French In America

French News, American Stories

Crossing the Line 2009 | Raimund Hoghe – Boléro Variations

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Last night my wife Amelie and I attended Raimund Hoghe’s, Boléro Variations at The Dance Theater Workshop. This was his premiere tour in the US and this fact created major excitement throughout the theater. People were extremely elated, especially the theater loyalists. After finding out that Homeland Security would not allow one of the French performers to enter the states, because of “passport issues”, we were presented with a strong piece of organic, honest and vulnerable art. In my mind this was not a performance, but an art piece. The reason I make this distinction is because to view this as a performance, would not set your frame of reference properly. Many people where not prepared for the deliberate pacing and freedom that the piece established from the very beginning. I for one had difficulty dealing with the first act due to the fact that most of the things you see in this city are set to entertain the audience. We are not used to a slow pace, slow makes us uncomfortable, it’s almost a dirty word. When you speak about pace, you start to think about performance, when you think about art you lose the reference of pace. If you where in a museum and were looking at something that unfolded at it’s own pace, you probably wouldn’t make judgments about the timing. It is when you are seated in a theater, where the elements of time and audience engagement are considered. These things are difficult to grapple with when you witness something like Boléro Variations, that doesn’t even consider time on purpose. Overall, the experience was refreshing, unique and moving. The beauty and strength of the piece where exceptional. I hope that you all can see it tonight and let us know what you think!

Performer and choreographer Raimund Hoghe’s work questions conceptions of difference and expectations of the dancing body, advocating inclusive views of humanity and acceptance and celebration of self and others.

Created in Paris in 2007 and co-presented with Dance Theater Workshop, Boléro Variations features the music of Ravel’s Boléro, folksongs, and the soundtrack from the TV broadcast of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s ice-dancing performance at the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo.

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Posted from Jon Cronin’s Stream Of Consciousness

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Written by Jon Cronin

September 25, 2009 at 16:21

One Response

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  1. Jon Cronin

    September 25, 2009 at 16:28


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