Two men emerge out of obscurity. Two heroes standing next to one another at the front of the stage, in the same wide leg position, as if waiting for a gauntlet to be thrown. On stage with them, a pianist is a third partner. The dancers launch into an obsessive, relentless arm dance. Their feet rooted to the floor like the trunks of a tree; their arms battle the air like sharp blades in a perfectly synchronised dance. The pianist, vigorously plucking on the piano strings, pushes the dancers into a percussive dialogue, mixing explosive energy and metallic sounds. As the dancers repeatedly reenact this complex score, images appear: warriors doing a Kata like ritual? Factory workers executing mechanical gestures? As they finally surrender, immobile, in drawn out silence, Heretics leave its audience with the memory of a captivating and dense universal prayer, but maybe one not as subversive as the title promised.
With the composed concentration and grounded stance of martial arts masters, dancers Marc Inglesia and Gilles Fumba’s upper bodies enter into a dazzling combat with the jagged discords of musician Lea’s piano score. The men’s arms flail and swoop, chop and fly with exquisite precision and rapidity. In turn, the notes dodge and duck the men’s lightning strikes and then seem, gradually, to overpower and dominate them.
Within the prodigious repetitiveness of the mass and whirr of movement, each minute variation: the turn of a head or the altering of a gaze, is magnified and becomes highly defined. It’s in these pauses, when the mesmerising ritual is broken and the human being is revealed, that we ask ourselves what the sense of the obsessive struggle might be, both the literal one befalling the trio on stage, and the existentialist quandary the piece points at for us to ponder.
A quartet for a skinless piano and three people. Starting with an overture of lonely bangs in the dark, the composition evolves into exuberant bursts of sound. The piano strives to get rid of our traditional perceptions. Standing at the front, in the centre of the stage, with feet fixed stable throughout the whole performance, two burly dancers wave their arms in synchronised gestures.
As dedicated disciples of their own secret teaching, they carry out sharply precise ornaments of motion, tirelessly repeating and increasing their amplitude along with the music. The work is filled with trust and belief in the value of the process itself: programming the movements on a reflexive level. A manly game of taming the energy strangely makes the viewer think of the genuine virtue of brotherhood. The challenges, whatever they may be, can be faced shoulder to shoulder with a companion.