Audience reactions

Spectral

What is indescribable with words is often perfectly expressed through dance or mime, particularly sensations and sentiments. Throughout time the idea of phantoms has frightened man. In effect the white sheet with which they are draped comes from the death shroud that covered the dead in medieval times. In this case it’s much more than a vision simply interpreted as the manifestation of a dead person under the indistinct, luminous, inconsistent thing that could possibly float above the ground and declare itself through the sounds and inexplicable movement of objects. Often transparent and cloudy like shadows, the spectres dissolve into smoke, pass through walls and closed doors. Their coming is most often announced by the presentiment of a presence that coincides with an icy breath, strange sounds, murmurs, whispers or creaking that seemingly come out of nowhere…

These are precisely the enigmatic sounds that this watchful woman, alone on stage in the shadows, seems to listen to and invite us to discover, decipher and share with her. Indubitably the atmosphere is heavy, charged with a certain perfume of mystery, a mystery whose emanations we promptly sense. In effect the space seems to be inhabited by furtive presences, sounds that are muffled like lost wandering souls, phantom-like silhouettes that we perceive without seeing, furtive shadows that appear from we don’t know where and disappear as soon as they materialise… Indubitably, strange forces traverse this enigmatic being, seeming to possess her hair and make it stand on end, as if they wish to enter into her and prowl around us. Are these the dead souls of her ancestors come to disturb our present day in their waltz of recollections?

What is interesting about this performance, half way between the art of marionettes and dance, lies in the harrowing atmosphere created by Mikha Wajnrych’s sounds and sound-objects and the surprising electroacoustic composition of Thomas Turine. Vibrations become living characters both invisible and troubling, while Nicole Mossoux’s body serves as their resonance chamber. A fascinating work, in line with all that the choreographer has concocted for us the last 20 years, and that perfectly evokes the famous words of the marquise Marie du Deffand, “Do I believe in ghosts? No, but I’m afraid of them anyway”*.

Jean-Marie Gourreau, Critiphotodanse / May 2015

*Dictionnaire des mythes du fantastique, by Juliette Vion-Dury and Pierre Brunel, Presses Universitaires de Limoges, 2003, 313 pp.