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.