LJHELM*(acronym of "le jeune homme et la mort" - Celebrating youth
While the Montpellier Dance Festival continues in full swing in town, things are also happening at the periphery,during the “Mouvements sur la Ville Festival” at the “Espace Bernard Glandier”,a dance space in La Paillade.
“The Young Man and Death”, a dance piece by Didier Théron, particularly held my attention.
Not Jean Babilée’s dance piece, but Didier Théron’s, renowned choreographer of the Southern France region.
Jean Cocteau’s melodrama and Maurice Ravel’s musical composition are at the base of the choreographer’s thoughts and research concerning youth killed in battle.
During one hour, three dancers throw themselves into a mad race beyond all physical comprehension. They run in order to evade obstacles, stepping over the dead. Runs, jumps and flights symbolize youth’s tremendous energy, carefree attitude and sometimes recklessness.
Running dervishes of a never-ending marathon, a torch relay race in which one witness passes a torch of life and hope to the next. Endurance doesn’t weaken, no one falters nor slackens. “They shoot horses, don’t they?”, but not these brilliant male dancers, performers of an opus, which has something in common with Beckett’s poetic world.
Dance as a means of surpassing oneself and overcoming that which afflicts us.
The piece is beautiful and impressive, and Ravel’s “Daphnis and Chloe” increases narrative power: A dramatic pastoral for these dancers, who are simultaneously athletes and artists with deep dramatic intensity.
Michèle Murray, longstanding work partner, is the watchful eye of this accomplished and mature “choreographic performance”.