Belgian artist duo 88888 has created a hanging installation as a centerpiece of Brussels-based choreographer Daniel Linehan’s newest dance creation dbddbb. In dbddbb, five dancers are chanting and performing a continuous march. The rhytm is defined by a pendulum at the start of the piece. Their march varies from ritualistic incantation, the obvious military exercise to political protest and dance party. Steps are not accompanied by words, songs or slogans but with dada-inspired chants. Their sounds and rhythms don’t carry any information – instead they become a physical, dancing entity in the space.
On the stage hangs an omni-present sculpture, consisting of two hundred thirty three vertical rods in stainless steel, hanging from a rigid, orthogonal grid in dark steel, measuring twelve by six meters. The sculpture takes a profound portion of the available space and defines the marching ground for the dancers.
In contrast to a classic interpretation of theatre scenography, interaction between sculpture and choreography is limited and nuanced. In fact, differences in scale, abstraction and physicality between sculpture and performers produce a constant tension throughout the piece.
Light changes transform the sculpture into a wide but subtle set of appearances. An interplay of reflections of light, performers and slight movements through touch and wind evoke a dynamic story when the march continues.
A hanging cross of seventeen resin casted shoes break the complete abstraction of the sculpture in its left corner. They are an abstract interpretation of one of the dancer’s shoes and give a slight hint to Dada’s objet-trouvé principle and the piece’s main theme.
dbddbb is currently booked in Théâtre La Licorne in Cannes, Centre Pompidou in Paris, deSingel in Antwerp and Kaaitheatre in Brussels.
all images © Jeroen Verrecht