Saturday March 16th, 2013 matinee - It seemed that The Joyce had been invaded by marvelous aliens today as Carte Blanche, a Norwegian contemporary dance troupe, took the stage in an engrossing one-hour presentation. I can't remember a time when watching people (mostly) walking about gave me so much pleasure.
Twelve dancers - six men and six women - are all dressed in sleek 'nude' body stockings, hair slicked back and faces made up with a slightly glittery gloss. There's just a whiff of stage smoke, and the ever-shifting lighting scheme gives the work an added visual jolt.
The dancers walk in unison, ritualistic port de bras signaling the arrival of this Olympic team from another galaxy. As they break into smaller units, a visual polyphony develops. They bounce, kneel, expand and contract, leap, sway and pivot. From time to time a single dancer attempts self-expression or goes against the flow: he/she is soon re-absorbed into the collective.
A spectacular assembled score makes me recall those long-past days when I danced into the wee hours in darkly luminous discotheques, the promise of romance (or at least sex) hovering in the popper-laced air. The Carte Blanche dancers are incredibly sexy in their tantalizing 'nudity' but in fact the work has an overall sterility that entices in its own way: these robotic creatures would be cold to the touch, however desirable they might seem.
The audience fell under the spell of the dancers as surely as if they'd collectively ingested a particularly potent drug. It was great running into the MADBoots boys, and my friend Joe - a favorite dance companion now - was intrigued by the atmosphere of the piece. Ah, to be young again, and to go out dancing with Joe. That would indeed be something to make memories from.
Production photos by Erik Berg. Click on each image to enlarge.