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AUDIENCE REVIEW: Vi la luna al mediodía
May 15th, 2014
Very happy to have seen Pauline Legras and Caliince Dance perform tonight at the Martha Graham Dance Company's Westbeth Studios. While I find the trek to Westbeth a massive pain, whatever exaggerated pain I may have initially felt dissolved as soon as the dancing began.
Pauline Legras has the greatest craftsmanship of any living modern choreographer who comes to mind. Had Antony Tudor seen her work, I believe that he would have said: 'This is a choreographer who cuts to the truth while holding on to passion'. Seeing her episodes on variations of love, put me in mind of the choreographer/playwright Toby Armour who so deftly summarized human foibles in mini-dance plays.
The evening's main event was titled 'Vi la luna al medioda'. True to the numerous facets inherent to love, what unfolded was a tapestry of variations on all of the things humans experience through love. From awkward courting, to punch drunk one-sided adoration, to the brutal ritual of self torturing that one endures when pining over something not quite requited (replete with bleeding elbows), Ms. Legras plumbed the depths of the human heart. Of particular note is the pas that Ms. Legras herself danced. This is the greatest representation of 'love is blind; passion is consuming' that I have ever seen. The first moments revealed Ms. Legras dancing with an awakening lust whose flames were fanned as she was partnered with an equal mix of tenderness and rough possessiveness by Alexandre Balmain. Though her eyes were closed the entire time, Ms. Legras seemed to sense through her very skin where exactly to fall, trusting intimately that her partner would be there to catch, caress, and hold her single every time. As the dance continued Mr. Balmain attempted to step away for a breather (or perhaps to have a moment of reflection) only for Ms. Legras to take hold of him across his back with claw like hands that refused to let go- clutching at his mouth, muting him, suffocating him, preventing him from screaming-speaking-breathing-thinking, consuming him with an ardour that could only be: Love. Selfish. Binding. Blind. Though panicked and stricken, what else could he do but surrender? This is Love and he is deep in it. Brilliant.
If you have the time, do yourself a favour and purchase a ticket to see this remarkable performance before the weekend ends.
-Juan Michael Porter II