Andre Gingras, © Jochem Jürgens
THE PEACOCK’S ROBES
Andre Gingras (Holland/Canada), "Hypertropia"
The performance ends with a majestic view of a peacock, the king of the birds. The beautiful bird towers over the other dancers, standing at the rear of the stage against a projected background. This is the way the story ends, but what came before?
A strong point of the performance is its diversity, constantly changing scenes and new stories. It’s about violence and war, about people oppressed by others, constant fights between society and individuals. The dancers illustrate scenes of beating, torture, strangling and people not allowed to express themselves. There is a joke about Jews and Palestinians told in the meantime. It reveals our stereotypical way of thinking and our approach to the wars and problems that happen close by.
Andre Gingras’ group finds the golden mean between the seriousness of the subject and casual attitudes to it- and it is all to avoid tiring the audience. In fact, we are dragged into the dialog. The dancers let us forget, that we are only in the theatre. They change the scenery themselves, order pauses to the music. To whom are the jokes about Jews addressed to, if not to us?
There is a scene of a perfect murder played for us. It is like a scene in a soap opera, where everything is perfect and the act of murder has aesthetic values. Everybody stands in their positions and does what is necessary with the speed of a Brazilian serial.
The dancers use many modes of expression, linking modern dance with break- dance and fight scenes. The dancing arrangement is based on posing (as if for a photo). They consciously create the dance and show that our bodiesy are not always under our control. Nothing is perfect in spite of your efforts, because you can easily have obsessions or become a fanatic.
The performance’s message seems simple- we and our world are not perfect. We would just like it to be that way. We are a long, long way from the peacock’s robes.