WITHIN (Labyrinth Within)
June 29, 2012
The inventive and stunning premiere of the dance theater piece WITHIN (Labyrinth Within) by Pontus Lidberg for Morphoses graced the
stage at Jacob's Pillow. An award winning filmmaker,choreographer and dancer from
Sweden, Mr. Lidberg's work is not well known in the US, but it will be.
Mr. Lidberg opens the piece, lying on the floor in a blue Oxford, grey pants, and
beige socks, in front of a large moveable white screen. Surrounded by
two groupings of red flowers, he moves in silence, rolling in a
contemplative fashion as if conversing with himself or a memory. While he works at arranging and re-positioning 3 single
flowers, the strains of a violin permeate the quiet in a haunting score by David Lang.
A sense of mystery begins to build as two men and two women enter. Their multi-layered
movements elicit questions about the relationships between these five dancers .
As Mr. Lidberg reaches a finger to the sky, it arcs gently touching the floor, causing the
lights to go off. A film of him amidst trees and adjacent to the sea begins as the "live" Mr.
Lidberg dances with his film version. The drum beat pulses while the strains of flute and
oboe interject. To watch a close up of the dancer on film while observing the dancer in
full view on the stage creates a heightened sexual tension.
A man in a grey vest, the
darkly handsome Jens Weber, and a woman in a red flowered dress, Gabrielle Lamb --the feline siren,
enter as the film shifts to a parquet floor with arched windows. They dance tango-like, as she ducks her head under his arm in a way that is both escapist
and sensual. The moves are repeated on the screen as the dancers enter and exit from film and stage.
Youthful passion describes the woman in blue, and the other man, (Frances Chiaverini
and Adrian Danchig-Waring) as he places his hand on her heart then lifts her
suspended in the air, holding only the back of her head and waist. Ms. Chiaverini and Mr.
Danchig-Waring epitomize a natural ardor with their expressive limbs and dynamic
Film clips are interspersed with the staged dances until the incomparable
Wendy Whelan appears on film, entering only to sit and watch. Unfolding in her dances
with Mr. Lidberg and Giovanni Bucchieri, she plunges us into a world of intense
questions.....only to be pondered and answered by 'seeing' WITHIN.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deborah Wingert