BIG DANCE THEATRE’s production of ‘COMMES TOUJOURS Here I Stand’ intrigued me not for its dance or theatrical components but solely because they were using Agnes Varda’s 1961 film ‘Cleo from 5 to 7’ as a found object. I was really interested in how that would work.
Agnes Varda’s film ‘Cleo from 5 to 7’ follows through the streets of Paris a young chanteuse who fears she has cancer and is awaiting a biopsy result at 7pm. From the beginning of the film where she has her Tarot cards read, the only part shot in color, through to the end she encounters friends, colleagues and strangers and reflects on fate, mortality and herself.
Performed at New York’s THE KITCHEN, ‘COMMES TOUJOURS Here I Stand’ takes Varda’s film and uses a set of three swirling screens to catch and reflect video (some being recorded and projected live, other recorded before) while the actors bob and weave throughout their interpretation of the film. The set’s constant re-invention reflects the varying scenes from the film not in real time (as the film constructs itself) but abridged and adapted to fit in multiple costume changes, character switches, side stories and dance.
The choreography was demanding and exact; the actors flexible and fluid. The re-invention climaxed into a massive video screen of falls leaves with an almost empty stage, save for the heroine and the stranger walking towards her destiny.
I look forward to future BIG DANCE THEATRE performances.
Posted by: Autumn.