The Pretty Things
It begins very small, with minimal gestures and short movement motifs that are repeated in a relentless gentleness, and almost imperceptibly shift to the next motif. Five dancers perform an alphabet, the components of which are spelled out by each body in an opaque system, similar to a soliloquy. Although the movements emanate from them, they seem at the same time trapped in them – there is something compulsive, neurotic about the urgency of the execution. Framed within are short moments of wild outbursts in a different, more liberated body language, a different dance that gradually transforms the material, freaks out, and finally frees itself from the music. A music that is rhythm: delicate, synthetically processed female voices that breathe beats, in other words, function like a metronome and create a strong framework, a musically regulated regime. Is it desperation we feel in this athletic, gymnastic endurance dance, or ecstasy? Meditation or revolt?
With The Pretty Things Catherine Gaudet shows a hypnotic work whose course she describes as cathartic. The Franco-Canadian choreographer, who has been developing her own works for almost 20 years, founded her own company in 2019, and last year she received the Grand Prix de la danse de Montréal. She speaks an absolute disarming choreographic language: her pieces have an honest, blunt physicality that allows one to look deeply into a person's psyche and soul. The starting point of the choreography was the examination of connections and resonance, which she had to redefine with her dancers in the studio during the Covid-19 restrictions. But also the reverse side of connections, namely, the concept of disengagement and liberation can be strongly sensed. And so The Pretty Things has become a work about community and at the same time a critical, scrutinizing positioning of the ideals of social co-existence.
More about The Pretty Things in the magazine