Jamil Attar is also one of the four dancer-mimes in Stockhausen’s INORI project. His dance partner is Emmanuelle Grach. We asked Jamil about this special one-year project:
Why have you applied for the Stockhausen INORI project?
Jamil: Last year I received an email from one of my previous ballet teacher (a pastsoloist of Bejart who is close to Alain Louafi because they previously danced together). Attached in the email was the Lucerne’s audition and I decided to apply because the project attract me a lot. Also I had met Alain Louafi in the past and we had a really good connection.
What is your artistic background?
Jamil: I studied ballet in the CNSMD of Lyon and music (jazz drums) at the ENM of Villeurbanne.
After my graduate in 2014 I enter in the Ultima Vez dance company lead by Wim Vandekeybus in Bruxelles for two and a half years. I am currently working with the Greek choreographer Harris Gkekas, in the company Strates, on a new piece Plateaux, I play also the role of Lucifer in Donnerstag aus Licht by Karlheinz Stockhausen in multiple productions, and I will start very soon the new piece Une Maison by Christian Rizzo, the director of the CCN of Montpellier.
How do you feel about taking on and preserving such a special cultural heritage?
Jamil: I have to confess I’m a kind of neophyte in the world of contemporary music and in the beginning I didn’t really realise the enormous legacy it was to take over this fabulous piece! Now with being more in contact with the Stockhausen Foundation I feel much more the responsibility of this decision… the people take years and years to improve and polish the reading of this complicated bible and try to understand his meaning!
How does the instruction with Alain Louafi and Kathinka Pasveer work? Both of them collaborated closely with Stockhausen himself.
Jamil: Really complementary: one puts an accent on the precision (Kathinka) and the other (Alain) speak more about the posture, how we can make the gestures and feel the position of our body. And yes, it’s also really rich to hear from them some stories and anecdotes about the genesis of this piece, the context etc… It helps me to understand deeply the spirit of INORI.
For more than one year you have been working hard and rehearsing this piece for dancer-mime. What is/was the greatest challenge?
Jamil: To never truly arrive… despite hundreds of hours of working alone or with my partners you feel, in face to this giant block of music all the time, very fragile and humble with each measure the possibility to lose control, to lose your different landmarks..
What changes has it brought for you personally since the project has started?
Jamil: A kind of little ‘daily meditation’ with the possibility to be (it will be more correct to say to try to be) so focused on only one thing for one hour and ten minutes! (and it’s only the timing of the piece not the real duration of the concentration which starts before, in the wings or somewhere else).
How do you practice if you are alone and not together? Do you have a daily ritual?
Jamil: It’s like any training of a high level (music, dance, sport etc.) you need to preserve all the time that you have and still try to reach a further point week after week, month after month, year after year for this crazy piece for crazy people!