Sunday, February 28, 2016

REVIEW: Compagnie 111's What's Become of You?

HK City Hall Theatre, Saturday February 27

Compagnie 111’s What’s Become of You? (Questcequetudeviens?) is a piece by Aurelien Bory for Stephanie Fuster. Part of the 44th Hong Kong Arts Festival, this work was rich in imagery and visually dramatic. Everything about it seems to be just right, whether it is the space, the time or the concept.


Campgnie 111, under the direction of Aurelien Bory, explores the use of space through developing a physical theatre that is an amalgamation and juxtaposition of different performing art forms including theatre, circus, dance, visual arts and music. In the case of What’s Become of You?, Aurelien Bory met Stephanie Fuster in Toulouse before she threw herself into learning flamenco in Seville. Eight years after, Fuster went back to Toulouse and asked Bory to write a show for her. At first, Bory declined, but eventually warmed to the idea after realizing that Fuster’s career was in fact a manifestation of her moving in and out of spaces, crossing and pushing boundaries; and confronting an art of another territory.

The result is a one-hour portrait of Fuster. The work investigates her journey from aspiring, wanting, trying, repeating and finally, being. As a theatrical piece, I particularly like the subtle and nuanced design of the set (the composition of tetragonal cubicle, dance floor and water tank), sound (the variation in spatial relations) and lighting (the use of silhouettes, shadows and reflections) that propelled the passage of time into distinct and diverse episodes of Fuster’s development.

At the center of this amazing portrait is Fuster herself. Fuster, who danced alone on the stage with the accompaniment of composer and guitarist Jose Sanchez and singer Alberto Garcia, was utterly captivating. The music was gentle, the voice was heartrending; and most compelling, the percussive feet of flamenco and the purposive yet fluid arms of Fuster were evocative.

What’s Become of You? is a fascinating and successful study of the possibilities for the development of flamenco, be it the dancing, singing or guitar playing. Yet its greatest achievement is its ability to depict study of a study.

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