Contrasts

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CONTRASTS
WITH IMRE VAN OPSTAL AND MARNE VAN OPSTAL
Marsèll presents Contrasts, an artistic collaboration with choreographers and dancers Imre and Marne van Opstal.

In a context in which the loss of reference points puts minds into a state of suspension, bodies governed by gravity and tension move without orientation or direction in search of a new stability.

 

In Marsèll campaigns, themes and concepts inherent to the brand are expressed through collaboration with talents from different artistic disciplines. While the medium of photography remains a fundamental element, the images are shaped into something different each time, resulting in innovative and artfully designed visions.

 

For the new campaign Fall Winter 2022 – 2023, Marsèll has selected dancers and choreographers Imre and Marne van Opstal to work on the concept of ‘Contrasts’ as a way to examine the body and movement. With the support of András Ladocsi as photographer for the project, Imre and Marne van Opstal have created, with and for Marsèll, six analogue photographs and a video showing their bodies suspended to represent the reality that we are immersed in.

 

Starting from the abstract concept of ‘Contrasts’, the two dancers adopted an instinctive approach without excessive premeditation. The dialectics of body and mind led Imre and Marne to a question: if the mind rules the body, what is it that drives the latter to movement? For them, it is a lack of references, orientation and direction, which is why the dancers chose an empty location with no real boundaries of space and time. Here, they move, supported by visible harnesses, as though their bodies were no longer their own.

 

While initially, the image of the two bodies, one against the other, seems to communicate contrasting forces, their continuous movement transforms this apparent opposition into something else, where it is no longer clear who has the upper hand. The natural effect of the force of gravity also enters the equation, not solely modifying their movements but prompting a radical mutation of reality and how we perceive it.

 

Suspended in the air, the more the two dancers contrast with each other, the more they cancel each other out; the contact they share no longer produces force but becomes knowledge of one through the other. These new bodies are stripped of all identity while remaining open and free, and the viewers cannot help but see themselves reflected back in their movements.

 

When suspended, the body must move and each movement implies a new shape and a new position. By moving, humans live through contrast. Contrast is life force; it is the constant transformation of the gesture. In the end, watching the video of Imre and Marne, it is we who find ourselves suspended while awaiting their next movement, which will inevitably lead to a radical change. The bodies and actions of Imre and Marne reiterate a simple but fundamental question: we live in the present, a time that we can only conceivably suspend with our minds, yet which in reality is constantly changing and moving and therefore cannot be without contrast by its very nature.

 

Jacopo Miliani

 

Launch event

September 22nd, 2022

6 pm – 12 am

 

Teatro Arsenale

Via Cesare Correnti 11

20123 Milan

Photography András Ladocsi.

Imre and Marne van Opstal

Imre and Marne van Opstal are Dutch choreographers, movement directors and renowned performing artists, as siblings they form a creative duo. After having enjoyed successful and prominent careers at the prestigious Nederlands Dans Theater 1 & 2 and/or Batsheva Dance Company, they went on to pursue their own creativity.

The collaborative nature of their work often speaks to the human condition, limits and possibilities of the body and mind. Their work is known to be multi-layered and surrealistic, with a strong and outspoken dance language known for its eclecticism, theatricality and partnering elements.

They created ‘LiNK’ and ‘John Doe’ for Nederlands Dans Theater 2 program ‘Up & Coming Choreographers’ after which they debuted with their work ‘The Grey’ for their regular programming. In 2019 they created ‘Take Root’ for Nederlands Dans Theater 1, which received a nomination for the Swan Award for ‘best dance production 2019’. Their latest work, ‘Baby don’t hurt me’ created for Nederlands Dans Theater 1 around the themes of identity, sexuality, gender and love was met with critical acclaim. After which they continued to create ‘Eye Candy’ with Rambert Dance Company, ’The little man’ for Nationaltheater Mannheim and ‘I’m afraid to forget your smile’ for the Hessisches Staatsballett.

 

András Ladocsi

András Ladocsi is a photographer and cinematographer from Hungary who currently resides in New York and studies at the RCA, London. In his work, András focuses on emphasizing the highlight in the moment of observation. The moment comes as a frame from the sequence of movements, the peak of the character’s activity, staged or real. The narrative is intriguing. The connection between the photographer and the subject appears to be unrepresented and is being built in the mind of a viewer.

The main topic is the research of the body, its physicality, and existence in the space it inhabits, which results in a touching portrayal of the person. András refers to the themes he researches and explains, “I want to create situations in which my subjects can practice acts of self-representation or self-expression embedded in the context of body image.”

 

Image credits

Concept and Choreography: Imre van Opstal, Marne van Opstal

Artistic Direction and Executive Production: Loris Moretto, Martina Uderzo, Carlo Fusani

Photography: András Ladocsi

Darkroom prints: Andrea Matyus

Light designer: Timon De Graaf Boelè

Hair: Daniela Magginetti @ Blend Mgmt

Make Up: Serena Congiu @ Blend Mgmt

Stunt Coordinator: Simone Belli

Make Up: Serena Congiu @ Blend Mgmt

Stunt Coordinator: Simone Belli