Culture & Conversation

Water Works

There is an anarchic animalism to Harold Rhéume’s Fluide. Clothed in punk garb, Le Fils d’Adrien Danse exude the dexterous pack mentality of wolves and the languid cool of a vampire cult. When its seven members move in wave-like formations they are a smooth unit, almost pourable. Yet placid combinations break apart when one dancer resists, the group disbanding and reforming, willing the dissenter back into line by cutting off paths of motion.

Read in this manner, Fluide’s set is a sparse and softly lit lair. A single row of white rectangular warrens lines the back wall. Into these, several dancers crawl, suggesting banishment or rejection by the group. When alone, these individuals are irresolute and inactive.

Fluide’s choreography feels balletic. With the rebellion of Bryce Noeser, it picks up speed, with spins becoming more vital and energised. The pack splinters before regrouping – combat quickly turning to submission as Noeser realises he is outnumbered. The languor returns.

At times, relationships form within the seven – Esther Rousseau-Morin comes briefly to Noeser’s aid before succumbing to pack pressure. But this loyalty is fleeting and soon we see Noeser with another partner. Jean-Francois Légaré appears to take charge, possessing all the qualities of a cult leader: It is he who confronts the rebel, showing first violence, and then tenderness. Off to the side, a group formation supports the raised torso of Marilou Castonguay who seems to sway with grief – f or me this was the work’s most beautiful and memorable section.

Early on, Fluide begins to feel not just cyclical in its movement vocabulary, but formulaic: the act of resistance becoming repetitive and monotonous. Several other dancers upset the rhythm in their attempt to separate from the pack– although it is Noeser who creates the greatest stir. But by that point, we’ve seen it all before. Dragging on, Fluide resists closure, repeating group charges to the front of the stage and retreats back again: actions without effect or intrigue.

Fluide, Harold Rhéume/ Le Fils d’Adrien Danse, Agora de la danse

February 20, 21, 22 at 8 pm

An incident involving a megalomaniac and the wrong coloured socks meant that Cerys Wilson’s dance career was cut short prematurely. Making up for it as best she can, she now reviews dance for Rover. A photographer by trade, she has written on art, architecture and design. She works as an independent baker and writer in Montreal.

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