Cedric Andrieux, choreographed by Jerome Bel
Posted by Seth Needler
Andriex’s performance of this piece by Jerome Bel chronicled, through a combination of soft-spoken, deliberative narration and exhibitive dance movements, his career as a dancer, initially for Merce Cunningham, later for Bel and still later other choreographers.
There were some fascinating revelations: Andrieux’s chronicling of the way that Merce Cunningham broke movement into highly prescribed individual motions, almost like an engineer constructing a machine, for example, gave me an entirely new perspective on the training of a dancer. And his description of the emotional landscape that he walked in the process of developing as a dancer surprised me also, with his frank admission of shame about his body image. That these and other disarmingly honest reflections were revealed almost monotonically and in a completely silent, music-less atmosphere, only increased the intensity of their effect.
But despite the soul-baring force of the performance, the whole suffered from the lack of movement on the stage. The dance movements were far too few and far between, and the pacing was almost too meditative and reflective to captivate me for 75 minutes.
Toward the end, he demonstrated the philosophy of a different choreographer by playing, loudly, the Police song “Every Breath You Take” while bright lights flooded the audience and he looked around, making extended eye contact with us. The music, after such a prolonged silence, seemed deafening. I felt unsettled and a bit unsatisfied.