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A life on Lease, Monna Dithmer, Politiken 2001.05.26

Ambitions ran high during Dansedage 2001 where French Martine Pisani and the international choreographer Wim Vandekeybus let dance and life meet in new and fascinating ways....

"sans" is the name of the small performance. Sans means without and the three male performers were quite without music, scenography, without any appliances - and apparently also without any dance tecnique or choreography to lean on. Are they making fun of us, is this really dance?

As three lost autistic people, they wriggle around a little uneasy about the whole situation and they look at us with rising panic in their eyes, exposed without mercy. Then slowly they start surviving with a tap-tap here, two swinging arms there and then a clever and almost deathly jump with hands across the eyes. Hey ho! how it goes as if this hyper mobile Mr. Bean in kitchen blue trousers in collusion with the tall curly-haired gangling youth and the sailor-tough little man were about to perform an amateur performance of "Sømænd på Vulkaner", but backwards and with sign language. But see if a "Swan Lake" is not hidden behind these unheard of self-devised movements. More and more courageously they throw themselves into lifting each other a little, turning and even straight jumps....

What at first seemed to be a toppling improvisation with its own peculiar logic turns out to be a precise choreography (and Mr. Bean turns out to be a fully developed dancer behind his wonderful non-dance). This is cleverly demonstrated by the finishing fast-forward version of the whole performance. In all its naked simplicity, "sans" is a refined deconstruction of what dance really is. First and foremost it has a very special spontaneity as when humans dance with themselves, gives themself completely to the movement without a thought for other’s eyes. It is funny, touching and in all its vulnerability preciously authentical. A secret moment.


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