Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

July 17, 2009

Groupe Emile Dubois

Jacob's Pillow, Beckett, MA
through July 19, 2009
by Stacy Ashley

After 22 years, choreographer Jean-Claude Gallotta returned to the U.S. with his company Groupe Emile Dubois. The piece presented, Des Gens qui dansent translated to 'people who dance'. The overall concept was that dance can come from our everyday lives in the form of everyday people, which is a belief that Gallotta's troupe can attest to -- his company of ten spans 40 decades and varies in sizes, shapes, and abilities.

While there were some poignant moments, just as in everyday life, some were also disappointing. One of the highlights was a pas de deux between two older dancers (Martin Kravitz and Christophe Delachaux) that was honest and witty. It looked and felt real. There was also a quartet with Thierry Verger, Ximena Figueroa, Cecile Renard and Camille Cau that contained some of the best choreography of the evening with long extensions and clean lines.

While the varying abilities perpetuate the overall concept, it was distracting to see the lack of technique and training in some of the dancers. Also distracting, was the audio. Gallotta walked across and around the stage speaking a gibberish language. Layered throughout the music and incoherent mumblings were extra noises -- popping, humming, crackling and other sounds, none of which were in sync with one another.

Although the technique may have been lacking, the energy and honesty was not. The dancers in Groupe Emile Dubois shared with the audience their inspiration and passion to dance and that yes, everyone can and should dance!