Review

Xavier Le Roy: Le Sacre du Printemps

Image credit: Vincent CavarocImage credit: Vincent Cavaroc

RB

I really enjoyed the way in which Xavier was playing with roles. The role of the audience that was somehow the orchestra, as the music was playing through speakers from underneath people seats and because of the way he addressed the audience through his movements, gestures and focus.

ES

Yeah, the way a conductor directs an orchestra is really specific, he looks at specific musicians, and Xavier was doing that with the audience.

RB

It was interesting as well that it was a recording that was playing, as opposed to a live orchestra, because that made the recording the protagonist. So it was interesting to see how he would react to the music; sometimes the music would control him, and sometimes he would control the music, well, pretend to be controlling the music…

ES

And the audience knew this. The fact that it was a recording and that he looked like he was conducting, which should be something that pre-empts the sound, although impossible in this case, gave the pauses he put in the piece quite a simple role (he would sometimes stop conducting and leave the music to continue or not on its own), which made the piece as transparent as possible. He wanted to show us that on face-value: ‘this is just a recording and I’m just doing what I want to do’.

RB

It was also interesting to recognise his role as a choreographer researching the role of being a conductor…

ES

Yeah, well this was my issue with the piece. Through the piece there was a transformation from being a conductor to being himself embodying the music as he would as a dancer, but I was confused about why he hadn’t gotten a professional conductor to perform this piece, because a professional conductor can conduct, that’s what he’s trained to do, and he could also embody the movement, not just as a conductor, but as himself. When I asked Xavier about it, he said it was because he didn’t want this element of ready-made. And then I realised it was very much about his experience and his process of learning about the music and conducting, and working out how he was going to embody the piece.


 

‘Le Sacre du Printemps’ by Xavier Le Roy 23-24 January 2009 Lilian Baylis Studio

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