A glimpse at a peculiar choreographic language
Stephanie adores contrasts. However, she does not dismiss her roots. On the contrary, Stephanie plays with her solid background in ballet and contemporary dance along with her training in moderne-jazz and influences from her experiences in urban styles of dance to make a multi-faced whole. She explores different dance styles’ technicalities and feeds off the growth of the dancers who share the floor with her.
In constant motion, minuscule, even when frozen, for Stephanie Decourteille, bodies explore oppositions. Between tension and release, between elongation and compression, the dynamic of mixing and sorting the body’s adventures is omnipresent. She believes each dancer possesses a connection to their center of gravity located around their belly button. This theory leads young choreographers to challenge their center by constantly moving it throughout the entire body where one can discover new sensations, new movements and textures of movement that have not yet been tamed.
Stephanie Decourteille conducts her choreographic research with a complex and structured development that favors the art of execution. She is faced with the challengesof surpassing our body’s daily, natural movements while transforming this new “unnatural” movement into something that is yet very natural. These are her goals that drive her to associate her signature choreographic movement to nuances, fluidity, curves, roundness, change in dynamics, different axes of body alignment, a close relationship with the ground and transferring of weight, the abandonment and release of the same body weight, all the while maintaining one’s vertical axe. Stephanie focuses on the dissociation of different body segments while conserving the vital breath and rapid changes between the dynamics of space above and on the ground. She will admit that she likes knowing that her spectators will sense the constant progression and ease in movement even though the work is demanding and detailed. These standards require great endurance and undeniable technique from a dancer. Nonetheless, passion and motivation is the initial key.
To refine her choreographic canvas, Stephanie is strict about challenging the body to its extreme capacity while adding exterior factors which will alter the body’s reactions and influence its gestures. Constantly inspiring mutation and redefining its purpose, Stephanie’s movement will never walk a straight line as she rarely looses sight of inspiration and the evolution of her choreographic work.
For example, in her solo, Vertiges, Stephanie chooses a cord as her ally on stage. Playing with her beloved cord, which also becomes her hated enemy, this dancer and choreographer is perpetually deepening her work with unbalance, exploring our human relation with our source of gravity, our spacial awareness with the constraint of an accessory both fragile and strong. This scene expresses surpassing the body’s limitations, supporting and acknowledging the power of our minds and the physical strength of humans. These are Stephanie’s truthful challenges. According to her, fighting against limitations and searching for multiple sensations are where a dancer’s desired purity can flourish beautifully in its own way of making sense.