The maelström of Violet

See footnote for more on the context of this entry1.


Five dancers at the back of the scene. Motionless, regularly spaced. On the left, a drums set, the usual instruments of electronic music, and an also immobile musician. It lasts, and tension builds. Then one of them, the taller one, starts to raise his arm and puts its down, gestures that seem driven by unknown forces. One realizes that there are three men and two women. One seems to raise her hands, to move them in front of her face, like a landscape of posts passing by in travel. Gradually all will move. But these are not their own gestures. They are moved by a hidden field of forces, liquid forces probably since the music evokes the sea beating against rocks. First electronic, then drums, this music becomes frenetic. Or rather it is the forces acting on the music and the dancers that become frenetic. The dancers are scattered across the scene, but remain isolated, caught into unusual gestures. For an instant, one imagines epilepsy, or some repeated gestures of madness, but this a mistake, these are just gestures of the maelström that has caught us all. The rest of the dance will be a slow and imperfect reconstitution of the individual and the group in this whirlwind.

There is a first catharsis that leaves them motionless again, standing this time at the front of the scene. A second time, following the same order, they start to move as if constrained. The tallest dancer (Marcio Kerber Canabarro?) moves his arms with a smooth and swift grace, but not like an ordinary human being, rather like some other sort of unfamiliar, though not worrying, being. Again they are scattered across the scene. Then a dancer brushes past the dancer whose hands are a landscape. One can not know if he touches her. Two dancers start a interlaced duo, they hold each other, but this not exactly an embrace, they are like leaves brought together by the wind rolling on the ground. Interlaced, they move across the scene, capture another body, then two more. A knot of interlaced bodies rolls and unwraps. It is a wonder, a prowess also to hide the efforts to preserve the illusion that they are moved by a hidden force. Later they separate, then reposition themselves. Some spectators have gone away during the performance. Those who stayed will remember it for long.

This post is also available in: French

  1. Back in Brussels fro a debate on Internet, data and privacy in the frame of Europe Refresh, a crowdfunding festival at the Halles de Schaerbeek. Being back in Brussels is a pilgrimage of friendships, place and dance. Thanks to the usual Brussels miracle, last minute seats are available for Violet, a choregraphy of Meg Stuart at the Kaai Theater. It was created at the Kaai Theater and staged also in Avignon and Paris, but I never saw a choreography by Meg Stuart before. Thus this entry. By the way I decided to keep publishing my occasional dance chronicles in this blog, even though they would fit better in my literary blog, because the latter is not bilingual. []

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