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 Post subject: Ultima Vez/Vandekeybus - Toronto
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2000 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3539
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Deirdre Kelly calls In Spite of Wishing and Wanting a "brute sensuality that's ravishing" and says "let yourself be bowled over." I'm going to catch this show next week in Seattle, if I'm bowled over, I'll let you all know Image <P>(Well, how's this for a nasty URL?) <A HREF="http://archives.theglobeandmail.com/s97is.vts?action=View&VdkVgwKey=%2Fhome6%2Fusr%2Flocal%2Fgam%2Fsearch%2Fhtml%2F20001006%2FRVDANC%2Ehtml&DocOffset=1&DocsFound=2&QueryZip=harbour" TARGET=_blank>http://archives.theglobeandmail.com/s97is.vts?action=View&VdkVgwKey=%2Fhome6%2Fusr%2Flocal%2Fgam%2Fsearch%2Fhtml%2F20001006%2FRVDANC%2Ehtml&DocOffset=1&DocsFound=2&QueryZip=harbour</A> front+centre&Collection=TGAM&SortField=sortdate&ViewTemplate=GAMDocView%2Ehts&SearchUrl=http%3A%2F%2Farchives%2Etheglobeandmail%2Ecom%2Fs97is%2Evts%3FQueryZip%3Dharbourfront%2Bcent re%26ResultTemplate%3DGAMResults%252Ehts%26QueryText%3Dharbourfront%2Bcentre%26Collection%3DTGAM%26SortField%3Dsortdate%26ViewTemplate%3DGAMDocView%252Ehts%26ResultStart%3D1%26Resu ltCount%3D10&


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 Post subject: Re: Ultima Vez/Vandekeybus - Toronto
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2000 5:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 2208
Location: Australia
ah...thanks, marie...i think! Image<P>try this one instead! it might be easier to get...<BR> <A HREF="http://www.ottawacitizen.com:80/entertainment/001010/4658859.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.ottawacitizen.com:80/entertainment/001010/4658859.html</A> <P> Image

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 Post subject: Re: Ultima Vez/Vandekeybus - Toronto
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2000 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3539
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
yup, that was me on friday, completely and utterly bowled over...<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Ultima Vez/Vandekeybus - Toronto
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2000 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 14494
Location: SF Bay Area
Marie, care to share your thoughts about the performance?<P>If you have enough time, you may want to try a more formal review. See Stuart's wonderful primer at:<P> <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/features/writingreviews.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/features/writingreviews.html</A>


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 Post subject: Re: Ultima Vez/Vandekeybus - Toronto
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2000 8:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3539
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Azlan, was one sentence too pithy for you? Image I realize this show has already been on tour for a year in Europe so many of you may have already seen it or read about it...<P>-----<BR>"In Spite of Wishing and Wanting" was about two hours long without a dull moment. It was an intriguing mix of text, dance and film with a cast of eleven men. <P>It began with some of the men moving around the walls in the upstage area, there were no legs or curtains to obscure the barren stage. The men seemed almost animalistic, kicking and scratching at the walls and the floor. One man pranced like a horse, his long curly hair whipping like a mane. <P>A bald man dressed in a black suit entered from upstage left and sat on a chair at the front of the stage, staring at the audience with a menacing face. He seemed a sort of dr. evil-svengali type who appeared to direct the action in an almost subliminal way, causing the men to fight among themselves or play, separating them when he felt like it, basically playing God with them. <P>One of the men, Benoit, started a dialogue with the audience. He spoke of eating all kinds of animals instead of normal food as a child in an effort to make himself bigger. Eating panther and elephants was what made him grow. He also spoke of how he wanted to be like the animals and how he wanted to fly. While he talked the other men were still fighting and playing like children, running in all directions and occasionally collapsing into sleep on the floor. Benoit gets dragged back into the action and another man starts whispering to the audience that Benoit is crazy until he too gets pulled into the fray. Other men alternately make comments and move back into the rabble.<P>Occasionally the Svengali snaps a whip in the direction of the men which makes them scream--he just laughs sadistically. There is one man who was like a feral creature, his hair was wild and he was clothed in a diaper of some sort. He lay on the floor, tightly holding a pillow. The Svengali shot at the pillow causing it to explode into a pile of feathers. When the feral man shrieked in horror and fear the Svengali laughed freakishly. The feral man ended up naked, harassed by the rest of the men. When he tried to masturbate to comfort himself they stopped him. At one point he tried to hide under the floor, opening a crack in the marly and sliding in. <P>While the lights were low the Svengali climbed up into the scaffolding without notice. From there he appeared to shut the lights on and off at times, causing the men to moan and cry while he laughed uproariously. If I remember correctly this section evolved into the men using flashlights which provided small pools of light so that you could only see parts of their bodies moving. <P>At one point the Svengali cut up ten oranges into oddly shaped halves and later the men appeared on stage with one half each. In a line at the front of the stage they went from person to person trying to match their half with the correct other half. When the found the person with the half that matched theirs they began a tender slow dance together. This eventually worked its way into very physical duets which included a lot of lifts. <P>Later in the work two of the men brought potatoes out on to the stage and lay on the floor. The feral man was given a knife and a fork. When he stood over the men lying on the floor they threw the potatoes into the air. The feral man tried to catch them with the utensils. When he did manage to catch them he screamed with pleasure and chewed at them madly, spewing them onto the stage.<P>The short film was interwoven into the piece in two sections; the first part was about a man who sold wishes and last words. The knowledge gained by those who purchased from him was futile, their lives spun out the same as they would have without this information. <P>In the second film clip the man sold the evil Svengali his last words. The other men were in the castle, crouched like monkeys at the feet of the Svengali. They scurried like chimpanzees down the stairs when ordered out of the room. The film was often sped up which accentuated their creepy-crawly crouched movements. Their makeup was horror-film-esque, big black circles around their eyes, deep black lines on their foreheads, black lips. The Svengali is eventually hanged by the awful monkey-men in a bid for power. <P>As the film ended all ten men lay prone on the stage, heads facing the audience. White feathers spilled down from the ceiling the men alternated big jumps, attempting to remain almost horizontal to the ground. They flapped their arms as if in an attempt to fly. <P>The use of simple props such as feathers in a barren space provided a sense of a netherworld, a portal into a twisted sliver of the universe. The spare costumes were also a good choice, they didn’t seem particular to any time or place.<P>There was a lot of text from the performers throughout the piece, some of it was in Algerian, French, English, whatever the performers native language was. This was really effective; everyone seemed to be speaking in his own voice without affectation. I wondered how much of the text was originally improvised and later worked into the piece.<P>The music by David Byrne was very well suited to the work. I thought one piece had too much guitar but overall I liked it and I wasn't really expecting to, I was never a big fan of the Talking Heads.<P>The movement in this piece was really physical. In one section four men carried their partners around the waist, those being carried had their legs wrapped around their partner's waists, heads down to the floor. Later the men being carried lifted themselves up, so that their bodies were upright, they leaned against their partners as if they were the prow of a ship. This section went on for a long time and doesn't appear particularly difficult, but to carry or be carried demands a lot of physical strength. It seemed to me that this section was well over five minutes in length. <P>There were some great throws and catches too, one man thrown by two others in a horizontal position, was caught first by his feet and then around the chest--his head came within a whisper of the floor. <P>There was good mix between work on the floor and movement done standing up. My only complaint would be the ubiquitous barrel turn on the 45' angle. In my opinion, this has become the fouette turn of contemporary dance in the last three or four years. But that's a minor complaint; overall the movement in this piece was very strong. <P>It was nice to see a cast that had their individual moments but there were no "stars," it just evolved like a landscape, with all of its peculiarities intact, never smoothed out or disguised.<P>One of the performers said later that Vandekeybus doesn't like to make "beautiful" movement but I thought there was an abundance of beauty in this piece. There was a lot of cruelty too, but I felt that the choreographer used it honestly, without pretence. I can see why this work has been so well received; the movement was accessible and strong, as was the production as a whole. This was a very balanced work, not too sweet, not too sour.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Ultima Vez/Vandekeybus - Toronto
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2000 3:58 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Marie, many, many thanks for taking the trouble to write a review of this excitng performance. The Company come to London from time to time, but I haven't seen them yet. Your review has meant that I have added them to my list of 'must-see' dance groups.<P>Thanks again.


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