Monday, October 20, 2008

Philippe Priasso

Philippe Priasso is a Dancer performing at the London Dance Umbrella Festival. This year he brought the heat with Transports Exceptionnels, Dominique Boivin’s new pas de deux (or possibly pas de trois) for a dancer with a Komatsu excavator, danced to recorded arias sung by Maria Callas.

This image is borrowed from the Kathimerini website

The Guardian website has a nice excerpt from the performance. But it is clear that this is not just Philippe Priasso and an excavator, but the excavator, the operator (William Defresne), and the dancer. Priasso treats the excavator as a full partner in motion. Dance Insider says of the performance that "[h]owever absurd this balletic meeting between man and machine might sound, the duet choreographed by Dominique Boivin for his Compagnie Beau Geste was a moving and enlightening event." This balletic beauty is obvious even from the short excerpt at the Guardian. Priasso is dangled from the bucket, nudged, lifted, chases and is chased, and forms a strange, moving relationship in space with his odd dinosauric partner.
There is an extended version of the same performance shot by an amateur videographer available on YouTube (embedded below) that captures a little of the grace of the dance, but suffers from its compression to the YouTube format.

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