Sunday, 24 December 2017

"Barbarians " by Hofesh Shechter-Evelyn Hutchings DM1

Barbarians in love

By Hofesh Shechter

8th of July 2016
Sadler's Wells
Rosebery Avenue, London. 

“I’m a 40-year-old man looking for a thrill”

This is how   “The barbarians in love” starts .

World premiere on 1 November 2014 at Festspielhaus, St Polten, Austria.

“Barbarians in love“ ,as well as the following pieces “tHE bAD” and “Two completely different angles of the same fucking thing” are part of one of the most successful dance pieces of the Israelian choreographer  Hofesh Shechter, named “Barbarians” . A trilogy inspired by the sense of passion, intimacy and love but also by the freedom to choose and to be your own self .

Revealing his choreography at its most elegant and intimate, the highly acclaimed and perturbing “the barbarians in love" opens the evening with a formation of six dancers performing on the notes of  deafening music composed by François Couperin, with a mixture of electronic sounds from rock drift and baroque melodies.These “barbarians”, following the same line of thoughts  of the author,  stand as a symbol of the relationship between the human being and whatever is unknown and unfamiliar to his eyes. For instance we can all feel barbarians when we are dealing with unexpected and unexplored factors. This is represented by the dancers themselves , who invade and dominate the space in clinical white suits ,forcefully advancing in perfect unison.

From the outset, as a part of the audience, it was easy to perceive the moral meaning behind this picture, that led me into a more introspective  view of  the performance.
Overall it was fascinating to see how Hofesh reverses the canons of reality on stage through movements which recall primitive vocabularies, tribalisms and animalistic sequences . Revisiting those movements  in a contemporary key was an outstanding choice that completely captured the audience.

Nowadays we have been accustomed to regular, precise and well-structured aesthetics, to the “ideal beauty “ that we experience in our daily life and that is around us in works of art.
However all of that is banned and according to Shechter ‘s style of choreography , dancers should act by instinct and simultaneously accept everything their body would like to do with no interpretation or embellishment . 

Nevertheless this  style of movement may appear to be as a chaotic and ruffled sequence of steps , where dancers don’t follow any kind of structure or line .On the other hand it seems that the dancers manage to free their minds and lose themselves  in their natural impulse . This is accomplished by sharing their mood with the audience . In addition it creates a unique dancing body  in harmony with enthralling music which  ,by ignoring conventions, it becomes pure rhythm. 

In summary despite there not being  a global common taste for this work, I would recommend sampling a Shechter's performance yourself! 

Follow the link below for a taste of the barbarians rehearsals before the big tour in the U.K. 

Choreography and music of Hofesh Shechter
Performed by Hofesh Shechter Company
Photographs of Gabriele Zucca

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