Home » London Dance » Review – Christian Rizzo : d’après une histoire vraie at Sadler’s Wells on 16th November 2015

Review – Christian Rizzo : d’après une histoire vraie at Sadler’s Wells on 16th November 2015


Christian Rizzo d'apres une histoire 3

Photo  Marc Domage

Sadler’s Wells presented the UK premiere of d’après une histoire vraie (based on a true story) by French choreographer, set designer, director and visual artist Christian Rizzo. Whilst Rizzo takes inspiration from his memories of a folk dance show at a festival in Istanbul in 2004, the production explores themes of masculinity and community. The show also reflects Rizzo’s interest in rock music , two drummers Didier Ambact and King Q4 provide much of the musical accompaniment with pounding rhythms.

The beginning of the show offers silence with minimal and ritualistic movements, gradually the cast of eight male dancers respond to the almost tribal beats of the drummers to create a series of interactions between the dancers. From these interactions develop the theme of folk dances with dancers coming together to carry out intricate and highly coordinated movements. The waves of dances illustrate the way that folk dances can indicate being part of being a community or being an outsider.The dances also portray the way that the rapid-fire percussion feeds the aggressive masculinity of the pieces until the dancers fall one by one onto the stage. Eventually the high octane energy is only carried on by the two drummers who have the stage to themselves.

Christian Rizzo d'apres une histoire vrai 2

Photo  Marc Domage

Rizzo’s work often includes elements of falling and touching in his choreography which creates some unusual aspects to his works, dancers lay prone until other dancers pull them to their feet to carry on the dance. The holding of hands create an intimacy that develops into  circles around the group of dancers, constantly moving in and out of dance movements.

Christian Rizzo d'apres une histoire vraie 1

Photo  Marc Domage

The end piece starts with a single dancer showing his individuals movements to be gradually joined by the others,  the various permutations of dancers create their own dynamic till the dancers are all joined in a communal dance that reaches its climax amongst driving rhythms and rapid changes of lighting.

Rizzo’s exploration of Turkish folklore performances offers some interesting insights into the way that dance can bring a common sense of belonging to a community and the rules that are valued in that community. Often in male only folk dances, intimacy between the dancers is more a sense of male bonding amongst the group rather than individual attraction between dancers. The show has plenty of light and dark in which the contrasts of high energy and silent movements are reflected in the sounds, music and Caty Olive’s atmospheric lighting. Rizzo’s d’après une histoire vraie plays with both popular and contemporary forms to create a intriguing and powerful piece that was well received by the Sadler’s Wells audience.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Recommended

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Sadler’s Wells website here

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