Gigs, dance, art

November 4th, 2009: Brice Leroux – Solo#2 – fréquences

@théatre de la ville

I guess this kind of minimalist mathematics are not for everybody, but Brice Leroux is now one of my favorite choreographers. Again, he blurred the lines around the performance itself. In earlier shows that could mean dancers starting before the audience was let in and going on after the end, here it was by letting people in one at time, going through a green outlined spiral onto the stage, in a circle around the metronomes. Yeah, Ligeti’s poem again, not that I’m complaining or anything, I just love seeing this, the twist this time was the greenish light moving on those and being shut down as each stopped. I like hearing this one, but it has a visual side to it that’s really important to me. The spiral in darkness was a nice way to lead into the performance, 50 people sitting around a rotating circular stage with 100 metronomes as an outer ring and a middle ring of slender bars of light.

At first that’s all there was, but then a single point of light started drawing eight figures from the center of the stage. That point was Brice Leroux’ hands, as his figure slowly emerged from the darkness. Not much, of course. Those “bars” were even better than that, able to emit light in varying intensities outward, inward or both. When those were turned inward and not outward, the effect was something to behold, and several times I had visions of black bars coming toward me. Frequency indeed, those two circles would have made the show a great piece of art on their own.

But there was someone dancing within, and that took it even further. As usual with him, it wasn’t dancing as emotional medium or athletic feat, but a systematic exhaustion of the possibilities of a simple pattern. Some people say it’s cold and boring, to me it’s mesmerizing and comes close to the core of why I like dance. The concept may be abstract, but there’s a physical element at work there too, with an actual person, actual movements making it all real and immediate. Most of why I loved this performance just isn’t translating to words — at least I can’t do that — it has to be experienced, and Leroux is doing all he can to help with the needed focus.

I felt he was moving the fastest, with the light ring going slower and the metronomes slowest. But I really can’t say whether that’s “true” or just one of the illusions he created. The darkness and lights were all intentional and made for a total immersion that was a big help to let go, which I think is just needed to get into this work. The dance pattern this time had him hold his arms in a circle and bend and turn with his legs still or compensating for the upper motion. I’m so annoyed at how these words — even his for that matter — come short of what this was all about. This was pure experience, the opposite of dry abstract musings about patterns, which I think is a common misunderstanding of what successful minimalism can be.

To go back to my inadequate rambling, the costume he was wearing played a part I can’t really measure, but it was important. The most obvious came at the end, when horizontal lines came on it, making the circle of his arms even brighter, and counterbalancing the vertical lines of the arc of vertical lights — this middle circle also went through variations of arcs/circle and in/out/both. I have no idea how they pulled that off but at some point his figure was in a kind of non-color I usually experience as an expanding blind spot that I’ve been told is a minor form of epilepsy. His ability to put that on stage alone would have blown my mind, but as it were it was just one of the many highlights.

There’s some more cogent stuff out there — not setting the bar high there — about this performance, but really it’s something that has to be experienced, no youtube stuff can ever do it justice. Brice Leroux just rules, and I hope he’ll keep coming around here. Again, I felt that most of the audience didn’t share my enthusiasm, which is worrying only insofar as it may drive him to stop coming here.


November 7, 2009 - Posted by | Dance | ,

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