Xavier LeRoyLow Pieces
Low Pieces is a performance about the audience and a question about the nature of theatre and its capabilities. At the same time, it is a demanding and courageous meeting with the spectator / partner. Together with his collaborators, Xavier Le Roy creates a fascinating social situation that has clear and honest rules based on a dialogue with the audience that is extremely rare in the world of theatre. His performance transcends the boundaries of dance, and theatre, and defies all conventions. It challenges the consequences of dividing the space betwen the stage and the audience. It poses questions about the role of the spectator as the co-creator of theatre; about perception, its limits and capabilities, and about who decides what shape and character it takes. Low Pieces is created by outstanding dancers, choreographers, performers, researchers and teachers from all over Europe, who have never met before on one stage. In 2011, Low Pieces made its name as one of the biggest sensations in festivals of contemporary dance and theatre (including Avignon Festival in 2011). It will be presented in Poland for the first time.
Any word that might describe the feelings this piece provokes seem inadequate. The scene could represent a herd of animals at rest, a pack of lions basking in the sun, a plant composition… These images come one after the other in our imagination. A group of individuals transforms into a group of an undetermined nature, capable of receiving all our projections. Xavier Le Roy plays on our senses and once again questions the way we perceive a body. In rejecting dress codes and removing movement from social habits, he proposes a community released from its humanity to the spectator. Animal? Mechanical? Vegetal? Before our eyes, a series of choreographic landscapes suggests another form of being in the world.
For Xavier Le Roy, what is shown is as important, if not less, than the discussions that result from it: all of his pieces offer a basis for reflection. Two moments of exchange between the public and the performers frame the opening and closing of Low Pieces. The presentation of of movement that these words frame like mirrors, is disrupted when the dancers, with whom the spectator were talking a few minutes earlier, are found undressed on stage, lying down or on all fours. Are they really the same people who were speaking to us? How does the perception of both dancers and spectators change? How are they going to recreate a common space?
Faced with these naked bodies, the social image of the dancer having a conversation, present in the eyes of the spectators only a moment before, fades away.
Maxime Fleuriot in Programme du Festival d’Avignon 2011
The piece still interrogates us after we leave the theatre. The performers have exposed themselves in front of us. They have exposed their bodies. They have given us the chance to talk and react to their exposure. Power relationships are played out throughout the piece. Low Pieces has been constructed to plunge us into a dialogue that adopts different forms and conditions: voice and silence, light and darkness, strangeness and familiarity, power and vulnerability, and all the nuances in-between. All the rules of this game were clearly announced at the beginning of each section. Decisions were also in our hands; we did talk and we did look, but most of all we did transform our beliefs about what the body can perform.