Man or beast. Where is the boundary between us? This is a theme that Damien Jalet often explores on the boundary of his larger pieces with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.
On stage Damien Jalet live on the boundary between man and beast. His contortions on stage have a sinister aspect. He rolls and crawls, often ending in a fierce growl.
Tonight he took this theme and devoted the evening to transmutation between animal and human.
The opening piece began with two mythical creatures with grasping mouths doing some strange dance of love and combat, kissing and biting one another. The movement was front lit throwing up macabre shadows on the wall behind.
Eventually one of the white furry animals perished and the remaining animal attacked a supine young woman, who gradually struggled back against the beast and stood up. She was wearing a black veil and jewellery. Her translucent black silk top revealed a gorgeously proportioned body.
My companion for the evening had no idea that these marvellous and mystical creatures were created by the two arms of a single dancer. She thought the creatures were animated via special machinery.
Accompanying the Arabic costume, the darkly ambient music syncopated with Middle Eastern tones.