TALK TO THE DEMON by Wim Vandekeybus
'I'm sorry but we have a problem. Not just one kid showed up today, but two. So it's up to you, the audience, who will perform tonight ?' It's with this heartbreaking question that the world premiere of Wim Vandekeybus' new production, Talk to the Demon, sets of.
Talk to the Demon is a concatenation of contradictions : from tenderness to torture, poetry to crudeness, child to adult. The audience is confronted with a tidal wave of different feelings.Performing on stage: 6 dancers and 2 children. An adaption of the famous 'Marshmallow test' where a marshmallow is put in front of a child, the adult tells him he will get a second one if he leaves the first one on the table for several minutes. However now the roles are swapped. The children are literally puppeteers controlling the dancers who are strapped with elastic strings.
One big chaos
Vandekeybus puts an impression of Baghdad city on stage. Fighting, shouting and misbehavior, adults who act like children and children forced to be adults . One big chaos, which is sometimes too overwhelming to keep track of. The battlefield is constructed by a long metal wall on one side of the stage and an installation of white strings hanging down from the ceiling on the other side.
No need for music in Talk to the Demon though you can’t say the play is silent. The shitty kid in the performance takes care of the ‘melody’ by using minimalistic toys as instruments. The sounds produced, power the movements of the dancers. Wim Vandekeybus proves music is sometimes unnecessary in a performance and can easily be replaced by natural sounds. To me this added more value to the whole performance.
Due to the perfect lighting and the intense emotions the dancers reflect, every image is esthetically interesting and beautiful.
Talk to the Demon is a dance performance that won’t leave you unmoved. Chances are you’ll leave deSingel with a 'what did I just witness?'- feeling. Up to you to discover.
Text by Lara Richir
Pictures by Danny Willems