Les Ballets C. de la B.: «Import/Export»
Captive audiences savored the premiere of “Import/Export,” a brand-spanking new production from Belgian Les Ballets C. de la B. Spanking may be the operative word, as this show veers between pleasure and pain. The piece, from constant choreographer Koen Augustijnen and countertenor Steve Dugardin, hovers at a static pitch. As the title suggests, there’s commerce at play, but here the goods are less of a global socio-economic interest and more acutely relevant to the sphere of human and personal relations.
We’re amazed at the six bold, physically adept, loose-limbed dancers/acrobats, and warmly welcome the expansive beauty that resonates with the Baroque music of Charpentier, Clérambault, Couperin, Hahn, and Lambert, played with brio by the expert all-female Kirke String Quartet and sung by Dugardin, with his pure, soaring voice. Guy Van Nueten’s electronic score adds another layer of texture and tension.
The set, designed by Jean Bernard Koeman, effectively evokes the dock of a port with massive containers, crates, and towering metal structures. The piece itself is divided into pulsing sections: a man raises a woman’s arms upwards, but they fall back. He pulls them up again and ...