Two hooded figures hopping around in an animated cartoon: Lachambre & Lecavalier in ‘Is you me’

The very last image is the most striking one: it really looks as if that dancer on stage gets erased completely. Is you me, by Canadian dancers Benoît Lachambre and Louise Lecavalier (of La La La Human Steps fame), musician Hahn Rowe (who frequently works with Meg Stuart) and visual artist Laurent Goldring, proved to be an impressive visual trip. It premiered in Montréal in 2008 and is now brought to Belgium by deSingel (Antwerp).

As I left the theatre, a lady came walking toward me. The first thing I noticed was her dress: it strikingly resembled the black-and-white drawings I had just seen during the performance. Later on, as I was driving home, it happened again. Those street lights and other colours I was seeing through my wind-shield, were taking on angular shapes that reminded me of Is you me. Weird.

The concept of Is you me is rather simple: two hooded figures are moving around, often in a robotic-like way, on a slightly inclined white stage. But they are not just walking around on that stage. They are also moving around in an ever-changing landscape projected ón that stage and the back wall. That landscape, mostly consisting of lines and coloured shapes is drawn by Laurent Goldring, sitting with his pencil behind a computer. You see him moving those shapes around, or filling them up with colours. Mostly black-and-white at first. Later on he adds red, or green, blue and yellow to his computer graphics.

Add to this a (rather loud) sound scape provided by Hahn Rowe, sitting at the other side of the stage, and you get a strange trip. It’s as if you’re looking at an animated movie, but you’re not. Because those dancers are real. But wait a minute: is that a real sweater or just a black shape, drawn by Goldring. And yes, I’m sure those arms belong to Lecavalier, but are those legs really hers too? No, they’re Lachambre’s. That’s the sort of tricks they play on you, hopping and dancing along quirkily.

At the very end Lecavalier is just laying there, on stage. And then Goldring starts to paint in black. Slowly, using some sort of sponge, he paints the whole stage, just leaving a coloured spot for Lecavalier. And then he wipes her out. Gone. The end. Impressive.

Curious? Here’s a short YouTube-video.

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