Anne Collod is a founding member of the Dingdingdong (DDD) collective and creator of the Institute’s Dance and Choreography Department.
For DDD, she has collaborated on the creation of the multidisciplinary show Bons baisers de Huntingtonland / From Huntingtonland with Love. She has also created À D., a choreographed portrait of D., a person with Huntingdon’s disease who developed a flamboyant chorea (abnormal involuntary movement disorder). Anne Collod worked with D., in his own apartment and in a studio, using Labanotation to transcribe the unique nuances of D.’s chorea with choreographic language.
In front of a screen, onto which slow-motion film of D.’s figure is projected, she performs a perfectly synchronised duo with him, before transitioning into improvisation. This marks the beginning of a sort of energy ritual or a form of trance in which the dancer, guided by D., is initiated into something secret, powerful, and profoundly alive - in terms of the disease and in terms of creativity and dance. Through this solo/duo, dance and choreography become a process of experimentation and learning focused on exploring the involuntary body movements that are one of the main symptoms of Huntington’s disease - which was formerly known as Huntington’s Chorea. Through this journey, the piece also explores the contributions that Huntington’s disease - the ultimate disease of movement and dance - is able to make to contemporary dance.
The Dingdingdong collective
Dingdingdong – “un différent son de cloche” (a different toll of the bell) – is a multidisciplinary working group made up of people affected by Huntington’s disease[Huntington’s disease is a rare and incurable genetic disease that leads to cognitive, motor, and psychiatric degeneration resulting in the progressive loss of autonomy and ultimately in death (having developed in an unpredictable way that is unique to and dependent on each person). A genetic test is now currently able to predict of those at risk will develop the disease or not.
For further information on the contemporary ethical issues linked to the disease, see: Testing Knowledge: Toward an Ecology of Diagnosis, Preceded by the Dingdingdong Manifesto] - those with the disease, family and friends, artists, videographers, dancers/choreographers, writers, doctors, social scientists (philosophers, historians, anthropologists, jurists and so on) - who are committed to creating and passing on a new form of knowledge of Huntington’s disease*. Our priority in this work is to explore and share the visions of those we call Huntingtonians: people with the disease, but also people termed ‘at risk’, those carrying the gene, friends and family, carers, and health workers who deal with the highly enigmatic and currently incurable disease on a daily basis.
Dingdingdong aims to inspire everyone, including but not only Huntingtonians, to find ways of transforming the experience of the disease into an opportunity for thought, joy, and life. To achieve this, the Dingdingdong team has embarked on a sort of journey to explore the unknown regions of Huntington’s disease and initiate unprecedented and fertile ways of doing through the most mysterious and potentially formidable aspects of the disease: its forms of absolute otherness.
To help face the opposing currents, which are as powerful as the challenge itself, a research institute was created: Dingdingdong – Institut de co-production de savoir sur la maladie de Huntington (Institute for the Co-production of Knowledge on Huntington’s disease). Each of the institute’s departments is dedicated to a different field of work, although they also feed into each other. The departments tackle various fields: exploring the realms of people with the disease, family members, and friends who have developed ways of living harmoniously with Huntington’s; investigating hypotheses on the mutation of the disease itself (for those who live with it and for the world that is their home); exploring what the disease does to the body, which seems to ‘lose control’ while also acquiring mysterious skills; and researching the implementation of anticipatory medical procedures, which belong to the future, and which may teach us to predict the future without crushing the interesting, worthwhile, albeit altered, ways of life experienced by people with the disease.
- Le Manifeste de Dingdingdong – (The Dingdingdong Manifesto) Institut de coproduction de savoir sur la maladie de Huntington (Institute for the co-production of knowledge on Huntington’s disease), preceded by De la chorée by Georges Huntington, new translation into French by Vincent Bergerat, Édition Dingdingdong, Paris, February 2013.
- Anouck Rivières – Portrait Dingdingdong n°1, Alexandra Compain-Tissier (paintings) and Alice Rivières (text), October 2013.
- L’épreuve du savoir – Propositions pour une écologie du diagnostic, by Katrin Solhdju, translated from the German by Anne Le Goff, Édition Dingdingdong, Paris, October 2015.
- Testing Knowledge: Toward an Ecology of Diagnosis, Preceded by the Dingdingdong Manifesto Dingdingdong collective’s Manifesto (2013) Katrin Solhdju’s Testing Knowledge: Toward an Ecology of Diagnosis Testing Knowledge is also preceded by a foreword from Alice Wexler and is followed by an afterword by philosopher Isabelle Stengers.
Vincent Bergerat (artist), Liisa Cervières (artist), Alexandra Compain-Tissier (artist), Didier Debaise (philosopher), Vinciane Despret (psychologist, philosopher and ethologist), Emilie Hache (philosopher), Emilie Hermant (writer and founder of Dingdingdong), Bruno Latour (philosopher and sociologist), Anne-Laure Morin (jurist), Valérie Pihet (curator of science/culture projects and co-founder of Dingdingdong), Fabien Siouffi (video games), Stéphanie Soudrain (artist), Isabelle Stengers (philosopher), Sophie Toporkoff (artist and artistic director of Dingdingdong), Katia Youssov (neurologist specialised in Huntington’s disease).
Bons baisers de Huntingtonland
Conception: Dingdingdong – Institut de co-production de savoir sur la maladie de Huntington (Institute for the Co-production of Knowledge on Huntington’s disease)
Text: Émilie Hermant
Choreography: Anne Collod
Video: Fabrizio Terranova
Performers: Anne Collod, Aurore Déon and Olivier Marbœuf.
Scenography: Alexis Bertrand.
Dramaturgy: Valérie Pihet Artistic
Collaboration: Marie Piemontese.
Production support: Ligne Directe/Judith Martin
Creation: Festival Mode d’emploi, Les Subsistances, Lyon, 27-30 November 2014.
Duration: 1 hour.
A performance :
A Dingdingdong production and coproduction with Les Subsistances.
With the support of Briqueterie/CDC in Val-de-Marne (Vitry).
Bons baisers de Huntingtonland / From Huntingtonland with Love uses a combination of three forms, theatre dance and video, to grasp the powerfully diverse phenomena of the disease in all their complexity with the depth and nuance felt by those experiencing them. The show is resolutely optimistic in tone, setting it apart from the usual tragic message surrounding the disease - and introduces audiences, not without provocation, to Dingdingdong’s main driver: creating hope and pragmatically putting it into practice.
World Congress on Huntington’s Disease (Rio de Janeiro), 17 September 2013 public presentation of an initial version of Bons baisers de Huntingtonland : From Huntingtonland with Love.
Les Subsistances (Lyon) from the 17th to 30th November 2014
La Briqueterie / CDC in Val-de-Marne (Vitry-sur-Seine), 18th and 19th March 2016