Who are those barbarians Hofesh Shechter refers to in the title of his trilogy? Are they creatures deprived of both language and culture, or simply immature youths our instincts would want us to help train? The London choreographer likes allusions and invitations to think, not so much explanations. We can feel what's going on here has to do with instincts, though, a journey along the border between the beastly and the human. In the first part of this triptych, the barbarians in love, six dancers are trapped in a classroom, where lessons on law and order, good and evil are drilled into their heads. A constant electric buzzing interferes with the music, by François Couperin. The dancers alternate between academic postures and tribal movements to the point of schizophrenia, and the tension between classical elevation, the baroque quest for perfection, and the weighty physicality dear to Hofesh Shechter's choreographic language never lets up. Over the course of those three pieces, the audience becomes immersed in wildly different elements that are all nonetheless equally enveloping. The fog, the commitment of the bodies, the repeated assaults on the stage, and the power of rhythms and of the electronic music all combine to provide a sensorial experience which, contrary to what the title may suggest, progressively becomes more introspective and contemplative. A territory on which Hofesh Shechter had so far rarely set foot...
First part : the barbarians in love Choreography and music Hofesh Shechter Light collaboration Lawrie McLennan Voices Victoria with Natascha McElhone Additionnal music François Couperin : Les Concerts royaux, 1722, Jordi Savall & Le Concert des Nations (2004)
Second part : tHE bAD Choreography and music Hofesh Shechter created with the dancer Maëva Berthelot, Sam Coren, Erion Kruja, Philip Hulford et Kim Kohlmann Light collaboration Lawrie McLennan Costumes Amanda Barrow Additionnal music Mystikal, Pussy Crook tiré de l'album Tarantula (2001) et Hespèrion XX, Jordi Savall, Paavin of Albarti (Alberti) tiré de l'album Elizabeth Consort Music 1558-1603 (1998)
Third part: Two completely different angles of the same fucking thing Choreography Hofesh Shechter Created with the dancer Bruno Guillore, Winifred Burnet-Smith et Hannah Shepherd Collaboration lumière Lawrie McLennan Additionnal music Abdullar Ibrahim, Maraba Blue tiré de l'album Cape Town Flowers (1997), Hespèrion XX, Jordi Savall, In Nomine V a 5 (White) tiré de l'album Elizabeth Consort Music 1558-1603 (1998) et Bredren & MC Swift, Control tiré de l'album Control (2014)
Production Hofesh Shechter Company Coproduction Festival d'Avignon, Sadler's Wells London, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Théâtre de la Ville-Paris, Berliner Festspiele - Foreign Affairs, Maison de la Danse-Lyon, HOME Manchester, Festspielhaus St. Pölten, Hessisches Staatsballett - Staaststheater Darmstadt-Wiesbaden The Festival d'Avignon receives support of the BNP Paribas Foundation for the representations of barbarians.