M & Mme Rêve

February 7, 2010By Claudia BarbieriArchive

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DANCING IONESCO

ParisUpdate Pietragalla

“Constellation,” Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Photo © Margo Moritz

The ballerina Marie-Claude Pietragalla and her partner Julien Derouault are presenting their latest choreographic creation, “M & Mme Rêve,” at the Grand Rex (1, bd Poissonnière, 75002 Paris) through March 29.

Inspired by the surreal world of Eugene Ionesco, the father of the theater of the absurd, the two-hour show takes the audience on an immersive journey, shifting in and out of multiple 3D computer-generated virtual realities. Richly visual, thanks to advanced CAD technology, and richly scored by the DJ Laurent Garnier, it’s brilliant when it works – at a recent performance the technology broke down in mid-performance, and Pietragalla herself wasn’t dancing because of an injury. In her absence, the former Paris Opera star dancer Clairemarie Osta played Derouault’s female foil. Together, they danced an extended set of white-wigged Andy-Warholesque duets with comic energy and grace.

In Ionesco’s disintegrated world, coherent narrative has no place, realities dissolve and dreams take on improbable realities of their own. So with this performance. Lovers of clear story lines, beware. Lovers of profuse imagination should enjoy the illusory polychromatic sets, flashes of genius in the costumes, lyrical moments and touches of near-slapstick wit. Spectacular, in the full sense of the word. Claudia Barbieri

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