EXCERPT // Mono Lisa – Itzik Galili/Kosmos – Andonis Foniadakis/Harry – Barak Marshall (Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal)

Kosmos presents a dystopic view of urban life, featuring a mass of dancers in black suits executing regimental movement phrases at a panicked speed. The choreography is set to a relentless, percussive and cinematic score by Julien Tarride. Overall the work showcases Foniadakis’s ability to work with large ensembles and spaces to good visual effect, directing the audience’s gaze as he pleases in the midst of (intentional) chaos. This is particularly evident early on when Caserta’s and Jeremy Coachman’s heart pounding, yet short-lived, solos benefit from Foniadakis’s choreographic restraint.
As the work develops the attractive sleekness of movement and costuming is progressively lost in favour of camp and dramaturgical platitudes. The dancers remove items of clothing, effecting a transformation from androgyny to topless men, and women in Madonna-esque braziers and corsets, paired with increasingly embellished choreography (i.e. hair whipping and frantic port de bras). This fed into a scene that borrows heavily from African(ist) dance vocabularies, the rhythms of bongo drums strengthening a  supposed association with “primality”. At the conclusion of the work a next to naked “return to nature” completes the dramaturgical arc; the lights are dimmed, music subsides and the dancers bodies, arranged in symmetrical tableaus, are illuminated by nothing more than a projection of the night sky.

– LUKE AARON FORBES

Excerpt of an article published by Dance Europe, Issue 203, February 2016. Purchase the entire issue here: http://www.danceeurope.net/store/issue-203

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