pictures and gif by Carmen Ortega

"Make sure you have exhausted all that is communicated through stillness and silence" (2018)
Ripe (2022)
Omelettes (2022)

"Make sure you have exhausted all that is communicated through stillness and silence" (2018)

Ioannis Mandafounis: concept + choreography + music + performance
Brice Catherin: concept + music + choreography + performance
ARC for Dance festival (Athens, Greece).

Ioannis Mandafounis and Brice Catherin have been each other's spectator for many years. They are also friends. When artists are friends they often have the idea of working together. Ioannis the dancer says: "I never use music in my pieces because I love music and when I hear it I just want to sit and listen to it." Brice the musician says: "I never really know what to do with dancers because when I see them I just want to sit and watch them dance."

Naturally the solution appears: dancing in silence, then playing music motionless then dancing again in silence, then playing music motionless once again, and so on. Taking time to meet each other, to listen to each other, to look at each other, to dive into the other's practice, so that their influence emerges through our own practice.

The established dialogue between Ioannis & Brice consists of long sequences of 20, 30 or 40 minutes without interruption, continuously relayed between the two in order to go further with each new sequence. The two stage dialecticians thus appear as comrades, not opponents.

Then at the corner of some episode from Jean-Luc Godard's Histoire(s) du Cinéma, the latter quotes Robert Bresson's following phrase, which resonates like a mantra: "Make sure you have exhausted all that is communicated through stillness and silence."

Interview (in French):

Full shows:

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"Make sure you have exhausted all that is communicated through stillness and silence", works composed and performed by myself on the cello and the piano. Everything you want to know is on the Pan y Rosas website.



Ripe is a performance that renews the relationship of the classical cellist to a piece of the repertoire, the Kodaly sonata. To allow this renewal, instead of being able to change the tuning of the cello, it is the cellist who is modified. Each of the three movements of the sonata is preceded by a long dance solo, through which his body is completely transformed: exhausted, of course, but also open, rediscovered, reworked, stretched, burning, anchored, conscious.

To dance, he uses Ioannis Mandafounis' methodology, which has the rare quality of adapting and sublimating all bodies (of all ages) instead of normalising them and demanding their youth. In this method, based on improvisation, the dancer's emotions are the driving force behind the movements. The body and the space in which it evolves become resonance boxes for these emotions. This is where the virtuous circle of interdisciplinarity is created: the emotions created by Kodaly's music are further amplified by the dance; those created by the dance are further amplified by the music. One could speak of a "feedback loop" between the two disciplines.

Thus the sonata, on the one hand freed from the automatisms of interpretation that are inevitable after twenty years of practice, and on the other hand nourished by the emotions of the dance, will be discovered by the performer and the audience as an unheard-of and new work. In return, the dance will benefit from the idiosyncrasies of the cellist's body and all the music with which it is charged. It will also be a unique experience for the audience, since traditionally dance and music are entrusted to different artists instead of passing through, as here, the same body.

Artists: Brice Catherin, Ioannis Mandafounis and Jonathan O’Hear

Interview (in French):

Full show:


Omelette (2022)

In Omelettes, Brice Catherin plays ambient music (on the clavichord or the cello), and Ioannis Mandafounis makes omelettes for the audience.

Interview and extracts: