Pièce touchée No 2 © K. Ouellet
(Score excerpt)



Pièce touchée No 2 is a haptic piece performed directly on the body of the visitor. The visitor cannot see (but can listen) and is not active. Like Pièce touchée No 1, its main focus is not therapeutic (like massage), erotic, or on challenging the limits of the visitor.


The visitor’s eyes are bound. He/she is then led into a closed space which he/she has not seen before.


The performance could be described as a suite (a work made out of a group of shorter, related pieces) centered on the touch sense. There are 3 different sections:


1- Purely haptic

The first section involves haptic interventions made by the performers on the visitor’s body following a very precise score. The only input is haptic, it is performed in silence. This continues and further develops an approach used in Pièce touchée No 1. It also involves musical structures like canons and rhythmic counterpoint.


2- Haptic/musical

The second section involves a touch score choreographed to a musical soundtrack. It uses partly a synesthetic approach (touch interventions corresponding to sound qualities/parameters like volume, intensity, pitch, attack, sustain, grain etc.), partly a contrapuntal and rhythmical approach. The haptic translation of the sounds and the music is performed sometimes together with the music, sometimes completely alone, sometimes the visitor only hears the music by itself.


3- Haptic/narrative

The third section involves soundtracks using voices, language, text and narrative. Touch meets language, and this segment questions its codification in society and the meanings we attach to it. Touch is first choreographed phonetically to the sound of words (not their meaning), then to meaning of single words and then of full narratives, complementing, commenting, illustrating, contradicting or re-contextualizing what is being heard.


Concept, sound, choreography: Kenji Ouellet

Performers: Aliénor Dauchez, Kenji Ouellet, Chloé Serres, Melanie Wyss


Pièce touchée No 2 was made with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.



Press/Visitors comments:


"One's own body becomes the medium, the resounding board of art."

(Barbara Klauss, Mannheimer Morgen)


“Explosion of synapses”.


“Great composition, like a negative imprint of music listening. A great and sensitive way to make music become corporeal.”


“Because of the touch, the perception of the body grows into a fullness of images, thoughts and feelings – through the sound the images become more 3-dimensional, more filmic and are given with dream or nightmare-like motives an almost maelstrom-like force.”


“Music that one really grasps, instead of only understanding it intellectually.”


“First it was like music, though without sounds…”


“Imps, elves, goblins, trolls… voodoo, hoodoo, rhythms on my body.”





Perfect Wedding Festival, Tanzfabrik Berlin 2010; 3d Prize Choregie competition 2011 Maribor (Slovenia). Mois Multi 2012 (Quebec City), Crossbreeds Festival 2012 (Vienna), Habeas Corpus Performance Festival (Cordoba, Argentina), Moving Sounds 2013 (New York).




Pièce touchée No 2 © K. Ouellet