The Brazilian Lia Rodrigues is back for the first time at the FTA since 2011 with Encantado, an exalted performance-piece carried by a swarm of colored fabrics calling for all kinds of metamorphoses.
Since 1990, Lia Rodrigues has brandished her art as a peaceful weapon to stimulate reflection on our world, from the favela where she established Lia Rodrigues Companhia de Danças, in Brazil. Her dance cannot be understood without this involvement in her community and this social will to break down the walls that enclose and divide us.
The word encantado evokes an enchantment, a spell. And it is a spell woven with magic and wonder that the Brazilian choreographer casts on the audience with this hour-long creation carried by incessant movement. She thus gives birth to a new cosmogony and imposes a new reign, made possible by the transforming act of dance and which involves the manipulation of a ton of pieces of colored fabric, with variegated patterns, a veritable ocean of materials where s wrap 11 dancers with crazy and exalted energy.
Naked as worms, in complete silence, they first glide across the stage where a quilt of amalgamated fabrics stretches, a calm sea that will soon be stirred by the swell of crawling, undulating bodies, finally rising, draped in a thousand and one ways. They are both sculptural and grotesque, exaggerated facies in support. Here, a man with a turbaned head rubs his swollen belly, ready to give birth to a new world, his eyes bulging, while in the background, an animal with a drooping trunk, made up of two dancers camouflaged under blankets, walks slowly.
Then emerges, at first weakly, then increasingly loudly, the rhythmic music of the Guarani Mbya, an ancestral people of South America. Incantatory, repeated in an infinite loop, it is ideal for inducing trance. To the sound of his percussive notes and chanting chants, illusions come and go, dancers who have become creatures drape themselves in a thousand faces, a thousand shapes, each advancing to the front of the stage to do his number, alone, in duo or trio, followed by one or more others, without this circular whirlwind ever stopping.
Their bodies, liberated, indifferent to the diktats of appearance, become standard-bearers of an alluring, outlet freedom. The gesture is instinctive, carried away: they jump, swarm, squat, throw arms and legs around them, never letting go of these tissues thanks to which they are constantly metamorphosing.
Used with ingenuity in a nameless shambles, the inexpensive pieces of fabric with multiple colors and patterns serve to install a new reign, that of a liberated, enchanted human force. They become ornaments, loincloths, headgear, dogs guarding the gates of Hell, playful-looking goddesses, birds spinning in the sky, then return to the ground in deformed masses, before being moved, thrown, reformed again. A powerful celebration of play and imagination that amazes and surprises; a creative act that reuses material ad infinitum, in a world where disposable and obsolescence reign.
And that’s what Encantado invites us to do, at the end of the day: rediscover this carefreeness linked to childhood, where we dress up, we hide in the piles of fabrics, we create ephemeral universes with lightness and fun. and magical. Behind these gestures lies the hope of another world, one where all our differences are sublimated in a colorful quilt, just waiting to be celebrated.