Whose side are you on? (‘For Edward Krasinski’, Marc Vanrunxt)

 

Who do you prefer? The elegant ice queen with black hair on the left, or the curly-haired, somewhat mysterious and tormented guy in a white suit on the right? Maybe it’s just my wicked brain, but at some moments watching For Edward Krasinski, the new performance by Marc Vanrunxt and Salva Sanchis, reminded me of a talent contest. Two dancers, performing a different choreography, simultaneously, while a guy is playing the piano. 

It’s not a talent contest, of course, but an interesting concept. For Edward Krasinski, which premiered at Monty (Antwerp), puts two totally different choreographies on stage, performed at the same time, while pianist Yutaka Oya (from Champ d’Action) is quietly playing Morton Feldman‘s slow and mesmerizing Triadic memories, center stage. Above their heads you see a work of art by Belgian artist Koenraad Dedobbeleer. He’s the one that suggested the name of Edward Krasinski to Vanrunxt: a Polish artist who died in 2004.

Each choreographer conceived his piece without knowing what the other was coming up with. Only in the last stages of the rehearsals were both choreographies brought together. So it’s not about links (or simultanuousness) in this piece. It’s all about differences. ‘I see it more as an encounter than a clash’, Vanrunxt says, who hopes for ‘mutual intensification’. You have elegant Georgia Vardarou silently and almost effortlessly performing her fluent improvisations, based on a fixed set of rules (modules) by Sanchis, on the left, and Etienne Guilloteau, whose breathing you do hear, in a series of more conceptually choreographed scenes. He changes clothes (and gloves), a couple of times; she keeps on dancing in that flimsy grey dress.

I’ve said it before: I really like these sort of exercises in looking, that sharpen your senses and make you think, and are flirting with silence and nothingness. I really enjoyed listening to Morton Feldman’s piece, but in the end, unfortunately, it proved to be too long. For this concept, that is. For both choreographers and performers. After an hour or so, and a scene during which both dancers are crossing that invisible line dividing their territories, you are left with the feeling that all of them have run out of ideas. And then For Edward Krasinski becomes tiresome to watch. Too bad.

And although it’s not about links, I’ll remember one beautiful scene: Vardarou almost effortless in a split, on the floor, while Guilloteau, heavily panting, also on the floor at his side of the stage, is trying to get his body up by using only one hand.

More info here; tour schedule here.

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