our breath. Every movement is meticulous, every tremor is a threat. The body alternately lightens or contracts, to better guide the partner in front of him. Over time, a story emerges and is built around the natural, wild or urban landscape of the performance.

The myth of Orpheus is the backdrop of this proposition. More particularly, it was the account of his death that motivated the writing of the gesture. The dancers silently take charge of this text, and are inspired by the characters and symbols it contains. The spectator, being carried away by the abstract gesture or by the sculptural aspect of the bodies, imagine freely in this sober and minimal proposal. The river, like water that flows from its source to the sea, unfolds situations and stories, letting us walk along its imaginary banks.”

Antoine Arbeit

Creation 2019 | Recreation 2021 


• 20 minutes


• Outdoor

• Unconventional places


Choreography • Antoine Arbeit

Dance • Lucie Gemon & Gaspard Charon

Ask the artistic file and the full video of the show

The river © Cie Ex Novo - Royaumont 2.jpg


10.29.19 | événement des Ateliers Médicis | CCR de Goutelas | Marcoux, FR

08.22.21 | fest. de Royaumont | Paris, FR

09.19.21 | J.E.P. | Musée Archéa + Royaumont | Louvres, FR

03.31.22 | fest. Danse à l'université | l'Atheneum | Dijon, FR

05.07+09+10.22 | programme Tour de Danse(s) | Cluny, FR

11.09.22 | programme Tour de Danse(s) | Morteau, FR


Les Ateliers Médicis

Work places

Royaumont Abbey

La Briqueterie CDCN

Le Dancing CDCN

Le CN D - Pantin

Side Production 2019

La Poétique des Signes Company


© Stéphane Bahic

Contemporary dance


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