Sylvain Huc


Sylvain Huc / Divergences

Five nude white people loll on the floor making subtle yet suggestive moves with their jaws or mouths. Are they coming on to us? Sylvain Huc’s Sujets is initially structured as a slow-motion but meaty choreographic cycle accompanied by Alessandro Cortini’s throbbing drone. Gradually the pace quickens as floor-bound bodies twist, turn and rise assertively. The loping and leaping, arms chopping the air and fleeting physical contact are bathed in Fabrice Planquette’s low-key yet expressive, even show-off lighting. Although the cast is exceptionally well-attuned to each other, their display of primitive desires loses purpose. For no easily-discerned reason bodies glue together like crabs, eventually plunging into propulsive unison via a mechanically fast yet loose, repetitive and ape-like walk cued to clubby beats. Sujets ends ambiguously with a lone survivor still onstage. But by then it’s become an obscure endurance test, and one frustratingly sans inevitability.

Donald Hutera

Five naked bodies illuminate the darkened stage. Motionless at first, the performers slowly start to pulsate as if in an alliance with their own organic breath or heartbeats. This opening phrase will repeat during the first part of Sylvian Huc’s Sujets. Each time the dancers settle down they then jerk back into action, transitioning into ever more grounded, fleshy and expansive motion. Gestures accumulate, rising to a breaking point; they back off and the space almost blackens out. The movement resumes with a forceful synchronicity, clear but tame. These are western bodies—sexual, sensual, primitive and white. They seem uncanny due to the arty setting: colourful dim light and a gradual build-up of techno sound. Huc claims to be exploring transgressive territory, but the nudity is self-evident and ultimately unrevealing. What emerges from his and the cast’s efforts is bland reassurance and, eventually, boredom.

Teresa Fazan