Thierry Smits’ latest challenge with Vanishing Act – in tandem with celebrating both his 60th birthday and nearly 40 choreographies – is to take risks alone on stage as he did at the outset of his career. With this new production he synthesizes, echoing as it were his artistic trajectory, energy and weariness, joys and bitter-sweet meditations.
Far from a “best of” narcissistic or nostalgic reruns, however, he continues to explore through a dozen danced and/or performative acts the encounter with his own body with so many minimalist devices he has extracted and recycled from his previous productions or from what has inspired them originally. Arranged as an installation of workshop materials waiting to be activated on stage, these fragments, objects, lights, costumes, form an intriguing amusement park, an “obstacle course” and source of humorous or meditative metamorphoses. Black leather bags, table on castors, coloured neon, turnstiles, rope, as well as suspended microphones, mobile video screen, etc. As many “madeleines” in the Proustian sense of memory triggers, for his faithful audiences, diverted for everyBODY in new confrontational rings of the body’s impulses when confronted with the entropy that threatens them.