Show, 2018 © Araso ADAGP

Show: Hofesh Shechter's fanatic clowns

Nearly a year after Grand Finale, the Hofesh Shechter Company comes back to Paris’ Théâtre de la Ville with Show, a three-chaptered opus: the entrance, clowns and exit. Very much in line with Hofesh’s tradition, which the choreographer has been building for over fifteen years, Show is a dark circus filled with nightmares, a fantastic farandole performed by crazy Pierrots, whose spooky youth clashes with invisible knives and machine-gun fires. 

Show, 2018 © Araso ADAGP

And what does Hofesh Shechter show? First, is the excitement of baby faces recruits. Then, over and over (and over…) again, the sadly familiar images of glorified bloodthirsty monsters out of 20th and 21st century’s  long lasting iconographies. They murder, murder and murder again. They dance, then they slit throats. They dance again, then they fire guns at each other. They dance again, they fall, they rise again, then kill again. Each time, dance picks them up on the verge of precipice only to make them fall harder. The interchangeable bodies except for a mohican here and a plait there don’t have eyes. Light design has them blindfolded by darkness. 

Show pictures the life and many deaths of these savages clowns who unlike the legend never look sad. We’re at the heart of a topic well too known in real life, the ballet of a killing show that’s been spreading like a disease for decades. It could have been genius. It came really close. But the obscenity of repetition (or is it the repetition of obscenity?) won it over. The show must go on and the Show must end, for rummaging insistently the unfathomable gets very overbearing very soon. 


 Original painting © Araso ADAGP

Show, au Théâtre de la Ville jusqu’au 21 Avril 2018. 


Flood - Araso © ADAGP

Flood: Daniel Linehan dances with ghosts in Beaubourg

That was a close call. 

Two years after dbddbb –nearly on the same exact day, we are back on the crime scene with Daniel Linehan. One of America’s prodigal son, he made his choreographic debuts in cities that never sleep -Seattle then New York which he left to do research at Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s  P.A.R.T.S.. dbddbb had left us aloof in a wave of critical enthusiasm. But Flood is a poetic piece on obsolescence and disappearance. 

Flood - Araso © ADAGP
Flood – Araso © ADAGP

On set, a collection of white mesh panels paves the way for the viewer’s imagination whilst suppressing its limits. The installation is already a standalone masterpiece. The first veil has been burnt or torn, it’s hard to tell.  Behind it, a series of semi-intact copies. Neons have been scattered in between at different heights as if to measure how badly injured they were during the war just ended. 

Flood - Araso © ADAGP
Flood – Araso © ADAGP

It could be a scene from a post-apocalyptical film or a still from the remains of a lavishly furnished manoir. A box in the center of the stage, the trap of disappearance is taking it all. Around and inside the space, 4 dancers give form to an electric merry-go-round heavily punctuated by piercing vocal expressions, sometimes clucking and physical confrontations. 

Flood - Araso © ADAGP
Flood – Araso © ADAGP

Flood creates a world where the living and their ghosts play hide and seek inside one single multi-layered dimension. Alone in the relationship to the other yet numerous in the head, dodging the present, one foot in a future arriving too quickly whilst still latching on to the past: it all sounds but too familiar. Troubling and beautiful. 


Daniel Linehan, Flood

Performance seen at the Centre Pompidou between January 17th and January 20th 2018.


Welcome to Woodstock au Comedia illustration Araso

Welcome to Paris' Woodstock

How many times do we have to say one has to get out of their comfort zone. 

We want to be edgy, to stay on top of the contemporary scene. Yet it’s often whilst treating ourselves with some much deserved happiness that we stumble upon a hidden gem. 

And here comes Welcome to Woodstock the musical, on the bill at the Comedia in Paris until January 7th 2018. The story’s set in Paris, 1969: Corinne studies hard for her exams (multitalented Magali Goblet) while her happy crew is more keen on smoking pot and playing music. One night, on a whim, all but Corinne agree to go to Woodstock, America, to attend the “gig of the century”. Two sides of the same revolution.  

Within two and a half hours, break and call backs included, spoken scenes fit inside a mere half an hour. The whole show is about live music and handpicked 60s-70s songs. All of the 12 artists are on top of their game, it’s absolute madness. An incredible singer, long fringes hanging off his shaven torso (amazing Yann Destal from French band Modjo) leads a live rock’n’roll band punctuating the story with its intermissions. 

It feels like a dream when Jimi’s character, played by Xavier V Combs who looks and sounds spookingly like Hendrix, emerges from psychedelic forests, American dinners and mud fields. His performance alone is worth buying a seat as it could probably thaw out a sea of ice.  

Welcome To Woodstock is a treat everyone should indulge. Its only weaknesses are a misleading concept and surprisingly low-positioned communication. 


Welcome to Woodstock at Le Comedia until January 7th 2018. 

With Geoffroy Peverelli, Magali Goblet, Pierre Huntzinger, Morgane Cabot, Margaux Maillet, Jules Grison, Xavier V. Combs, Yann Destal, Cléo Bigontina, Benoit Chanez, Hubert Motteau.


Wim Vandekeybus brings out the beasts

Let’s imagine for a minute someone spending their life closed up and motionless in the corner of a room. Wim Vandekeybus reveals their savagery: not that of the man but that of the place, of which the inhospitable character suddenly appears. 

You can’t decide that I am not original

In Spite of Wishing and Wanting is the story of the pack of males from Ultima Vez. The frame is sexy and the game is physical. Christlike figures go bad and languages clash in this Babel off the ground. Like crazy horses, men rear back, belch, question, proclaim, spook and marvel. Some chain rummage lurks in the dark, from a place where someone seems to be dragging invisible bullets. « Tu sei il mio cavallino » whispers the man to his twin at the other end if the lunge rein, which connects them both. Wim himself appears, a troublesome Hermès cantering amongst an army of greek gods. 

You think I am only an executioner

WIM VANDEKEYBUS, In Spite of Wishing and Wanting - by Araso
WIM VANDEKEYBUS, In Spite of Wishing and Wanting – by Araso

This edition is a revival of the 1999 original show and reunites the feminine and masculine desire in the same lust for life. That fire is passed amongst the horde from hand to hand. Dance is of a rare beauty, translating into breathtaking pas de deux, all challenging the laws of physical attraction. The 90s are here too, with their fair share of kitsch in music, video and dance. The whole piece doesn’t lack humour.

I want to be a sponge and live at the bottom of the ocean

Somewhere in this maelström of fighting, biting and living nightmares, pillows explode in a sea of feathers and wild animals escape running naked amongst the audience. Sublime portés, Margiela-like masks and metallic voices participate in this live poetry contest.

In Spite of Wishing and Wanting was seen at la Villette with the Théâtre de la Ville from June 28th to July 2nd 2017. 


Illustration © Araso


Raymond Hoghe remembers: the solitary walker's chronicles

After he made us waltz last September in Beaubourg with the Festival d’Automne à Paris, Raimund Hoghe is getting back his colors. Je me souviens (literally “I remember” but its English title is Another Dream) is a solo, which Raimund wrote in 2000 for Another Dream, a trilogy on the XXth century. The text has been amended in order to include current events such as the migratory flows issue, also the main topic of La Valse. 

The argument is harsh and redundant. « 12 boats, 175 people on board, none of them made it » says the voice-over after the SOS call sound extracted from the movie Fuoccoamare, previously heard in La Valse. Laying on the sand-covered floor, Raimund mimics the posture of the dead migrant child whose image is on every mind. Nothing has changed since and it is always as painful to look violence in the eye. A moment of delightful relief comes when Emmanuel Eggermont dances a sublime solo from the top of his   air-splitting arms and undulating hips. 

Raimund Hoghe, Je me souviens, image by Araso
Raimund Hoghe, Je me souviens, image by Araso

Artistic repetition too is inevitable. Aged 68, Raimund Hoghe is the depositary of a memory as prestigious as it is heavy to bear. Faithfull to his playlist whereby Purcell the baroque reigns with Luz Casal at his side, the German playwright carries in his suitcase the shadow of Pina, both a sweet and invasive presence. 

Nonetheless, one really ought to have a heart of stone not to surrender to the elegance of a man who says with so much humour the nightmare this body is for a 12 year old boy, the physical constraint, the hardship of loss, the loss of unknown people as well as loved ones. So when Raimund goes bananas and wears heels, sunglasses, a fancy hat while smoking a flower and screaming for Audrey Hepburn one just has to melt. 

The text of the performance is available on Raimund Hoghe’s website here.


Je me souviens by Raimund Hoghe was seen within Camping at the CND in Pantin on June 26th and 27th 2017.

Concept, choreography and dance
Raimund Hoghe
Artistic collaboration
Luca Giacomo Schulte
Invited artist
Emmanuel Eggermont
Lights
Raimund Hoghe, Amaury Seval


Israel Galvàn, FLA.CO.MEN, Araso

FLA.CO.MEN, Israel Galván's breathtaking breakaway

Israel Galván’s childhood memories are populated by a taste for salt and by the music of heels clacking like the sound of waves breaking onto the shore for some. Taka-gada-gagada…tac ! Acute like a needle, the last note is drilling the floor. 

With FLA.CO.MEN, Israel Galván has found the Holy Grail. He has the demential grace of those who, as they find themselves at the peak of their art, have nothing to prove. Far from the unnecessary pimping, Israel Galván presents his practice rough and ready whilst laying on a bed of humour. 

Israel Galván, FLA.CO.MEN, by Araso
Israel Galván, FLA.CO.MEN, by Araso

Standing in his white apron at his music stand, wearing a black corset over his denims or beaming in a red-dotted white flamenca dress, he fully enjoys a much deserved freedom some turn into a prison. A flamenco child prodigy, he proudly wears his title while fooling around.

With six musician including the Proyecto Lorca duo, he makes, unmakes and remakes the history of his dance until he reaches the core. Here is flamenco in its essence: a song about wandering, ethnic mix and freedom. 


FLA.CO.MEN by Israel Galván, an associated artist at the Théâtre de la Ville-Paris, is at Espace Cardin until June 29th 2017. The piece was created in 2016.