Compagnie Marie Chouinard | You can't make a lyre without killing trees Oct 17, 2008

by Tania Kupczak

Extraordinary performance by Compagnie Marie Chouinard doing Orpheus & Eurydice, starting from the story most people know about the poet charming his way down to the underworld to bring back his lost love and losing her when he looked back. And, what most people don't know about Eurydice and how she died, and what happened to Orpheus afterward. All this and much, much more! Revelry, lyric, adoration, insanity, terror, grief. Sexy, earthy, silly fun and some touching moments, too. Fabulous dancing, vocabulary of balletic theatrical martial artsy lyrical modern movement. Words and music one with the dance. Fabulous facial choreography, best I've seen in a long time. Some pretty good jokes. Lightly clad bodies doing extraordinary shifting images and shapes, sometimes sculptural, the stage a canvas where the action is always beautifully composed. A wonderful pas de deux where two dancers make a lyre. There might be dancers as Eurydice or Orpheus or ten of them, or as a tree nymph, or Cerebus or dancers as such. Bacchanalia extraordinaire. A fascinating piece of dance theater. Afterward, I thought, look! Don't look back! You can't not know how to not look back. You can't not look back, no how. All we know of each other and ourselves is what we know of each other and ourselves, from before. And then it's gone. Can anyone sing of what is and not what was? Only without meaning anything, just a melody to enchant a lover or a demon or the very stones we walk on or for mindless sex. Like waves breaking on some shore. Like wind whispering through leaves. The tree needs roots going down underground to wave in the wind. Uprooted it dies. But, you can't make a lyre without killing trees. So sweetest songs mourn loss. So we rock on. Thus, I think of Compagnie Marie Chouinard as an exhibit from the modern museum of ancient art. Don't miss it! -- Ken