«Blast!» Ruth Childs

© BAK / Charlotte Krieger


Explosive embodiment of emotions

Swiss Dance Production Award 2022

Following on from 2019’s fantasia, Blast! is another solo piece from Ruth Childs, based on her observations of how humans express themselves – a study, a panorama focusing on the painful, suffering, emotional and violent body. In a dialogue with Stéphane Vecchione’s percussive sound design, Childs stirs the audience with portrayals of bodies that make her fearful and are marked by suffering. Body, sound, space and music meld into a cycle of grimaces, tones and text that juxtapose a meditative aspect with the explosive force. Childs was inspired and amused by the different meanings of the word “blast”: as well as meaning an explosion, it can also be used as a swearword, and “having a blast” means having fun. Blast! premiered at the Pavillon ADC as part of the La Bâtie festival in Geneva last year and has since toured the French-speaking zone. It has also appeared at the FIT in Lugano and ImPulsTanz (the Vienna International Dance Festival).

Choreography/Performance: Ruth Childs
Technical direction and light design: Joana Oliveira
Sound design and research: Stéphane Vecchione
Artistic Collaborator: Bryan Campbell
Costumes: Coco Petitpierre
Costume production : Anne Tesson, Coralie Chauvin
Outside eye: Cécile Bouffard
Coaching: Michèle Gurtner
Production: Scarlett’s
Delegated production, touring: Tutu Production, Lise Leclerc & Cécilia Lubrano

Coproduction: Pavillon ADC-Geneva, La Bâtie Festival, Geneva, Arsenic, Lausanne Atelier de Paris CDCN, Paris, CCN de Tours/ Thomas Lebrun (residency), CCN de Rillieux-la-Pape, A-CDCN (Les Hivernales – CDCN d’Avignon, La Manufacture – CDCN Nouvelle-Aquitaine Bordeaux· La Rochelle, L’échangeur – CDCN Hauts-de-France, Le Dancing CDCN Dijon Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Chorège CDCN, Le Pacifique – CDCN Grenoble – Auvergne – Rhône-Alpes, Touka Danses – CDCN Guyane, Atelier de Paris / CDCN, Le Gymnase CDCN Roubaix – Hauts-de-France, POLE-SUD CDCN / Strasbourg, La Place de la Danse – CDCN Toulouse / Occitanie, La Maison CDCN Uzès Gard Occitanie, La Briqueterie CDCN du Val-de-Marne)
Residency: Lo Studio – performing arts centre – Arbedo- Castione/Bellinzona – Switzerland
Financial support: Pro Helvetia Swiss foundation for Culture, Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation

Ruth Childs / Scarlett’s

Ruth Childs was born in London (UK) in 1984 and studied dance and music in the US. She came to Geneva in 2003 to complete her training at the Ballet Junior. In Switzerland, she has worked with such choreographers and directors as La Ribot, Gilles Jobin, Massimo Furlan, Marco Berrettini and Yasmine Hugonnet. She founded her own company, Scarlett’s, in 2014 and has created performances, installations, music and film projects under this label, including Scarlett’s Fall with Stéphane Vecchione in 2015. The duo produced 12 songs together with a video depicting Childs as a pink water nymph in and around Lake Geneva. Since 2015, Childs has also devoted herself to the legacy of her aunt, the famous choreographer Lucinda Childs. In Pastime, Carnation, Museum Piece, she revived three solos that Lucinda Childs performed herself at the Judson Dance Theater in New York in the 1960s. Childs is currently one of the artists in residence at Arsenic in Lausanne and the associated artist at CCN2-Centre chorégraphique national in Grenoble (France).

“Blast!” lays bare the numb body. It is the observation and faithful representation of the expressiveness shown by bodies wracked with pain, violence, suffering, all recurring features traversing human history. Ruth Childs choreographs the grotesque, the ridiculous, her dance reflects aspects of the self as reflected in the world and aspects of the world that pervade the self in a precise narration, a homage to imperfection. Her steps, in perpetual motion leave a trace, meticulous gestures, words, silences, sounds, a precise musical study breathe life into a meditative, sacred circle by an outstanding performer.

Nunzia Tirelli, jury member