DANCE by Lucinda Childs @ Kaaitheater, Brussels, Saturday 13 October 2012

Photo by Sally Cohn

It was with great excitement that I arrived in Kaaitheater last Saturday to see Dance, choreographed in 1979, by Lucinda Childs. Philip Glass and visual artist Sol LeWitt collaborated to create this classic, minimalistic piece where every single movement is so precise, clear and structured and where, contrary to what one might expect, the final result is so light, fluid and ethereal. It’s the combination of Childs’ repetitive abstract choreography, the dancers just following Glass’ score, creating a pattern  made complete by LeWitt’s projection. Back in 1979, LeWitt filmed the dancers performing, then projected them in parallel with the live performance, using different angles and split screens, so what the viewer saw, was the dancers’ double images following the live ones in perfect synchonisation, or just dancing in different parts of the stage.

It was a ground-breaking performance then, still fresh and totally relevant now! The revival of this masterpiece is even more important, as this time, the viewers are treated to a whole new ensemble, lovingly selected and trained by Ms Childs, but the projection is of the exact same film with those dancers performing back in 1979…

So we are  now looking at a piece of history: the live dancers performing with their original counterparts, their auras of 30+ years ago following step-by-step, adding their white ghost-like figures to the those of the present…

The solo part, then performed by Ms Childs herself, was tactfully left partly to her projected formidable figure dancing alone on the stage…

Photo by Sally Cohn

Then, as if the young Childs jumped to the present, Anne Lewis was there, and it was like her reincarnation, the posture, the costume, the hairstyle, even the discreet earrings… But, definitely Anne’s own warm smile and interpretation…

It was so elegant and seamless, I was transfixed and transported to a dream world…

…. except, ahem, for a couple of breaks due to the inevitable imbecile, who thought it was the perfect time to discuss (or was he arguing?) what was happening… the solo passage was his favourite, I think! Theatre-goers out there, please, please take your conversation-cellphones-embarrassed coughing and sorry selves, elsewhere! A minimum of respect makes everyone a better person!

OK, I know this is a journal about things I like, so I’m quickly taking off my grumpy hat… Fortunately, it was with Glass’ music in my head that I woke up next morning, that, and the mesmerising moves of the performers, past & present in perfect harmony… It’s all that counts in the end…

PS: Talking Dance with Lucinda Childs. Watch discussion here.


One thought on “DANCE by Lucinda Childs @ Kaaitheater, Brussels, Saturday 13 October 2012

  1. Pingback: Einstein on the beach. The opera. Amsterdam, Saturday 05 January 2013 « Lia in Brussels

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