If you’re going to follow her, truly follow her, you need to trust her.
Choreographers Chiara Frigo (Italy) and Emmanuel Jouthe (Québec) might hold hands with fingers interlaced, but it’s the only codified gesture you will find in When We Were Old. It is their starting point, a sign of trust and desire for true connection, from which anything can happen. Their relationship and the movements that stem from it are not predetermined. They are not playing roles. Their meeting is perpetual, occurs in each moment, like when they let go of each other, evolve independently, find each other again, and everything is to be done again. As a result, their meeting feels sincere.
It also allows the performers to bypass all kinds of contemporary dance clichés that often emerge as soon as a woman and a man are onstage. Their duet is neither coupley, nor antagonistic. It just feels honest. It is no coincidence that, after the show, my date told me, “I liked that she was never weak.”
Jouthe and Frigo are trying to build something together and, like the tree trunks they use as building blocks for her to stand on, the structure might end up making things shakier than no structure at all. And that’s okay. That’s the risk one takes in building a relationship or a dance.
Even the Marley that covers the floor is loose, not taped down, and can be unrolled or rolled up, allowing change and surprise. Beneath, a new floor might be revealed, or even a new costume. It is as malleable as their relationship.
Her movement is more spastic; his, more fluid and smooth. As they hover from side to side in opposite directions, they only ever meet for a brief moment in the middle. And that’s enough. By the end, it might even allow them to transform into dinosaurs among mountains made of chairs. It all depends on whether you trust them enough to bring you there.
April 24-26 at 8pm
Agora de la danse
www.agoradanse.com / www.tangente.qc.ca
Tickets: 28$ / Students or under 30: 20$