Nude Contemporary Dance: Tragédie -
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Nude Contemporary Dance: Tragédie

Olivier Dubois has been stirring up France’s contemporary dance since 1999; the award-winning French choreographer has had a stellar career thus far, which has allowed him to perform with some of the world’s best dance companies, and now, finally, Dubois is making is long-awaited choreographic UK debut with the London premiere of his work, Tragédie, which was originally created for 2012’s Festival d’Avignon. 

Tragédie focuses on nine men and nine women, stripped bare (both literally and figuratively) as part of an exploration of the human condition and a consideration of the nature of tragedy. It is needless to say that the dance performance is unlike anything you will have ever seen before — Dubois is, after all, a big talent, having received several prestigious prizes for his work in France, like the Priz Jardin d’Europe — and the dancers, with their concise repetitious phrases of movement, will leave you itching to see more. The show builds to a climax wherein the body and soul meet, resulting in a thrilling crescendo that evokes a lively and somewhat tribal mood. 

(Teaser Tragedie from Tommy Pascal on Vimeo)

The lack of elaborate lighting, props and, indeed, the lack of clothes further highlights the power and beauty of the human body in all its natural states, shapes and sizes. Each of the 18 dancers has a great stage presence and, combined, they make for a dynamic, lively spectacle that is perfect for the stage. François Caffenne provides Tragédie’s pumping soundtrack, which pulses rhythmically with strong beats that are a perfect fit for Dubois’ deliberate use of repetition, which is highly effective in adding to the choreography’s highly compelling and hypnotic qualities, which are bound to grab the audience’s attention from the minute each dancer makes their powerful entrance onstage. 

Alistair Spalding, the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells, described Tragédie as conveying “the kind of atmosphere in a theatre situation only usually experienced in a club environment”.

Intrigued? Tragédie will be performed at Sadler’s Wells, Islington from 8-10 May 2014. Book your tickets here.

Written by Grace Howard

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