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Flash Review 2, 9-10: Hit Me
Camut Beat Launches New Victory Season with a Hit
By Darrah Carr
Copyright 2001 Darrah Carr
The New Victory is the Harry Potter
of theater -- inviting both children and adults to experience the magic of live
performance and sparking the imagination of a new generation of audience members.
On Friday, it opened its 2001-2002 season with the Camut Band in "Life is Rhythm,"
an all-male, all-percussive show from Barcelona. For over an hour, the five performers
kept the rhythm rolling from fast footwork, to vocal percussion, to African drumming.
Throughout the evening, the ensemble
reveled in the sheer delight of making noise and persistently explored the use
of different parts of the body as percussive tools. The opening sequence featured
three dancers tapping atop giant drum heads, their feet mirroring the hands of
the musicians. Following the boisterous beginning, Guillem Alonso performed the
solo "Sand Dance," the evening's most dramatic work. Alonso filled a small box
first with sand, then with his ever shifting, sliding rhythms. His sound was at
one moment a car skidding on gravel, next a DJ spinning records, then a tap dancer
challenging drummer Jordi Satorra to a rhythmic duel. Lluis Mendez, Toni Espanol,
and Rafael Mendez later performed "The Table," an extremely impressive display
of mouth music. Seated around a small coffee table, they created a cacophonous
conversation of nonsense syllables, each more complex than the last.
Perhaps the most engaging feature
of the Camut Band, however, is that it literally got the audience engaged. We
were encouraged to clap not just along with the ensemble's rhythms, but also in
response to the rhythms. Thus, we were given the challenge of call and response
and of creating sound patterns ourselves. In the three part "Kiting Kita," Espanol
addressed the audience and guided us through the process of hand and vocal response.
After a while, I felt our numerous trials grew a bit tedious, having the feeling
of an in-school test, or an after-school special. Nevertheless, the vast majority
of the audience was wildly enthusiastic--kids laughing, adults nodding their heads
-- proving that life is rhythm, rhythm is infectious, and the Camut Band is a
hit! The company is on view at the New Victory through September 23. For more
information, please visit the
New Victory web site.
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