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 Post subject: Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2002 1:08 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<B>Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu: It's an urban jungle out there...</B><BR>Elephants, breakdancers, grannies? Jenny Gilbert on a French dance company with un différence<BR>24 March 2002<P><BR>Travel to the northernmost limit of the Paris Metro and you find the flip-side of tourist France – a suburb so unremittingly ugly and downtrodden you'd think some malevolent town planner had put a curse on it. For the French, Créteil is a byword for crime, high unemployment and race-provoked violence. It is also the home of Verlan, the hip, back-to-front lingo of the suburban Paris underclass, which turns regular words on their heads to create a dialect incomprehensible to most French people and, more pointedly, to the police. It is an unlikely place to find a slice of paradise.<P><A HREF="http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/features/story.jsp?story=278729" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2002 12:46 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Image <BR><small>"A Slice of Paradise" - an apt title</small><P><BR>Just a brief word to say that this show is a joy from beginning to end and if you have any Bank Holiday blues this is a sure bet to blow them away. Don't worry about it being less than an hour in length as both the dancers and the audience would be exhausted if it went on for much longer. It's an intense, hilarious experience with some fine dancing and no one in the Queen Elizabeth Hall felt short-changed as they gave the performers a storming ovation at the end.<P>Here are the details of the remaining London performances till Tuesday April 2nd, from the <A HREF="http://www.sbc.org.uk/dance/sub_dance/performance/14775.html?version=1" TARGET=_blank><B>South Bank website</B></A>. There were some empty places on the opening night, so you should be OK if you're quick of the mark.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited March 31, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2002 1:05 pm 
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I saw "A Slice of Paradise" this evening and it was very enjoyable! It was just so fun! The elephants and grannies and visual tricks, plus the excellent and sometimes incredibly fast dancing made it a very worthwhile way to spend an hour. Go and see it, just because it'll make you smile! Image


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 Post subject: Re: Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2002 12:43 am 
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Review in The Observer.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>'Why are they doing that?' asked a persistent voice at one of the Easter holiday shows for children. Dance has few answers to such a fundamental question. The fact that it was asked at all means that the magic isn't working. When it is asked at Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu's A Slice of Paradise, it means children are enraptured. <P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.observer.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,679930,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 12:59 am 
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Review from The Guardian.

Quote:
What is uniquely charming about the world created by Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu is its denial of original sin. This French performance troupe may introduce a little erotic seasoning, a little spice of danger, but overwhelmingly they seem to be on a mission to rewrite human history in innocence and smiles.
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 Post subject: Re: Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 10:23 pm 
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Babelle Heureuse
By Donald Hutera for The Times


THE FRENCH Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu is the witty and wise brainchild of the director José Montalvo and his co-choreographer Dominique Hervieu. The fizzy spirit of their productions and the goofy good humour they propagate are almost enough to levitate susceptible audiences.
Babelle Heureuse adheres to the formula established by Paradis and the Olivier-winning Le Jardin Io Io Ito Ito. Take an incredibly motley collection of dance styles, stir in some truly ingenious cinematic sight gags and shake. Steeped in cultural diversity, the result is a small feast of kinetic, visual and musical juxtapositions.

The performance purports to be a fairytale, but one that could have been cooked up by René Magritte. This is surrealism popping with democratic energy.

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 Post subject: Re: Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2003 1:56 am 
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These cats can really swing
Babelle Heureuse reviewed by Jann Parry for The Observer.


The Tower of Babel was the inspiration for Babelle Heureuse, a celebration of almost every dance style under the sun. Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu from Creteil, near Paris, combine hip hop and capoeira, contortionists and ballet dancers, people and animals (on video) in shows that guarantee good humour.

A pity, then, that so many young people were locked into exams the week it was on. Dancers and musicians tell stories, spell out activity songs and swap instruments with irrepressible vitality. After the delirious finale, the audience learns the syllables of the closing song - and chants it back in tune.

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On me head, son
Don’t think too much, just sit back and enjoy Montalvo-Hervieu’s wacky show, says David Dougill in The Sunday Times.


Compagnie Montalvo- Hervieu, from Créteil, Val-de-Marne, have become popular visitors to London with multicultural, multi-idiom dance and film shows that create a colourful, wacky world. The dense programme notes — very French — make heavy weather of the philosophical background to these collage spectacles: their latest show, Babelle heureuse (Happy Babel), at the Barbican last week for the Bite season, takes its title from a text by Roland Barthes. But what it boils down to in the co-choreographers José Montalvo and Dominique Hervieu’s work is a celebration of harmonious diversity — in theory.
I find it easier just to watch and enjoy. Each of these 17 dancers of various shapes, sizes and colours has a speciality. There is a man who spins furiously fast on his head, others bounce across the stage on their back, or scythe dangerously while kick boxing. A woman curls her legs over her head like a scorpion’s tail, and scratches her eyes with her toes.

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 Post subject: Re: Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 12:19 am 
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Review from The Independent.

Quote:
Those familiar with the work of Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu, star of the French government's racial harmony programme in the troubled Paris suburb of Creteil, will already have set up a mental checklist of director Jose Montalvo's idées fixes. Video animals, grandmothers and madcap chases occur in all four of the shows we've seen, as well as live virtuosity of a variety rarely seen cheek-by-jowl. A breakdancer helicopters in circles, only his forearms touching the ground. A ballerina cuts zigzags from the air like a pair of crimping shears. Their speed seems so unfeasible that the only response is to laugh.

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 Post subject: Re: Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 8:18 am 
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<img src="http://www.barbican.org.uk/bite/images/image-shows3.jpg" alt="" />
<small>"Babelle Heureuse"</small>

"Babelle Heureuse" is delightful. Having seen their earlier "A Slice of Paradise" which is only some 50 minutes, I wondered whether there would be a law of diminishing returns as the formula remains the same - a wide range of styles sharing some common steps and then doing their own thing in a series of short vignettes. However the show worked for me throughout its 75 minutes. The addition of of an Everyman figure with limited technical dance ability was funny and two acrobats slowly creating exquisite sculptural shapes also made for variety. In addition there good live music from a classical soprano who is quite a mover in a quirky way and two brilliant African musicians.

The dance styles that worked best for me this time were capoiera and various styles of African dance - these guys andd gals can really move. The ballet dancers are good, but the frenetic pace doesn't suit the style well. A slowing of pace from time to time, as with the acrobats, would help matters.

Nevertheless, it's a very entertaining show with great dance and I had a silly grin on my face the whole time. The title provides the message of the piece - enjoy our diversity and look upon it as a bonus rather than a handicap. Amen to that!

<small>[ 21 May 2003, 11:37 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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