Bright Worms: a deep dive
into our dark interiors
Louise Michel Jackson and Magali Babin create a fabulous dreamlike universe
By Luc Archambault
La Chapelle returns to live performing arts, and it was about time! I was personally on the verge of barking at the full moon, chasing cars like a mad dog, or smashing windows… this horrible confinement has been therefore lifted, at least in parts, with this Bright Worms from collaborators Louise Michel Jackson and Magali Babin. Jackson, a contemporary choreographer and dancer, develops a visceral, animal gesture, while Babin, a multidisciplinary sound artist, explores space as a material both carrier of the Innermost and the Universal, generator of light as of darkness.
Louise Michel Jackson has certainly not been idle on this project. She laid down all the aspects of this creation, the choreography, the décor, the images projected at the back of the stage. “Jackson’s physical and visual practice meets Babin’s sound art in a low-fi performative universe of abysmal colors and incandescent surfaces. This laboratory of the senses celebrates bioluminescence and explores the need for humans to generate their own light.” Abyssal colors with underwater images of coral, hallucinatory seahorses, and coated optical fibers like so many light sources completed our disorientation.
What is there to say about the sound accompaniment, except that it stuck to this gloomy universe to perfection (apart from this rather incongruous disco passage, breaking all the accumulation of anguish, all this explored stupor worthy of an episode of “Les Égrégores”). But apart from this minor glitch, this return to live shows was, my God, spectacular! And the use of the décor (these plastic canvases, serving both as geographical landmarks and as clothing), these light cables, these images projected onto the backdrop, sometimes between the performer’s legs, this atmosphere of neon, everything contributed to establishing the dreamlike nature of this wondrous show.
Only one question still bothers me. In the entire hall of La Chapelle, only 15 seats were available. Fifteen! All taken, of course. How will the entertainment world ever lift itself out of the abyss if venues have to comply with such sanitary rules? I say this because I am not a fan of internet-broadcasted shows. Are people of my race heading towards extinction, like dinosaurs from beyond the grave?
Feature image: Jon Cleveland
Luc Archambault, writer and journalist, globe-trotter at heart, passionate about movies, music, literature and contemporary dance, came back to Montreal from an extensive stay in China to pursue his unrelenting quest for artistic meaning.