> Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Maria Pagés “DUNAS” Bunkamura ORCHARD HALL, 2018.3.29-31

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Maria Pagés “DUNAS”
Bunkamura ORCHARD HALL, 2018.3.29-31

Written by Norikoshi Takao|2018.5.30

©Hiroyuki Kawashima


Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui consistently createspieces in which he performs various forms of traditional dance (and sometimes also martial arts). This time he collaborates with the great flamenco master Maria Pagés, who actively engages also incontemporary forms of expression. 

The piece starts off with a breathtakingly beautiful scene. In line with the title, the two artists appear wrapped in large, gold-colored veils, the beautiful drapes of which evoke images of ripple marks on sand dunes in a desert. They move toward each other, one from the left and the other from the right side, until the shadows of their bodies unite in the center of the stage.

Cherkaoui responds to the intense flamenco of Pagés, who stamps on the floor as if recalling the spirits of the earth,by singing to her dance. Heis an artist who combines a strange kind of physical presence with a peculiar ability to maintain an effortless and non-offensive appearance even in the face of the solid technical framework of traditional dance. In the second half, Cherkaoui dances with a limp and tired body as if flirting with Pagés and her perpendicularly strong movements, and I was deeply impressed by that unusual wayof dancing with each other.


©Hiroyuki Kawashima


Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is a European with Moroccan roots, whose first name literally means something like ”Mister Arab.” The mutual sieging of Islamic and Christian forces in the region that is today Spain continued for about eight hundred years, and the diversely ambiguous elements that this piece revolves around, such as male/female, traditional/contemporary, along with European, Christian, gypsy (Roma) and Arab aspects, seem to be directly illustrating the complicated history of the Iberian Peninsula.


©Hiroyuki Kawashima


But there is more.

In one scene, a sand painting that Cherkaoui draws in realtime is illuminated from below and projected in a large scale onto a screen in the back of the stage. It begins with a mythical kind of scenery of branches growing and forming a big treeout of the body of Pagés, who stands in front of the screen. When she leaves and only the sand painting remains,things get rather freewheeling, and appearing are depictions of things like the towers and the airplane of 9.11. These images explode and are instantly wiped away again.

Translated by Andreas Stuhlmann


©Hiroyuki Kawashima


シディ・ラルビ・シェルカウイ × マリア・パヘス 『DUNASードゥナスー』 2018.3.29-31

2018. March 28 - 31


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乗越たかお Norikoshi Takao

■Dance critic and a director of Japan Dance Plug Co. Ltd.
■Contribution:”Monthly BRAVO(my own serial page)”,”DANCE MAGAZINE”,”ASAHI SHIMBUN(Newspaper)”
■Book list:”PERFECT GUIDE BOOK of Contemporary Dance”,”Dance Bible” and more.
■Festival Advisor, Jury of Competition:”Dance New Air”,”Fukuoka Dance Fringe Festival”,”Hokkaido Dance Project”,”Odoru AKITA”,”Dancers’ Nest”,”El Sur Foundation ”,”Tokyo Metropolitan Theater ”,”Seoul International Choreograph Festival”,”New Dance for Asia(Seoul) & Asian Solo & Duo Challenge for MASDANZA”