31 ottobre 2013, CSC Garage Nardini
Simon Ellis e Chisato Ono. Sharing
by Anna Trevisan
Everything starts with her, in the middle of the stage of the Garage Nardini. No gorgeous scenography, no particular costume, no special effects. No sound or music. Only she, who starts to perform in complete silence on an empty stage.
She moves hands, fingers, hips and waist as slow as she can, in a sort of reluctant fragmentation of gestures. Her whole body works as if it’s following an invisible internal impulse, which activates it. She’s moved by something or someone else. A bright, diffused, white light spreads on the scene. Inheritor of the best of Martha Graham’s heritage, undoubtedly very talented from a technical point of view, but also capable of a sensitive and delicate interpretation, “she is the root connection” of the performance, as Patty Smith sings.
A rhythmic, pulsing music invades the prolonged silence, and dark succeeds light, producing a double beat : a sort of acoustic alternating electricity, a visual pulsation. Her dance becomes more fluid, and evokes fantastic creatures: wild animals, exotic birds (flamingos maybe?) which we imagine in uncontaminated natural landscapes. She wakes up our imagination and let see us an invisible, crowded universe.
A small lamp turns on, hung from the ceiling, dropping a gold rain over her, which illuminates her: a modern Danae. Nothing to do with glamour or sex appeal. Nothing to do with easy attraction. On the contrary, she invokes a smart, elegant, multifaceted version of femininity. Her presence on the stage is always full of grace, although she distorts her voice into primitive sounds, a whisper on the borderline between pain and pleasure. She transforms herself into a middle aged woman, quoting the French iconograghic tradition of the “Madonna hanchèe”. She transforms herself into the vigorous and colored femininity of Renoir’s women, focusing the impulse of the movement on the abdomen and the back, connected in a common movement.
She transforms herself into a neutral body sculpted by contrasts in lighting: a renewed Bali Theater of shadows.
We really appreciated the quality of the performance, the control of the body, and the capacity of theatrical expression. The minimalism of the scenography, the balanced direction by Simon Ellis, the alternation between void and fullness, and the general sense of restraint and generosity conferred elegance and grace to this performance, which was the result of a casual encounter between the director and the performer. A perfect combination. We are all waiting for the sequel.