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Le Flâneur // Bill Coleman


Year of creation : 2020

Duration: 90 - 120 min

One dancer and one musician, in situ

Accompanied by a single musician, a costumed dancer performs a daily ritual of unplanned, spontaneous performances that traverse a variety of urban and rural locations. This initiative by choreographer Bill Coleman explores movement, performance, environment and cognition, and celebrates Coleman’s forty years of creating performance in rare and remarkable environments, utilizing his own technique of in-depth movement exploration.

Le Flâneur takes Coleman through a variety of singular communities and landscapes – performing a series of unique tap dances. The traditional way of travelling by foot has long been the mode of transportation for minstrels, vagabonds … and le flâneur. Flâneur derives from the Old Norse verb flana, which means "to wander with no purpose »: a deliberately aimless pedestrian, unencumbered by any obligation or sense of urgency.

Reflecting on this method of traversal, Le Flâneur aims to leave a trail, an experiential presence in each community or landscape visited, reverberating through the people who are indirectly and unintentionally affected. Working with the basic premise that we leave as much of ourselves with each community as possible, Le Flâneur forgoes new media as a means of interconnection and instead relies on physical presence alone as the basis for this series of encounters.

Bill Coleman states : “I’ve often thought that the long term-fatigue of a mountaineer or some of the early explorers, those years of harsh, draining voyaging that wears and tears the body in a very deep way, is similar to someone who has danced continuously for over 20 years. Every day, dancing to exhaustion. The wear showing not only in the bones, muscles and ligaments, but the deeper wear of total body exertion… seemingly to the marrow… reflected in the face, the eyes. Some of life’s essential quota is gone… forever. Part of you has been given up. This is what we read in the face or see in the mirror. Like a shadow of something that has vanished, that’s not present anymore. We are changed.”


Choreography and performance — Bill Coleman, accompanied by one musician

Photos : Wayne Eardley

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