As its title suggests, Soirée Dansante is exclusively devoted to dance, resolutely without any dramaturgy or scenography. Conceived for seven dancers, Smit’s staging only sees them appear together in the final section, where a more mystical context is hinted at.
For the remainder of the work, the dancers perform in a quartet that transmits an oppressive and anxiety-provoking energy, followed by a duet imbued with softness and tenderness, which ultimately evolves toward the completely wacky trio, directly lifted from Surprise.
From a visual perspective, eclecticism is the order of the day, with multiple references to a broad-spectrum of artistic and cultural traditions in which we can discern Egypt, Hinduism, Miro’s pictorial work, and the world of children’s toys. The sonic environment is also vivacious and diversified, passing from overtones evoking fear, depression and anguish, to a medley of popular music, inevitably lighter and more superficial, but yet incongruous, leaving an impression of uneasiness where one oscillates between irony and stupor. The ensemble provokes surprise effects further enhanced by the costumes and lighting effects, which in itself compensates for the lack of scenography and fully confers priority to the choreography.