Yesterday, dancers of the portuguese group, Companhia de danca de Almada, presented "Submersão do Meu Ser"
, providing us with visions of earth and hell based on "The Garden of Delights" by Hieronymus Bosch. However, it lasted too long for the audience to remember the proximity of these two worlds. Paradoxically, the biggest triumph of this presentation was also its biggest weakness. The music, which, on the one hand, by its diversity (baroque songs, by opera aryas, modern music) and perfect reproduction built a satisfying mood and presentation. On the other hand, it didn't help the dance, which was merely a background to the music, not vice versa – as it is should be.
The seven dancers generally couldn’t retain my attention and several times I forgot about the rest to focus on the wonderful music. However, some visual aspects didn’t allow us to tear our eyes away from stage. First, the perfect synchronization of the dancers, with simple but colorful dresses, produced fragments which I watched with pleasure. Aesthetic impressions were aided by using smoke, as dancers, emerged and disappeared, as if in an infernal abyss. The dramatic lighting projected danger, aided by hysterical running and the cries of the dancers.
Companhia de danca de Almada also managed to take advantage of semi-transparent scrims, which divided the scene into three planes. They presented scenes like a slide show, with the dancers stationary. After several minutes watching these images, the audience experienced an optical shock, when the scrims were removed: a sleepy image has been transformed into bright reality.
If I had to evaluate "Submersão do Meu" as workshop show, I would say, that the presentation has bewitched me. However, it has been presented as full spectacle of dance theater. And in this aspect of evaluating it, I must say that this show lacked a central focus. If the spectacle was shorter by about half an hour and a bit more differentiated in form, surely the meaning would have been clearer. But yesterday the meaning disappeared in too many similar scenes. And when you left the theatre the only thing which stays in your head is music.