Red. After a soft light, the colour (thanks to Gaëtan van den Berg) explodes. The dance surprises when the dancers play with movement as the pianists give form to the music. The gesture shapes the score and gives substance to the movement (a term fortunately common to both artistic expressions!). Moreover, the hips undulating to the striking of the strings do prove that, above all, music gets you in the guts, doesn't it?
This music rises as an upward tellurian vibration. First it originates from the dancers' legs, then it settles "around" their hips, term carefully chosen by the choreographer. From there, the tumult reaches the chest reeling around, the faces smiling in communicative pleasure; their arms curve and crook in a clamour climbing in whirlwinds to a stormy sky, ready to explode under the pressure of these two human torches. The impression is one of enthusiasm hesitating between frenzy and bedazzlement. Feelings are created by bodies, creepers made to swirl into curls and twists by an invisible hand, or metamorphosing themselves into feminine flames that a warm wind turns into undulating and winding lines.
Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues, also created in 1996, is a piece that releases an energy of freedom. Trapped in Frederic Rzewski's music (based on a song sung by the workers of America's cotton factories) the bodies are submitted to the infernal cadence of servile work. Little by little their movements seem to become emancipated. From then on the dance becomes centred, experiencing the pain of alienating domination and the pleasure of a hoped for liberation. In a succession of tremblings, which shake the bodies between fear and pleasure, the mechanical movements give way to shouts. These show, without any modesty, an authentic eroticism, an orgasmic ecstasy, which reminds us of like's true demands. A philosophical hedonism similar to Michel Onfray's theories in his treaty The Rebel's Policy.
The moment of grace of this Été des Hivernales was brought by Olga de Soto, a Spanish dancer established in Belgium. Whether she elaborates it alone or in duet (with Pascale Gigon), her language, which is very pure, creates a shiver in the half-light, the rustling of life. Her musical choices (of contemporary composers such as Salvatore Sciarrino or Denis Pousseur) are of an unusual quality.
Emmannuèle Rüegger, L'été des Hivernales, Ballet 2000 No. 43
As to Olga de Soto, one could see her and see her again without being exhausted, so much her dance is musical. Whether she talks about a secret relation in a semi-darkness, nearest to the microscopic, or shines out in furious movements of the hips on Frederic Rzewski's ravaging music, or murmurs solitary on a composition by Denis Pousseur, what comes out is pure joy. Simplicity combined with wisdom.