Barbarians in love
By Hofesh Shechter
8th of July 2016
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 .
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