because the personal is cultural
Audience members gradually regain their seats. Those who remain onstage break up the blankness of the theatre cube, like plants scattered across the space. At the back of the room, video is sporadically projected on a wall made of plywood that’s been painted grey, giving the images an enticing texture.
The dancers’ eyes are often covered, blindness further conveying their isolation. It is more compelling to watch them blindly looking for one another than to watch them execute choreography.
With the idleness of confinement also comes play. Performers stand at the back wall before moving through the space to the sound of one of theirs counting. A man attempts to solve a Rubik’s Cube. They run after one another like children in what must feel, if only for a fleeting moment, like freedom.
Much like prison, the experience seems more intense for those on the inside than for those of us on the outside. The only moment – too short – that builds up to any kind of intensity as an audience member is when Eduardo Rocha caresses Cristóbal Barreto Heredia’s body while repeatedly asking “T’aimes jouer?”
Many of the actions described here can also be seen on the video, which jumps through time and space, like a memory or a dream. The digital duplication makes it seem as though the artists didn’t trust the power of the live performance. As if to confirm this, the show ends with the video rather than with our prisoners.
Théâtre Espace Go
Tickets: 35$ / Students or 30 years old and less: 27$
has an MA in Film Studies and works in contemporary dance. His fiction has appeared in Headlight Anthology, Cactus Heart, and Birkensnake.
s.verstricht [at] gmail [dot] com