counterfnord

Gigs, dance, art

December 3rd, 2008: Garry Stewart – G

@theatre de la ville

The reference to Giselle had me more than a little worried. The original bored me when I saw it, and Mats Ek’s version didn’t work for me. So I was not expecting much. I was wrong. I loved this one, and the I even liked the classical dance elements. Or more accurately what I liked was what Garry Stewart did with those. Which was to have them transformed and disturbed, getting rid of the unreality by introducing stumbles or more often arm positions that were totally not classical. So that the perfect technique — and it was very much there — segued into a contemporary collapse. Of course there was a deliberate play on this process of breaking down, on several levels including having dancers whose body types don’t fit the classical pattern hold picture perfect poses, playing with different speeds and even having a few sequences that would actually have fit for a while, usually until another dancer came in to break it up with wrestlingish moves.

I also got an idea of an unstopable force from the way the dancers would move from the left to the right and disappear out of stage. A system strayed from just enough to keep it interesting. At times it was a parade of figures drawn along as if on a conveyor belt, to the fast heartbeat of Luke Smiles’ music — he was also performing as a dancer, a talented guy. At other times the motion was slower but it still felt as if a powerful stream was carrying them forward with no way back.

The show was very intense and tight in a good way; at just about an hour it was a perfect duration, enough to explore the ideas quite fully, not long enough to allow a tedious overexposition. Just right. The lighting and costumes played a part as well the green of the latter made striking in white or green light, and looking black in red light, a nice way to bring changes without pauses.

It was met with wild applause, and for once I could only agree with the crowd’s opinion. A very good show, one I would like to see again. This time I was drawn in and just took it all in, but I’d like the opportunity to pay more attention. There was enough going on for me to be just certain I missed a lot. So far I had never fully liked Garry Stewart’s work — I only saw Held and Devolution — but this has won me over big time.

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December 5, 2008 - Posted by | Dance | ,

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