counterfnord

Gigs, dance, art

October 27th, 2010: Josef Nadj – Cherry-Brandy

@théatre de la ville

This year Josef Nadj brought a mixture of the familiar and the new. Dancers were still barefoot and dressed in black suits, and there was the usual sequence of shadows featuring some little tricks. And Josef Nadj himself had a mechanical undertone to his movements as he progressively filled out the “sator arepo tenet opera rotas” word square on a blackboard.

But he only showed up from time to time, and for the most part left the stage to younger dancers and a different feel in their movements. Most striking for me was a sequence where they would move across the stage as a group, doing similar moves, but not at the same time. The slight timing differences gave it a hint of something like choppy waters. I really liked that one, where most of the soundtrack was the sound of their feet sliding on the stage. The movements had none of the usual qualities I came to expect from Nadj, like the stilted/mechanical or the animal-like. That is a very interesting development, even though it’s probably not still where he can take it.

On the other hand, I didn’t like the opening sequence much, when figures or parts thereof would briefly appear in dim light. I guess it was OK in itself, especially when there was some question about what exactly I was seeing. But the on/off lighting seems to be the flavor of the year in dance. The silver lining is that it can be interesting to see each choreographer’s take on it, but it does get predictable.

The last part of the show was maybe the closest to the usual, involving some props and featuring some small touches of red. There were some nice carrying in there, and a memorable sequence with a dancing standing straight on a table and sliding under the guidance of another one. Maybe the most obviously dark part of the show as well, with a box that had coffin undertones and some shroudish moments.

The show definitely had a somber mood, with less of the magical trickery that usually makes its own sense in Nadj’s shows. It’s probably not a coincidence that I saw some renewal in it as well. It’s certainly not one of my favorite shows of his, but it shook up the routine and made me even more eager to see what’s coming.

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November 9, 2010 - Posted by | Dance | ,

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