Gaîté Lyrique


Paris, 2011


In conjunction with the opening of la Gaîté lyrique, I COULD NEVER BE A DANCER creates 5 inter-connected performances, which compose an interface with the physical body of the building. The performers spread out over the four levels with different degrees of temporal cycles and positions.


The performances play around with the principles of new technologies, by reversing the process that tends to humanize technology, in a gesture of re-appropriation of the codes through the body. They borrow from aesthetics found in sci-fi cinema and literature, either utopian or dystopian. An uneasy feeling is created between the euphoria and the sense of deception that underlie the relation between humans and technology, alternating between faith in the machine and anxiety over its all-encompassing power.



One performer creates ambiguity about his human or humanoid identity, playing with the ” uncanny valley ” syndrom: ” The more a humanoid robot resembles a human being, the more its imperfections strike us a monstruous ”

(Masahiro Mori)


GLADyS (Gaîté lyrique Agent of a Dysfunctional System)

As hosts of the venue, the performers/agents are trained to weaken the visitor’s certainties and beliefs, through individual interviews confronting them to an Artifical Intelligence. Its unconcerned logic, entirely centered on language, lacking any referential function, engenders dysfunction of the dialogue.



” Upright in her transparent casket, encased in an effluvium of icy mist, Ella Runciter lay with her eyes shut, her hands lifted permanently toward her impassive face. (…) With each resuscitation into active half-life, into a return of cerebral activity, however short, Ella died somewhat. The remaining time left to her pulse-phased out and ebbed. ”

(Philip K. Dick, Ubik, chapter 2)



A feminine voice, half-human and half-synthetic, plays the rôle of something that indicates and sometimes disrupts  one’s sense of orientation, while managing the gfow of visitors. This game, imbued with absurd, pathetic humour, brings to mind the incredibly polarized universe of J-L Godard’s Alphaville, which at the end becomes depolarized, playing with the perception of the physical spaces of la Gaîté lyrique.



Two robot-dancers go across the whole building, tirelessly replaying a learning-process duel which basic, univocal and prototype-like rules lead to interactions with the building.


Produced by la Gaîté lyrique

Partners : Uniqlo, Mélissa

With the participation of students from Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Ecole Média Arts, Ecole Estienne, Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Cergy and Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture.

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