sabato 30 aprile 2011

talk with nacera belaza (dance umbrella 2010 - 3)

"create emptiness inside of you,
erase ideas, personality..."
Nacera Belaza

After the performance of Le cri on October 19th, 2010 (see here), Nacera Belaza met the audience for a brief talk. Her work method is as interesting as her piece. "What did you do at the beginning of this piece?", asked the interviewer. "I try to empty my body and soul, make room...", she replied. In other wrods, she attempts to put her body in a different state, preparing it for a different approach to movement. The use of repetition is particularly stricking and functional: "Repetition is important to stop thinking and stop the audience from thinking", she added. Belaza studied traditional dances, because she believes that "dance is about observing and putting oneself in a state...". According to her, the use of repetition enables her to go to another place and to open a relationship with something or someone. Her goal is to be free and her belief is that "every aspect of movement is an aspect of the human being". Behind this approach is her idea to build a structure, she is not interested in choreography, but in building structures. In this sense, there have to be strict rules in order to achieve this result as her movement is not natural and spontaneous, but, as has been said, is the result of a specific and profound study.

le cri (dance umbrella 2010 - 2)

This short review is part of a series on dance pieces and events which occurred last Autumn at Dance Umbrella 2010.

Choreography: Nacera Belaza
Dancers: Dalila Belaza, Nacera Belaza
Lighting designer: Eric Soyer
Lighting technician: Christophe Renaud
Video and sound: Nacera Belaza
Date of performance: October 19th 2010.
Video: click here.
Photographs: click here.

Two women appear as two indistinguishable shadows that little by little emerge from darkness. They stand midstage centre, moving their arms in hypnotic circles. They are barefoot and wear the same costume, a purple t-shirt and purple track-suit trousers. For a long time they keep on moving their arms without taking one single step. The music is a chant that sounds like a lament that perfectly suits the almost ritualistic atmosphere. The volume of the chant gets louder, but there is no significant variation in the movement dynamics. Then they move to the proscenium, where their hypnotic arm movement comes to a stop. The music changes, and an opera song begins to be played. They move again centre-stage. The piece ends with these two figures multiplied on a large screen performing a similar movement at a hyper-fast pace.

Repetition and difference are the main elements in this fascinating piece which captures the audience's attention in an original way. The formal synthesis of the piece recalls some modern dance works like Martha Graham's Lamentation where the dancer stands seated on a bench for most part of the performance. On the other hand, its hypnotic element is similar to that of the Dervishes, whose whirling dancing is done to achieve a kind of sacred ecstasy.

sabato 2 aprile 2011

you cannot just sweep them away...

Non si possono subito spazzare via...

the libyan cause

La causa libica.