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.