New York manufacturer of fine dance apparel for women and girls. Click here to see a sample of our products and a
list of web sites for purchasing.
With Body Wrappers it's always performance at its best.
Go back to Flash Reviews
Review 2, 10-30: Hearing Lost
Robbe-ing the Audience of its Senses
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2002 The Dance Insider
PARIS -- Herve Robbe's
new "Lost Horizons" was shaping up as in the middle, somewhat elevated
last night at the Theatre de la Ville - Sarah Bernhardt. This critic,
anyway, albeit entranced by the projections of a bonsai tree on
a green horizon shifting in and out and on four moving mobile screens
and the recordings of chirping birds, was neither enraptured nor
enraged by the choreography. Indeed, I was somewhat engaged, spotting
the influences of various American choreographers on the eight dancers:
the isolations, waves, and capoiera-inflected vocabulary of Doug
Elkins; that kick-out, dip the waist, pivot and twist on the axis
phrase of Stephen Petronio's; the modern penches of David Dorfman;
and, after a solipsistic beginning, a through-line of contact improv.
Then the chirps turned into high-pitched screeches, and it wasn't
long before I was having my first ear-ache in 30 years. I'm outta
prompted me, finally, to join the trickle of people making for the
exit. If I wanted to lose my hearing, I'd have become a rock guitarist.
But I'm a dance critic. And as a dance critic, I am enraged that
some in the segment of the modern dance genre who were previously
merely indifferent to the audience have now become callous to it.
(Last night's experience was the third time in a month here in Paris
that I was aurally assaulted; Gendarme!) Not only are they more
interested in their own process than the audience's engagement,
they'll pursue that process to a faux avant-garde score even if
it causes the audience physical pain. "Our process supercedes your
pain!" they seem to believe. No pain, no gain! Just as their choreographers
-- Robbe in this case -- arrange the dancers on stage in a superficially
Merce-ish pattern without understanding Merce, so their composers
use the implements of Cunningham composer Takehisa Kosugi without
any of Kosugi's artistry.
Well, let me tell you
something Mr. No Pain No Gain choreographer: I am willing to have
my intellect tested, I am willing to have my soul wrenched, but
I am not willing to have my body injured for the sake of your process.Your
commissioned score has caused me physical pain, Mr. Robbe. Can you
The departed spectators
who had preceded me laughed as I burst free through the exit doors
with a groan. Good-humoredly if rhetorically I asked, referring
to the spectacle, "Pour quoi?"
I crossed the Quai de
la Megisserie to the Seine, walked out on the Pont au Change, saluted
the Eiffel and peered into the racing glittering water, trying to
clear "composer" Frederic Verrieres cotton from my ears, then made
my way home along the Rue St. Denis. As I waited for my fromage-jambon
crepe (all I was looking for on that notorious rue -- really!),
I wondered what Bernhardt would have made of the shrieking that
pierced the ears of the audience at the theater where her hypnotizing
delivery used to pierce their hearts a hundred years ago. Then I
wondered what she would have thought of the "creation" taking place
at her theater, which piece (I usually abhor that word 'piece' when
applied to a dance creation; this time it not only applies, it sticks!),
judging from the hodge-podge of influences on the different bodies,
owed more to the improvisations of the dancers than the ingenuity
of the choreographer. I betchya Racine never arrived at the theater
and instructed, "Just improvise for a while."
Go back to Flash Reviews