DDF News — 24 May 2024

DDF Blog: Review of My Body of Coming Forth by Day

DDF Blog: Review of My Body of Coming Forth by Day

After a lifetime of dedication to movement, is the dancer’s body their masterpiece? Iconic French choreographer Olivier Dubois invites us to witness and share in his body as he explores memories recalled from the recesses of his mind, from his body: the souvenir.

The audience files in to a joyful Dubois offering ‘nosecco’ and stage cigarettes in exchange for sitting in open seats on each side of the stage. The house lights are up and despite Dubois’ insistence that the show has yet to begin, his movement about the space suggests otherwise. The lights remain bright but the tone certainly shifts when the dancer sits at the single microphone and table, and introduces his body as his masterpiece, a holder of movements, the keeper of memories.

Producing two sets of envelopes, Dubois holds the names of over sixty shows from his repertoire and another set containing the music of those same shows. He invites three audience members to the stage to commence his first ‘cell’. In this game, participants randomly choose a piece of choreography by pulling an envelope from the pile, and another chooses the music, while Dubois recounts experiences of each of these pieces. Amidst juxtapositions between choreography and sometimes unrelated music, Dubois recalls choreography from memory, reimagining his body’s experience of these movements and bringing memories forward to the stage. He repeats this process of audience and dancer collaboration to co-create ‘cells’ of performance

After each cell, Dubois invites an audience member to choose a piece of costume he must remove. As he sheds layers of his clothes, he reveals seams of stories which hold him together as artist. Less audience, more participants, we interact with Dubois; his memories, his costume, and his body to co-create this rebirth of artist.

My Body of Coming Forth by Day is a poignant co-retelling of memory between dancer and participants. Culminating in a joyous, collective celebration on stage, Dubois showers us in movement and glitter and tells us we are ‘carrying a bit of my spilt blood.’

As our bodies collect what he spills, we too become collectors and keepers of his story.

Review written by Grace Kelly

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