Saturday, June 07, 2008
Last night with my partner I saw Marie Chouinard's new production, Orpheus and Eurydice, here at Place des Arts. Owing to harsh reviews like this one of its first shows in Rome and Hong Kong, Chouinard pared it down from an hour and 20 minutes in two acts to one act of 65 minutes -- and emerged with a masterpiece. A daring, at times hilarious, orgiastic romp ... Drawing on a much bolder, clearer inspiration than her previous "bODY_rEMIX/gOLDBERG_vARIATIONS" , she really incarnated the primal fierceness to be found in Greek myth. As discussed before, nudity is an integral part of her aesthetic. At one point, a practically nude female dancer danced into the audience, leaping over seats, howling and dancing in people's laps; dancers on the stage pointed at the men sitting in the front rows, shouting, "Vous! Ne regardez pas! Don't look back!" -- a mocking recreation of the travails of Orpheus if there ever was one.
The show is on world tour, and is not to be missed if it comes near you. The teaser above only gives a taste, and doesn't really capture its hurricane-like energy.
Funny, we never intended to go to this show. We were frankly not moved by the last one. Last February I got tickets on a friend's recommendation to the Spanish La Compania Nacional de la Danza, but it happened to fall on the same day as Montreal's worst blizzard in recent years, making it next to impossible to get to. As compensation, the producer offered free tickets (to those like moi who called up to plead) to a couple of other shows, and this was the only one I could go to. As it turns out, they gave us the best seats in the house. What a treat!