Sensorium spurs
a dream-like state

Addiction-inducing contemporary dance at Tangente

By Luc Archambault

Another week, another show at Tangente, even more exceptional than the previous week’s program. Sensorium, described as “from deep inside the dancers’ bodies, movement that sharpens the senses and evokes poetic reveries” in the program, is another exploration, again with three choreographies, or should we say performances, because Meryem Alaoui’s piece is much more than a choreography, except if one takes into consideration Butoh.

Dena Davida, co-founder, artistic director and curator of Tangente, will one day have to answer for the addiction she’s inducing in her public. Either she’s on the way to creating a sect, or she wants to propagate a hard drug named contemporary dance, which requires a constant hit in order to make sense of our everyday painful reality.

Aisthesis Sensorialités

© Cindy Lopez

The first choreography, Aisthesis, by Josiane Fortin, features the dancers Myriam Tremblay-Quévillon and Antoine Turmine as bodies interacting and reacting to one another, without ever touching. An ultimate receptive mode, based on the writings of dance theoretician Michel Bernard, who brought light to the concept of fictive kinesphere, or the poetic and energetic aura incarnated by dancers. One could easily enter into a trance state while viewing this choreography. The whirlwind of bodies is intense, the gestures and graceful ballet bring about a skin deep sensuality. A magnificent triumph.

Viscosité Sensorialités

© Denis Martin

The second choreography, Viscosité, by Anne-Flore de Rochambeau and featuring the dancers Liane Thériault, Marjorie Foucher, Keven Lee, Marine Rixhon and Gabriel Painchaud, is the third part of a triptych devoted to fluid dynamics (following Fluide and O2). It is a deep immersion into group movement, a flurry of gestures and postures evoking the interdependence confronting individuals and groups in a collective and challenges the attachment to individuality when confronted with another.

With a scenography in which the penumbra triumphs (Hugo Dalphond‘s fine work), in which daydream is superimposed on raw reality, and where the whirlwinds of the bodies increase the effect of reverie, the intensity of this show has just increased by a notch.

Sand Body Sensorialités

© Alejandro Santiago

Which brings us to the last choreography, the performance created by Meryem Alaoui, Sand Body. As explained by the dancer and choreographer, this choreography follows a rehabilitation after a serious injury when her body had to relearn to move in slow motion. The monastic vocation that Ms. Alaoui had long contemplated shaped the aestheticism of the quasi-ritualistic, gestural slowness of body movements, which incites the spectator to enter into a contemplative state, to confront his everyday stress and eagerness and suspend the mad rush of life, to open himself to the interiority of his unconscious, and finally to abandon himself to the infinity of the present moment. Meditative, purgative and essential. Simply masterful.

This week, Tangente is closed, to let the images of the past few weeks germinate and anchor themselves into our memories. The exploration fully resumes from April 6 to 9 with the show Uncommon Spaces, “an interplay of light and darkness that transforms ordinary figures and objects into poetic, perceptual experiences”. Very promising!

Feature image: Denis Martin

Luc Archambault

Luc Archambault
Writer and journalist, globe-trotter at heart, passionate about movies, music, literature and contemporary dance, came back to Montreal to pursue his unrelenting quest for artistic meaning.

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