The Keruzha company emerged in 2011 from Jany Pons Ballester’s work: pure song and intuition compelled her to work a capella, without trappings or trimmings of any kind.
The naked voice as a call to search, a means of exploration.
In 2012 Jany met a dancer, Zilda Barthès, and the two joigned forces.
Through their work, they soon discovered how and where a cappella singing and dance become one, where meaning blossoms. They found common ground in wordless forms and encounters that would be accessible to all, regardless of culture, language, physical health, or psychological condition.
On this basis the first three performances were developed: not simply recitals, but movements—narratives, from and of the body.
But there was still something missing. Jany sought out Catherine Lippinois and Fanny de Rauglaudre, visual artists whose work opened new frontiers of the imagination and enabled the further development of her goal to connect with the senses through physical embodiment and presence. This fostered the founding of the company in 2015.
Keruzha is founded on a desire to break down the boundaries between the classical, the traditional, and the contemporary. Through poetic material, the company presents performances on the themes of encounter, the other, difference, and presence. It takes a minimal approach to staging that cuts across cultural boundaries and artistic disciplines while remaining grounded in the body and non-verbal forms.
The company’s repertoire includes six performances developed as invitations to voyages, to paths of sensorial and poetic exploration fed on the curiosity and on the reflection.
In an intimate atmosphere, full of impressive scenes and emotions, they lead to (re)discover landscapes both real and imaginary, familiar and alien, from Europe and the Mediterranean.
Propelled by a repertoire which covers twenty centuries and thirty languages, the company focuses to share, through the musicality of breath and movement, narratives where time is arrested so as to better open senses: sensations, directions, and significations.
Connecting the East and the West, the Company developed:
- Mediterranean Europes (2011-2012): a journey through history of sacred singing, from the fourth century to the twentieth
- Maryam, Maria, Mary (2013): an exploration of the feminine archetype through songs from the East and the West
- Orients, roots of the Book (2013): an experience of the Epic of Gilgamesh, which lies at the root of the three monotheistic traditions
Connecting the ancient with modernity:
- Beguines, women in response (2015): a short eulogy to resilience, or the ways in which constraint can be a path to liberation and surrender
Bringing together classical and popular dialogue:
- Katarekuna (2014): lullabies from Europe and the Mediterranean, to welcome the young and raise up the old
- Because the rose is without why (2015): a journey through central Europe, a call for encounter and difference
And finally, two small–forms performances (with singing and visual arts) are upcoming:
- Exile(s): from earth from heart and from the living, dizzinesses and vitality, at the crossroads of poetic universes of Ilse Weber and Ibn Arabi, Martin Codax and Alfonsina Storni, Mussorgsky and Xavier Grall
- Brundibar or The So Big Bad Noise: told, sound and sung version of the children's opera of Hans Krása
To date, we have given almost 250 recitals of these different performances.
Parallel performances for geriatric and psychiatric audiences have opened up these experiences to the vulnerable and oft–neglected publics.
The artistic approach, at the beginning for all audiences, est allée au fil des rencontres toward specific audiences, without making any difference but rather to expand the boundaries of the common humanity possible.
The company is working in this way on a comprehensive model for audiences known as "prevented", and studies public exhibitions/ performances projects that presents visual artists' work in a lively and interactive way.
We prefer smaller audiences, which allow our work with the body and the breath to be in close proximity to audience members and in contact with them where possible.
Through the breath, word, song, and the use of space, we hope to permit the gesture its full range of expression: vocal, bodily, symbolic, imaginary. This gives it the wholeness needed for real listening and powerful sensory experience.
This all remains a means of searching. For, as the Roma proverb goes, "a candle is not made of wax, but is all flame".