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Vertiginous labyrinth - Philippe Genty's Dedale

Artslink.co.za
05/12/1999 00:00:00
VERTIGINOUS LABYRINTH - PHILIPPE GENTY'S DEDALE
 
Dedale, a magical creation by French choreographer and theatre wizard Philippe Genty, will be performed at the 1999 Standard Bank National Arts Festival.
 
Genty's work is almost unclassifiable. Using a mixture of dance, mime, drama, figure theatre, music and puppetry, he plays amazing tricks with scale and perspective. He produces mystical reflections with an inexhaustible inventiveness and originality.
 
Dedale is an examination, highly influenced by psychoanalytic interpretation, of the state where dreams and reality blend and sets out on a voyage into the innermost thoughts of the characters, although hardly a word is uttered.
 
Like the surrealists, Genty creates disconcerting images from associations of beings and objects. The unexpected relations that he forms between them (gas mask and umbrella, fishing rods and winged babies, inflatable dolls and bathing suits) evoke metaphorical and dreamlike associations, with frequently disguised erotic implications. Often Genty inverts the function and order of things - comedian-dancers play with the wrong side and the right side of the characters by using very realistic masks attached to the back of their heads. He maintains that by looking at things the wrong way round, the truth becomes clearer.
 
Dedale is the tale of a modern day Ulysses embarking on a new adventure - as a truth-seeking blind man who follows the echo that leads to the heart of the mystery; as a deaf man who is ready to lend an ear to all the inner mermaids; and as a dumb man who is possessed by too many voices to find his own.
 
This enchanting, sophisticated circus of fantasy and imagination is unlike anything seen before in South Africa.