It’s almost impossible to work out how, or from what part of the body, the movement is generated. But the effect is to create a compelling universe of sound and motion, bodies intersecting, ricocheting and scattering like colliding atoms
— The New York Times, Roslyn Sulcas
It has been so long since something so marvelous, foreign, new, strange and special has been discovered in contemporary dance.
— Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wiebke Hüster


The Waves explores the various ways in which gestures suggest bodily experiences by expanding the research at the heart of my previous pieces. Movement on Movement was focused on gestures that explain or comment other movements. Removing transformed the perception of goal-oriented actions such as hitting, avoiding, throwing or grabbing, by preventing the audience to recognize these goals. For example, the dancers aimed at imaginary objects or interrupted their actions before they were completed, thus allowing the spectator to experience aspects of the action that would remain unnoticed if its goal would have been identified. Faits et gestes continued these experiments and added an exploration of the ways in which a gesture can recall the feeling of executing a movement: dancers created gestures that expressed their experience when executing another movement. All these projects are rooted in the intuition that a gesture that explains or suggests a movement can often communicate better what is at stake in this movement. In this new piece, I would like to pursue and expand this exploration of the ways in which a movement can refer to another movement: symbols, hints, suggestions, schemata, sketches, comments, explanations, experiential correspondences…

Complex experiences can be associated with bodily movements and physical attitudes. The gestures on which we are working are always incomplete, they point to something beyond themselves, and I have the feeling that this incompleteness can allow them to recall these complex experiences associated with movements. A sudden change of direction, a shift in the gaze of the performer, the effort to divert the momentum from a previous moment or to maintain one’s balance can be used as supports to project complex physical and psychological memories. I do not mean that the spectator will be reminded of a specific episode of his life, but that the specific character of the gestures created by referring to another movement can activate his own bodily memory with all its physical and psychological ramifications. The incompleteness of the gestures thus aims to set in motion the physical history of the viewer.



The composition is created by improvising with set movement phrases and simple rules of interactions  . I am not choreographing the piece from the outside by deciding what each dancer must do at a given time, instead I am adjusting several parameters: the number of dancers involved, the number and nature of the movement phrases that are used, and the rules of interaction. This produces a decentralized composition where all the dancers make real-time adjustments to all the events surrounding them: they suddenly decide to join a dancer in a phrase, to create a cannon or a counterpoint, to cut or reorder an existing phrase, to stop, to readjust their directions… This choreographic approach creates a level of complexity that could never be reached with a centralized composition. Since the phrases are clearly defined, the multiple decisions made by the dancers remain legible and the spectator can access this organic complexity. The result of these improvisations is then captured and set as precisely as possible.

The musical creation follows the same process as the dance: the musical materials are approached in the same way as the gestures that refer to other movements: with two percussionists from Ensemble Ictus—Tom de Cock and Gerrit Nulens—we are exploring the multiple ways in which musical phrases can relate to movement phrases. Once the musical phrases are defined, they interact with the movement phrases within the improvisation structures of the piece. This creates a musical/choreographic structure where neither dance nor music is based on its counterpart: we choreograph the music as we compose the dance.


May 25, 2019: Theater Freiburg

May 19, 2019: KunstFestSpiele — Hanover

April 25, 2019: Scène nationale d’Orléans

March 19–20, 2019: Opéra de Lille

February 1–2, 2019: Kaaitheater Brussels

December 18–19, 2018: Théâtre Garonne - CDCN La Place de la Danse / Toulouse

November 14–17, 2018: Festival d’automne - Théâtre national de Chaillot / Paris

September 28–29, 2018: Teatro Municipal do Porto

August 30–31 and September 1, 2018: Première Tanz im August - HAU2 / Berlin


Choreography: Noé Soulier
With Stephanie Amurao, Lucas Bassereau, Meleat Fredriksson, Yumiko Funaya, Anna Massoni and Nans Pierson

Music: Noé Soulier, Tom De Cock and Gerrit Nulens
Interpretation: Ensemble Ictus (Tom De Cock and Gerrit Nulens, percussions)

Lights: Victor Burel

Production: ND Productions (Paris)
Coproduction: Tanz im August / HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin (DE); La Place de la Danse – CDCN Toulouse / Occitanie (FR); Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse, Paris (FR); Festival d’Automne à Paris (FR); CN D Centre national de la danse, Pantin (FR); Opéra de Lille (FR); Theater Freiburg (DE); Teatro Municipal do Porto (PT); Kaaitheater Brussels (BE); PACT Zollverein, Essen (DE)
With the support of Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles d’Île-de-France – Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication au titre de l’aide à la structuration
Noé Soulier is associated artist at CDCN Toulouse / Occitanie for the period 2016-2018
Noé Soulier is associated artist at CN D Centre national de la danse