News > SPOLETO 2017 REVIEW: Il n’es pas encore minuit

PHYSICAL THEATER

by Emily Reyna

image by Chrisophe Raynaud de Lage

A fight breaks out in Memminger Auditorium. It’s a full out brawl between the men and women performers of Compagnie XY, a completely choreographed and planned scene for the opening of Il n’est pas encore minuit.

This beginning tension only grows after the fighting ceases. Much is communicated even before the music begins; you can hear the panting in their breaths and their bodies hitting the floor. A constant tension creates a push-and-pull feeling throughout the entire performance – bodies bounce off each other with ease, they climb up each other standing on the other’s shoulders and head, and even their falls are perceived as intentional. Once climbing up to four people high, the performers strategically crumble very slowly into a pile of bodies onto the floor. As carefully as they fell, they push each other back up, and it somehow feels very natural to watch them move like this – as if humans naturally do this. Their movements fluctuate from weightlessness to heaviness to falling, adding to the tension.

The mood shifts to warm music and lively movements during the second half. Acrobatic stunts are multidimensional in delivery. Each performer on the stage plays a crucial role in executing a move or helping spot their teammates to provide a collaborative safety net. We watch as performers freely fall backward into the arms of their teammates and as they stand on another’s head only relying on their balance.

Technical skill lets Compagnie XY deliver highly complex tricks, yet the music, lighting, sound, and dance let each member appear completely carefree and calm – like it’s all fun. In the last scene, lively jazz music plays. A narrative is built into the scene as everyone breaks into dance. Laughter fills the theater from the performers as they dance and execute tricks in the air.

In the end the laughter dies down, and as suddenly as it began, the lights turn on illuminating the auditorium and ending the performance. After a standing ovation, we make our way out of the auditorium and are greeted by the performers of Compagnie XY in the hallway as exit, making the entirety of Il n’est pas encore minuit feel very personable and approachable, even though every member is a skilled acrobat.


 

SPOLETO FESTIVAL USA
May 26 – June 11, 2017 | Charleston, SC
spoletousa.org

 

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Posted on June 13, 2017 by Matt Mill.

Categories: Performing Arts, Review

Tags: Compagnie XY, Il N’es Pas Encore Minuit, Spoleto Festival Usa

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