Les Ballets C. de la B - VSPRS
Tramway, Glasgow, Thu 3 - Sat 5 May
Belgian company, Les Ballet C. de la B is the spider plant of the dance world. Small cuttings spliced from the main group regularly take root elsewhere, creating diverse work under the same moniker. This unique structure means that although Les Ballet C. de la B will appear at Tramway three times this season, not one of them will be the same company.
Founder member, Alain Platel has dived in and out of his company in recent years, but his 2001 piece, VSPRS certainly made a splash. A large-scale work featuring ten dancers and ten musicians (who play their instruments sitting on a huge pile of rags), the piece takes Claudio Monteverdi’s Maria Vespers to a whole new level. Some audience members have acted with their feet, as the religious imagery, stripping and prolonged masturbation proved all too much. For those who go the distance, however, a fascinating and memorable journey into the minds of the mentally ill is promised.
‘Prior to working in the arts, Alain had a background in mental illness,’ explains Tramway’s producer, Steve Slater. ‘And part of the inspiration for VSPRS is documentation from various therapists. The movement vocabulary of his dancers is based on people with mental illness, their inner world and sense of isolation. Which makes it an intensely difficult but very interesting piece to watch.’