French dance choreographer Yun Chane, whose dream is to build a global network of dancers, is in the city to recruit dancers for a cultural-artistic project

Yun Chane is on a mission. This petite danseuse from the Reunion Island, situated in the Indian Ocean, hopes to set up an online network of dancers from across this region. Yun, who has placed the stepping stone by collaborating with artistes from China, France and Madagascar, is now in Kerala. She is in the city to recruit dancers for a cultural–artistic project that has been sponsored by the European Union and supported by the Regional Council of the Reunion Island.

Yun will be conducting sporadic training sessions and performance sessions with about 20 students, selected through an audition at Satsangam International Centre for Art and Culture on the outskirts of the city. “The trainees will be taught a style in post modern dance called ‘dance contact improvisation’, a dance form I practise. The dance is based on the principles of touch, momentum, shared weight… From this group, I will then narrow and pick the ones that show the most potential at the end of the three-week workshop in September,” she says. At the end of the full programme that will be completed in April 2015, Yun will be shooting a dance video with “those who made it”, which will be screened online.

She will then hone the skills of the dancers through an online network she plans to start shortly. “The network I plan to start will be like a social network for the dancers I have trained. They can pick up tools and techniques needed to perfect their skills from this site. Apart from networking, there will also be future collaborative projects,” says Yun who learnt dance at the age of nine.

The woman who says dance is her life started out by learning ballet in Reunion Island. Although she enrolled at Sorbonne University, Paris, to pursue a specialisation in dance, she left it when she became a part of the contemporary movement that was sweeping Europe in the 1970s and 80s.

“The language of the body in contemporary dance is different from the one in the traditional form; one could express what one felt like in the new form. It was liberating.”

The artiste worked with several dance troupes in France before she returned to Reunion Island. “I returned to introduce that dance form in the Island. I also wanted to create my own dance company and become a choreographer.” Although the residents found her dance “strange” at first, she soon won them over with her various production.

Impressed with her dance moves, the Reunion Island Government sent her back to France to hone her skills and to gain visibility for her work.

Her works, she says, are mostly on women. “Maybe because I am a woman and was surrounded by women while growing up, I can talk about women. In my first dance drama, ‘Colour of Women’, we were three women artistes on stage. There were metal sheets placed on the walls of the stage and the three of us were banging ourselves against it. Although it represents the glass ceiling which most of us women face, I am not trying to transform society; I am just challenging people to change themselves. My works are never political,” says Yun who is back in Reunion Island and training various artistes in her dance form.

The artiste who is in the city for a week, says has not found the time to sightsee. “I have been busy with auditions and laying other ground work.”

She adds: “Maryse Noiseux, the person running Satsangam has promised to take me to Kovalam and to the Padmanabhaswamy temple the next time I come to town.”