Profundis, They Seek to find the Happiness they Seem, Folk
In whispered tones of reverence, I am told: it is, oooh, wonderful, you’re in for a treat…
A woman in purple stands hugging herself in dance. She is singular, beautiful.
The spot light shifts to a gloriously sexy scene, a woman in white revelling in her spot-lit body writhes on the stage. She is right in front of me, I can see into her eyes. I am mesmerised. Carted away by men in black, the performance erupts into a fantasy of colour, dance, commentary, music and comedy. It is at once surreal, curious and charming. Sinister. Younger audiences find this funnier; we are awkward, we laugh in the wrong places. The dancers say that they find their voices in dance not in language but have enjoyed this challenge, being free to be themselves, to speak, to interpret freely within the confines of the psalm. De Profundis.
It is the creation of genius. It has the feel of a masterpiece. It is an abstract painting come to life. It is Kandinsky dancing. Of all the images, I am left with the man in red knuckling his way across the floor, man as ape as movement to music. A treat, indeed.
The Seek to Find the Happiness They Seem
Dance partners in black and navy and they trip through the dark, faces lit like portraits looming out of Rembrandt. Oh, this is exquisite. They are so lovely to watch. Perfectly in unison, Fred and Ginger ducking and diving and dancing in front of us, I can feel the warm swoosh of air across my face as they sweep past.
To Richter, they fail, their sense of loss and confusion is complete.
Bosch. It is a Bosch in all its painted madness cavorting in front of us. It is a crazy world. It rises from the soil of Autumn leaves into this crepuscular land. It is a topsy turvy place, a slight inversion, sensitive to struggling personality, to groupings, pairings and isolation.
Something warm and heavy, muted and visceral, carefully cadaverous, so beautiful from a distance but gently sinister close up. It is a convoluting palette of earth. It is breathtaking.
To see these dancers up close and personal, the bandages on their toes, the straps around their knees, the sweat on their faces, each muscle flexing, is to see perfection. To hear their feet feel the ground, to see expression in every tiny movement, is to see beauty.
I want to pull this piece into the night air, I want to let them free to scatter real leaves, dancing under real trees.
I want to press Stop: I want to fix them like statues and examine every moment. I cannot watch it all and I have missed so much but oh, I have taken something magical, ethereal, wonderful away with me.
Enjoyed: 14th November, 2016 at NDCW, Cardiff
Choreography: Roy Assaf
Music and Sound: Uoon I, Alva Noto (Vrioon Electronic)
Enta Omri, Umm Kulthum (Original 1964 Live Recording)
Lighting Design: Omer Sheizaf
Costume Design: Angharad Matthews
Costume: Deryn Tudor
They Seek to Find the Happiness They Seem
Choreographer: Lee Johnston
Music: Max Richter
Lighting: Joe Fletcher
Costume: Zepur Agopyan
Dancers: Matteo Marfoglia, Elena Thomas
Choreographer: Caroline Finn
Visual Artist: Joe Fletcher
Music: Assorted (see website below)
Lighting: Joe Fletcher
Costume: Gabriella Slade
Dancers: Josef Perou, Camille Giraudeau, Matteo Marfoglia, Mathieu Geffre, Angela Boix Duran, Elena Thomas, David Pallant, Josie Sinnadurai, Ed Myhill