Gigs, dance, art

March 26th, 2009: Benoît Lachambre & Su-Feh Lee – Body-Scan

@centre pompidou

Over the years I’ve seen things I liked from Benoît Lachambre, and others just eluded me. Often it was a mix of both feelings, with parts leaving me midly puzzled. This one had all of these impressions, but even though I’ve been getting wary of the effect this hallowed art center has had on otherwise interesting people, this show had a lot that I really liked a lot. A mixed bag, but the things I did like were clearly dominant.

It began poorly enough though: Benoît Lachambre and Su-Feh Lee sitting and talking while the audience was coming in, then adressing the audience in a way that I thought was too wordy by far. So the introduction was a bit labored for me, but it did put a frame in place, with extended limbs coming through not as completion of an unfolding but as points in a trajectory where the bending was just as much worthy. That’s something I did like. The first half or so was mostly slow movements except for a solo part by Su-Feh Lee, but even that speed was relative.

There was a section with her and Lachambre which is probably the one I like most of everything of his I ever saw.  Touch was a big part of it, but it went beyond the obvious, not touch as support or repelling motion but in itself. Part of this impression came from the open hands, but most of it came from the response — or lack thereof. That was an ongoig theme throughout, but was at its best in this part, from a laying of an open hand that was accepted as unintrusive to something anticipated. Something that I liked a lot was that it didn’t evolve into expectation, or more likely played with it in going from touch to almost touching. And that drove the point deeper. The connection that took place didn’t require actual touching, but was more about acknowledging the other and dealing with that, in many different ways.

After a break with more words I could have done without, the pace was faster but with a transition or rather a layering of a couple of dancers going through a section that would have fit in nicely in the first part while Su-Feh Lee undressed before a part that I thought was a bit too eightiesish for me. Part of it may come from the relatively small room with made catching everything challenging, maybe I’d have liked it more had I been able to catch more of it without switching back and forth. Then after what came close to a pause there was a section with dancers popping in and out of view whirling, playing with the black curtains in the back of the stage.

The final section was great in a different way, with the dancer throwing blankets with black and white portraits of them on one side, having them spin and often fall off the stage. As the lights slowly faded the spinning motion through the air reached an effect that really struck a chord with me. That part and the earlier touch-themed duo with Lachambre and Lee would alone have made it very much worthwhile for me. As it was there were quite a few other nice moments in there, so I really liked this show a lot.


March 28, 2009 - Posted by | Dance | , ,

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