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Lilian Bayliss Studio, London

Yasmine Hugonnet’s Le Récital des Postures boldly explores the body’s movement and the imperceptible gestures which construct more familiar poses. Hugonnet invites us to re-examine the body, our most familiar companion, through rendering it strange. She deconstructs the classical motion of dance, and everyday movement, to shine a light on just how such gestures are achieved. The resulting position seems wholly new, and yet disconcertingly familiar.
Hugonnet’s performance is grounded in her body, she adopts and then leaves behind visual themes, such as a classical statue or an Egyptian figure, for looser, playful forms. The deliberation with which she moves, taking up a pose and repeating it, dropping it and returning, makes visible the transition between movements so often hidden from the audience.
Hugonnet’s choreography is an entrancing play with light, shadow and the human form. In silence, on a bare scene, beneath stark lighting, her complex poses, exercises in control over the performer’s body, are magnified and multiplied. This setting draws our attention to the minute, imperceptible gestures which the performer exhibits, even when seemingly still. The minimalist setting focuses our attention on the sound of the breath, or of her body moving across the stage, reinforcing the pure physicality of this performance, and making her final act of ventriloquy all the more masterful. In a performance so intent on exposing the foundation of the human form, the voice is completely disembodied.
Le Récital des Postures is a powerful and thought-provoking performance. Hugonnet’s choreography has a raw truth to its composition, a desire to express the essential forms of the body and to make visible an innate beauty in human movement. This performance offers a still and quiet refuge at the London International Mime Festival 2018. It is a chance to reflect on the power and control at the heart of physical theatre. Le Récital des Postures offers a scared space to consider the physicality of dance and drama, and a playful reflection of the images we hold of the body.

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