“Danse Mutante” by Melanie Demers
Written by Maria Popova
Melanie’s work seemed to capture perfectly the notion of being lost in translation. I enjoyed the work for its fragmentation, its lack of clarity and its use of multiple languages for the spoken text. It seemed that it was an interesting proposition for what the work could be, how it can evolve and how it can be conceptualised depending on its location, both in the world and in time. For this reason, I feel that the work absolutely achieved its purpose; Melanie’s pre-show talk expressed that this was not a finished piece but is a seed that will be passed on from country to country, as new choreographers take ownership in reproducing this provocation. I find this concept enticingly poetic, especially with the intention, that the dancers of the work will consistently remain the same in each of the reproductions. This aspect seemed to compliment the ideas around Archive that have been discussed at B.Motion over the past week. The dancers become pivotal to the work, they bring forward a body of knowledge into each of the new creations, rooting the work into Melanie’s initial ideas. However, stylistically, the work made me feel uneasy. At times, the imagery seemed to be at odds with the dramaturgy of the work, displacing it from the contemporary, to an aesthetic that you might have encountered a couple of years ago in Berlin; florescent lighting, clean white costume, nudity and adidas trainers. However, the work had a very strong presence, complimented by its meticulous choice of sound and dialogue. It was a pleasure to see some beautiful movement vocabulary appearing in between the chaos, which notably, often verged on the boarder of homoeroticism. Despite this mixed feeling between the known and unknown, I would like to encourage you to keep this work on your radar and comes into being over the next year or so.