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Van Grimde Corps Secrets Presents MESSIS

After an impressive first dance webseries (Eve 2050: the webseries), Van Grimde Corps Secrets unveils Messis.

Van Grimde Corps Secrets Presents MESSIS

Van Grimde Corps Secrets presents Messis, a webseries on the reconnection of humans to nature, accompanied by a platform giving access to behind the scenes of the creation and reflections behind the work. A rich artistic, scientific, and philosophical experience.

After an impressive first dance webseries (Eve 2050: the webseries), Van Grimde Corps Secrets unveils Messis.

Rooted in a reflection on the future of the body and of humanity, in the context of social and technological changes exacerbated or accelerated by the pandemic, Messis celebrates the reconnection to the earth and the exultation of the physical body. With a demanding and advanced aesthetic, the webseries mixes dance, music, visual and media arts, interactive technologies, 3D design and augmented reality.

Messis introduces viewers to a near-future where, faced with the impossibility of being in touch with a destroyed nature, and with individuals physically separated from each other by waves of pandemic diseases, a new generation of humans seeks to find connection, meaning, and intimacy through a sacrificial ritual that allows them to join the metaverse. Messis ("harvest" in Latin) evokes by its title the data collection inherent in the development of an ever-expanding metaverse, and the immense power of technology, the true "messiah" of our time.

For this work for 9 performers, Isabelle Van Grimde reunites with three valued creative partners: composer Thom Gossage, producer-director Robert Desroches of DAVAI and visual and media artist Marilène Oliver. Thom Gossage's musical compositions, inspired by the syncopated rhythms of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, maintain their own identity in response to choreographies marked by raw energy and movement evocative of trance and ritual.

Messis is presented on an online platform, created in collaboration with the experiential design studio AKUFEN. A unique work in its own right, this immersive platform offers complementary and exclusive content, including scientific articles and interviews with artists and researchers whose transdisciplinary reflections have influenced the creation of the series. The platform also provides access to additional choreographic sequences, including an interactive 360-degree shot, allowing the audience to choose their own viewing angles.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Van Grimde Corps Secrets, founded in 1992 by Isabelle Van Grimde. Throughout the 1990s, creative residencies in Europe propelled her onto the international stage with the shows À l'Echelle humaine; May All Your Storms Be Weathered; Maisons de poussière; Pour quatre corps et mille parts inséparables. The cinematographic influences present in her approach also lead her to create the film Par la peau du coeur.

The question of the body, at the very heart of the company's name, led Isabelle Van Grimde to approach scientific research in the 2000s, in order to enrich her vision with that of specialists from other disciplines. The result is Bodies to Bodies I and II (2009). In 2010, Isabelle Van Grimde was invited to present her work at the Science, Social Controversy and Art conference in the presence of scientists, bioethicists, and artists in Banff. Following her symposium The Body in Question(s), in collaboration with Bishop's University, Isabelle Van Grimde presents the creation-exhibition of the same name at FTA, with some thirty researchers and artists. The work is immortalized by an interactive web creation and the publication of a catalogue/collection of essays launched at the ATF.

Conversations with music quickly took an important place in the company's creations, as highlighted by important partnerships: the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music, Media, and Technology based at McGill University. At CIRMMT, Isabelle Van Grimde participates in the creation of digital musical instruments that, when grafted onto the dancers' bodies, allow them to create music or transform the musicians' sounds in real time. This collaboration led to the works Duo pour un violoncelle et un danseur in 2008 and Les gestes in 2013, both presented by the Agora de la danse in Montreal and in the Netherlands, France and Belgium afterwards.

Through this partnership with the CIRMMT, technological research enters Isabelle Van Grimde and Thom Gossage's practice. Technological innovations first make their appearance on stage, notably with Symphonie 5.1 (2016), a choreographic work integrating an interactive visual and sound environment presented at Agora de la danse and then in Europe. Research on the future of the human body combined with a fascination for technology gives birth to the triptych Eve 2050: a webseries, an installation (winner 2021 of a Numix Prize in the Digital Art category) and a stage production. In 2019, the company is launching, in collaboration with the RQD, the Digital Dance Lab, a program for sharing expertise resulting from the encounter between dance and digital, including workshops, conferences and creation residencies.

Since 2017, the company has been operating out of Espace Corps Secrets, a space that allows it to develop its own creations as well as community projects and to organize the Embodiment series, an exhibition of works inspired by the research conducted for the creation of EVE 2050. In 2021, Embodiment 2 is presented online, bringing together The Birth of the World, a short film by Brad Necyk based on Eve 2050, and all the episodes of Eve 2050: the webseries.

In 2022, Van Grimde Corps Secrets inaugurated its new regional space in Malvina, on the site of a village from the last century that has now disappeared and is located in the municipality of Saint-Malo in the Eastern Townships. Thanks to this site, which has a unique relationship with nature, the company wishes to develop its own presence in the region and offer research, creation, and resourcing residencies in situ to its national and international communities, as well as initiate a rich dialogue with local artists through various partnerships, allowing for increased outreach on both sides.

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