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November 5-6, 2004
Théâtre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts

“But beyond words, what makes Blush a succes is the perfect connection between dance, music, film, scenography and light. Nothing here is superfluous, everything comes together to create an avalanche of images, each one stronger than that which precedes it.” – Le Soir, Brussels

Following on the success of In Spite of Wishing and Wanting in the fall of 2000, Danse Danse is pleased to welcome back to Montreal the provocative, fiery Flemish company Ultima Vez—to the delight of its numerous fans. Since its first performance at the Festival international de nouvelle danse, Ultima Vez has visited Montreal on several occasions, bringing smiles to the faces of dance lovers, not to mention a powerful emotional response. Directed by Wim Vandekeybus, the company will be dancing Blush, a show as explosive as it is unsettling, the result of renewed collaboration between Ultima Vez and the Royal Flemish Theatre/de bottelarij. With its ten dare-devil performers, poetry by Peter Verhelst, video images by Vandekeybus and music by David Eugene Edwards, Blush “seethes with invention, swings between the sweetness of love and the pain of impossible lovers, in duet form, head-to-head, in a lovers’ struggle, in a cry. (...) Wim Vandekeybus dances and directs the dionysian ceremony from the stage, in absolute resonance with the shifting of our hearts.” – La Libre Belgique, Brussels

“Can love be put back together again when all around it is a battleground? This is just one of the questions raised by this show (...) that excretes a dance of power and ravishment. Vandekeybus excels in choreographing duets, duels to the death in which men and women are locked in combat without mercy, bestial struggles where the human embrace burns. He writes trios for the kind of people that should be locked up. Leaps soar off into space, legs widespread, like violent blows, like bodies rolling across the floor. (...) David Eugene Edwards’original music is right in tune: insidious, melancholic, so closely does the voice match the dancers’ bodies that it becomes an actor as well.” — Libération, Paris

In his program notes for Blush at Paris’ Théâtre de la Ville, Wim Vandekeybus set his piece in context: “We live in a world where we must constantly control situations or control ourselves, where we must restrain others or restrain ourselves. Then we hear about people cracking up, killing their friends, shooting down innocents. With Blush, we wanted the tumult of suppressed emotions to bubble up bare-faced to the surface, to have done with politeness, to give trouble free rein, to amplify the powerful feelings that bring on the tiniest blushes, the ones so difficult to manage, to conceal. (...) Our work takes place at the extremities (...) the world above and the world below, the beautiful and the ugly, heaven and hell, damnation and redemption.”

Choreographer, photographer, actor, filmmaker, artistic director and founder of Ultima Vez, Wim Vandekeybus turned his back on complacency and compromise in all its forms with his first creation, in 1987. Entitled What the Body Does Not Remember, it won him a Bessie Prize in New York the following year. Intensive use of film, still images and video is an integral component of the Ultima Vez experience, as is the omnipresence of music, often interpreted live on stage. The conjunction of all these elements and the theatrical, acrobatic dance developed by Vandekeybus magnifies multifold the latent evocative power of Ultima Vez’s work.

April 2004

Web Site: www.ultimavez.com

Photo: Hans Roels