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Peeping tom

Un món pertorbador on les forces naturals ens condueixen a un destí incert

L’última creació de Peeping Tom reimagina tres de les seves peces en un viatge laberíntic pels passadissos de la memòria (The missing door, The lost room i The hidden floor). Una trilogia en què els personatges intenten, en va, crear una nova versió de la realitat.

La prestigiosa companyia belga Peeping Tom ha revolucionat el llenguatge de la dansa i del teatre amb un estil diferencial i una estètica onírica i cinematogràfica. Un món propi molt característic, fosc i inquietant però que conserva l’espurna del sentit de l’humor.

Crítica: Triptych


Triple unhinged

per Alx Phillips

A triptych is a three-panel painting hinged together, which can be displayed open, or folded shut. Two wing panels inform on an image of central significance. Belgian dance-theatre company Peeping Tom applies the name of the art form to connect three half-hour pieces, with arguably the third in the middle. The Missing Door, The Lost Room and The Hidden Floor are individual titles that defy any one perspective, referring to something in each piece that may reveal an absence or a presence.  

Peeping Tom, co-founded in 2000 by Gabriela Carrizo and Franck Chartier, draw on hyperrealism and visual storytelling to create vivid cinematic scenes that intrigue and delight. Integral to each piece is the company’s signature array of theatrical tricks, referring to classic horror movies (many recognisable) or, as in The Missing Door, action video games.

Each part of Triptych is performed in a physical structure evoking a 1950s film set, with plywood walls and false doors offering a token separation from the vast backstage. The first two sets are deconstructed and the latter two built during the breaks, while the audience watches. 

“When I saw Gabriela’s The Missing Door, I imagined a cruise ship on a transatlantic voyage with its maze of identical rooms on identical floors, linked by identical passageways,” says Chartier, who created the latter pieces. The Missing Door was initially performed in a diptych with The Lost Room. The Hidden Floor, created in 2017 was later attached, reshuffling the overall meaning. And that may not be the end (or even the beginning) of it, hints Chartier: “I imagine an endless interconnection of works”. 

Each dynamic story / anti-story is performed by eight dynamic dancers, who must also play different theatrical roles. Integrating the human with the narrative was a challenge, as performers Alejandro Moya and Panos Malactos testify: “Not only is there a high level of technique required, but a lot of set changes in which we play both a character and a backstage technician,” says Malactos. “It’s a two hour trip: we had to stay in the trip, whatever happened.” 

Humans interact with more dominant forces. Clothes are ripped away, physical structures rebel; characters are tossed around like trash, bounced off floors, doors and walls as if by an enraged invisible gamer; or a bugging system; or a dysfunctional planet, or are driven mad by quirky household objects. Their limbs multiply or disconnect in ways we once thought impossible. Transhumanism and the Internet of Things make all this seem plausible. 

Essential to the show is the emotional detail, a nuance as yet illusive to AI: fleeting moments of humanity that can't be shut off like a triptych can: the maid yells in Chinese at the unhelpful chair; the woman throws herself overboard, gripped by a fear that baffles her male partner. A grey-haired man sits in a room at the back, head in hands. Look again, he’s gone.