Gigs, dance, art

September 25th, 2009: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui – Apocrifu

@cité de la musique

I really like the last of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui‘s shows I saw, but I was wary of this one because of the religious theme and the bigger stage. I really like him better in less ambitious pieces. But this one turned out OK. Not great, but I liked enough of it, maybe because having only three dancers kept him from going on too long.

I did have a hard time at the beginning though. Yasuyuki Shuto’s coming down those huge stairs was a little too fluttery and ostensibly graceful for me. Then the ground-hugging solo by Dimitri Jourde was just too in contrast with the opening, and by the time Cherkaoui got into his own solo I was fearing the style would be kept too separate. But his solo was really nice, mixing a bunch of small things that didn’t fit that well into this grid. And even though their ankle bells struck me as odd at first, they did fit in with the Corsican singers somehow.

And then their first lining with books in their — they would do that later with swordish props — made for a nice break. They would mix up their arms and hands keeping the books open and moving them around, with heads sometimes jutting out as a multi-armed and headed creature. Maybe a little long and possibly easy on some level, but very well done, with made it work.

I still think there was a bit too much soloing, but there were also times with two of them supporting/confronting each other and a later even sequences with all three in sync. The message wasn’t exactly subtle — all three people of the books being blinded by those before being even more alike in their sword wielding — but that’s a minor detail to me. Even though I don’t think it was an unqualified success on that front, he did manage to bring those different styles into a dialogue of sorts, and that’s interesting.

In another case of evolution for the better along the way, the initial puppet handling wasn’t my thing, and seeing them mime pulling their own string to move their legs looked just too obvious at first, but the final twist made me appreciate that much more. Cherkaoui’s steps got more like a ponderous stomping, and his climbing the stairs a last time was golemish as he got to the top and jumped off as the lights went out. Maybe not the subtlest thing either, but there was a definite dramatic buildup to that finale in a short time, and that was a nice trick.


September 29, 2009 - Posted by | Dance | ,

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