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thirty years of experimental “choreographic

actions”? Not really: from the start, La Ribot
is always La Ribot. The artist continues to
have a certain plasticity over and beyond
her amazing, impeccable and special phy-
sique. Concentrated, witty, at times swift,
this artist can be proud of having a style
of her own, an approach inspired by Buster
Keaton (who she celebrated back in 1993).
La Ribot came to the fore finding her own
niche on the European and global avant-garde
scenes, but the unusualness of her case does
not allow one to pass judgments flippantly.
Determined to maintain her position, this
artist struggled to impose her point of view,
way of conceiving dance and theatre and her
lacerating vision of everyday life or major
themes. Theatre folk have claimed her as one
of them, as have visual art critics; when all
is said and done, though, La Ribot remain
s– like it or not – a dancer
An enormous installation, maybe akin to
a tomb, stands in the middle of darkness,
and she imposes herself solely with her men-
acing silhouette, like the scissors she uses
that are (and there is no forgetting it) a
weapon. Today, splendidly mature, La Ribot
explores the world and the absurd, and she
allows herself to paint bodies pink, just as
the neo-dadaist Yves Klein used to paint
them blue.
Roger Salas

Saarbrücken Ballett

Riding with Naharin
Hora – chor. Ohad Naharin, mus. Isao
Tomita, Ryoji Ikeda
Turin (Italy), Teatro Piemonte Europa

The Saarländisches Staatstheater (The
Saarland’s State Theatre in Saarbrücken,
Germany) has a 20-dancer strong Saarbrücken Ballett: “Ahora”, c. Ohad Naharin (ph. B. Stoess)
multiethnic ballet company and has been led
since 2014 by Belgian Stjin Celis who was
formerly a dancer with the companies in of Jewish collective folk dances that are danced always bursting with energy; ordinary ges-
Zurich, Geneva and Stockholm and an es- on festive occasions, for example at weddings tures are “exasperated” into a sort of virtu-
teemed choreographer for numerous top- or the initiation ceremonies for boys (Bar osity, altered by a low centre of gravity that
notch companies. A look at the current sea- Mitzvahs) or girls (Bat Mitzvahs). Naharin allows legs and arms to extend into space from
son’s repertoire shows a clear orientation: however goes beyond and gives us only a the centre of the dancers’ extremely firm and
apart from works by Celis himself, we find few moments of group synchronisation but compact bodies. A few side view movements,
the names of well-known choreographers. then immediately leaves the floor to varia- as in Nijinsky’s erotic Faun (1912), seep in
From the famed German Gerhard Bohner to tions within the group (always onstage, en- during Debussy’s music, though they are dis-
the trendy Alexander Ekman, to the two fe- closed in a green set) and to solos. guised beneath Naharin’s own choreography.
male artists of the “Two Women” programme: The astute choreographer has had fun in A few non-realistic gestures alluding to sen-
Anna Konjetzky (Ground) and Liliana Barros devising relentless body-to-body dancing to sations that each spectator might have expe-
(My Name is Legion) – the former’s career a string of music that is undoubtedly “risky” rienced at some point in his/her existence ac-
has unfolded in Belgium and Germany, while (in as much as it is famous and associated company and spice up the sequences that are
the latter is Portuguese and has enjoyed an with powerful images); it proposed here in continually being put together and coming
international career in Germany and Canada. an unorthodox manner, synthesised by the apart, with movements that flow to and fro.
At the Palcoscenico Danza a Torino Fes- pioneering Japanese composer Isao Tomita: The company, wearing simple and austere
tival, Celis chose to have his group perform the suave Prélude à l’après-midi d’un Faune costumes (rendered sensual by the beauty of
a work by Israeli world choreography star by Debussy, the booming Thus Spake pure dance), is a top-notch one in which the
Ohad Naharin, Hora which was made in 2009 Zarathustra by Strauss, and even the Ride individual dancers have remarkable qualities
for the Batsheva Dance Company of which of the Valkyries by Wagner. but there is a decidedly admirable cohesion
Naharin is the director. The dancing is continually starting up and of intents and style.
The title Hora could allude to the name ending off, at times slow, at times very fast, Elisa Guzzo Vaccarino