Presented for the first time in May 2008 at the TransAmériques Festival (Montreal, Canada), the show Is You Me has been preformed many times around Europe and Asia, but not yet in the United States! Three representations in Montreal in April, prior to Ottawa in June, allow us to (re)assess what this show has to offer.
Two dancers, Benoît Lachambre and Louise Lecavalier are on the stage; however, Is You Me is not a two man show but rather a four man show with stage designer, Laurent Goldring and musician, Hahn Rowe discreetly present at the edge of the stage. Their involvement is aesthetic connections and bridge-building, usually handled by choreography dancers.
The immaculate, white scenography unfurls on horizontal and vertical backdrops. The ground is extends into a vertical wall at the rear of the stage, like a skate-board ramp. This space transforms into several different surfaces on which the two dancers block, slide, climb, rise and descend while hiding, running parallel to the edges and talking to their shadows.
Laurent Goldring projects his animations and sketches. All his live activity is carried out via video capsules across the entire stage. The only source of lighting used for the show comes from the video projector, a process already explored during former partnerships, with choreographer Mathilde Monnier for example, and used here, however, as an integral part of the show. Goldring becomes responsible, not only for the operations and drawings he proposes with the help of his tools – graphic board, digital pen and software – but also for lighting modulations and luminous atmospheres by plunging the stage at times into light or darkness, sketching, deleting, modifying or replacing certain sections of his drawings with another color.
Hahn Rowe remains an overly discreet musician considering his significant talent. A violinist, guitarist and recognized studio engineer, he sometimes uses background sound or more rhythmic sequences, (basses, electronic sounds, bells, pianos and voices) over which live performances are played on the violin with the bow or pizzicato. He has often composed for dance performances, namely for Meg Stuart, and seems especially at ease with the characteristics of this type of sound musical performance. At one captivating moment, he successfully carries out a superb operatic flight of fancy, alone on the violin, while Lachambre and Lecavalier become moving forms with color (orange and green) which blindly wander, hooded like shadows or drawings transformed into moving human figures.
(read on in Transdigital Cookbook #1)
Is You Me (2008) by Benoît Lachambre, Louise Lecavalier, Laurent Goldring and Hahn Rowe.
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