Gigs, dance, art

June 3rd, 2009: Salia Sanou & Seydou Boro – Poussières de Sang

@théatre de la ville

I had read that Salia Sanou and Seydou Boro used to work with Mathilde Monnier, but I didn’t remember them, which is not surprising at all as I’m not all that familiar with Monnier’s work to begin with. Nonetheless that biography was enough to make me skip Omar Souleyman’s gig, in the hope that they would speak the language of contemporary dance that I can half understand, yet bring much needed outside elements to the mix. I’m referring less to some traditional stuff I don’t anything about than to a different point of view, just for a different take than say Pina Bausch sometimes postcardish cultural mix or the suburban family dramas that have been cropping up. Nothing against those, but I’m always game for something different, and I hoped they could bring different life experiences and an insider’s view of another culture. That’s a long introduction, but I suspect my experience was colored by these expectations, because that’s pretty much what I got: a familiar language with some “words” I could only guess at. Very interesting for me.

The show started with two dancers standing in the back, slowly supporting/pushing each other in a slow sequence that was both immediately physical and abstract at the same time. That particular combination was in evidence more than a few times, which was a big part of the appeal to me. Recurring patterns had dancers on all fours with another pushing their head down in an almost violent head-banging motion, and at other times dancers lying on their backs with arms stretched up and legs half bent. I didn’t care much for those on their own, but they also grounded the piece in some sense. A sequence I liked a lot was really a background to the action, with a foursome standing against a big pane in the back and supporting each other in turn, a support that was mostly lacking the confrontational element present otherwise. I thought it was mostly tense, with a serious undertone, never made blatant but just there almost throughout. My favorite part had a single dancer on his own in relative darkness, while the rest were moving in sync as a group in the light — I guess this particular theme always is a winner with me.

Throw in some pretty good live music with an impressive vocalist — apart from the final song which was just not my kind of thing, and felt somehow rubbing it in after the eloquent dancing — and that was a pretty good show in my opinion. Funny how perceptions differ: on my way out I overheard people saying they loved how purely physical the show went. For my part, I thought it was very smart for the most part, even a bit too talkative at times if anything. Then again, the non-dance fad may have made people unfamiliar with just how much dance can convey without words. I’m really interested in seeing these choreographers work again, they do bring something personal, yet I think are squarely withing the contemporary dance I know about.


June 9, 2009 - Posted by | Dance | , ,

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