“For some, clowns & mimes are disturbing/annoying – their disingenuousness forces a response from us which we resent having to give.” –Joyce Carol Oates
A luminous powder blue floor and backdrop. Hovering above, a blue-tinted negative image of a forest. Six performers (three men, three women), all wearing the same costume: discolored navy shorts and a blue t-shirt. Their faces are covered in white makeup and their lips are painted red.
Onstage, they fake boxing with their eyes closed, they walk on all fours like animals, the pretend to tap dance while barefoot… We are in a world of imaginary play, where the performers are devoid of emotional complexity, dehumanized, as clowns always are. In Dance and the Lived Body: A Descriptive Aesthetics, Sondra Horton Fraleigh writes,
“The audience perceives [the dancer’s] dance through her movement as it conveys her intentions. In short, they see what she does and see the thought in it – not behind it or before it. If she moves softly, they see softness; if she moves sharply, that is what they see.”
In light of this, it is interesting that LOVE is framed as a dance show since this conjunction is never present. Instead, everything the dancers do is fake. Even when they hit each other, it is never enough to actually hurt. When a woman pretends to run away from someone, she remains in the same spot. Given this constant artificiality, LOVE is more intellectual than emotional. One can only assume that the title is ironic.
For the final scene, the picture of trees is lowered until it becomes the backdrop. It is only a signifier for the end since the conclusion is never earned. Each of the tableaux, essentially the same, could be interchanged without affecting the work in any way whatsoever. As such, it is reminiscent of Chris Haring’s Running Sushi, seen last year at Usine C.
As I’m writing this, I come across another quote, this one by Oscar Wilde: “There are two ways of disliking art. One is to dislike it and the other is to like it rationally.”
September 10 & 11 at 8pm
Agora de la danse
Tickets: 28$ / Students or 30 years old and under: 20$