Corps Multiple touches on the concurrent feelings of belonging, individuality in ‘(UN)ROOTED’

Liliana Hall

Belonging, identity and the mind-to-body relation with its inherent connection to humankind are among the themes at the core of the French company, Corps Multiples’, first production in the United States “(UN)ROOTED.”

“(UN)ROOTED,” the first and only French artistic company in Austin, was founded by Sandie Donzica and Francois Minaux Corps Multiples, when they met at an improvisation workshop nine months ago. 

Donzica originally arrived in Austin to study under UT’s BFA dance program for her Bachelors of Fine Arts and Dance Administration. Minaux found himself in Austin 10 years ago to obtain a Doctorate of Musical Arts in flute performance from UT.

The two created the artistic company, Corps Multiple, to experiment with free improvisations based on intimate experiences, human psychology and behavior. 

“Our meeting was a lucky encounter because we realized we were both French and both moved to Austin to explore our artistic abilities,” Donzica said. “We continued to do improvisation workshops together so it grew into something long term.” 

“(UN)ROOTED” is a multidimensional performance that explores the human need for belonging. Minaux said it is inspired by a poem he wrote about his friend in which he focuses on the quest for identity from an orphan’s point of view. “(UN)ROOTED” opens to the public at The Vortex on Dec. 13.

“I doubled up on that theme of identity as an individual but also inside society and in relationship to our biological roots,” Minaux said. “Sandie and I both moved to the United States from France so it also connects to our own lives and the process of adapting to a new culture while managing to stay connected to your origins.”

“(UN)ROOTED” presents a broad and large reflection on the human tension between belonging to society while trying to channel individuality mixed in with the parallels of past, present and future. Minaux said the performance is composed of three parts — an ensemble improvisation, choreographic solo and a multidisciplinary performance based on an original poem. 

“We built the end first based on the original poem,” Donzica said. “It is a very emotionally triggering piece so we had to figure out how to zoom in on without losing its context.” 

“(UN)ROOTED” is a product of free improvisation and the performance is left to the interpretation of many. Minaux said ultimately there is a clear path and all human beings will be able to relate to it. 

“It is really more about the human sensation and feelings rather than just a storyline to follow from beginning to end,” Minaux said. “It is abstract and symbolic enough to where everybody is going to see something different.”

The performance will be followed by a Q&A with special guests to discuss the process behind the elaboration and an extension of the Vortex Connects. 

The Vortex Connects allows the audience to further the discussion by asking questions or sharing their commentary on the performance. Brooklyn Latouf was born and raised in Austin and said she is drawn to performances at the Vortex because no two shows are ever the same. 

“The vortex never fails to provide a platform for up and coming artists and performers in Austin,” Latouf said. “As a member of the community, it is nice to watch performances close to home that spark imagination.”