Compagnie Ariadone, Le Langage du Sphinx/Le Souffle de la vie

Review in Issue 9-3 | Autumn 1997

How can I put into words something with such power, expression, mystery, magic and drama as this? At times it felt like a Greek drama, at others, like a farce or a parody on womanhood. It remained throughout however an extraordinarily strong expression of the locked-in frustrations of being a woman.

Many images were evoked whilst watching Carlotta Ikeda and her six-strong company of phenomenal performers: crowds in horror; the holocaust; God; a queen in the desert; comic wind-up dolls; women together and against each other. Although these were just some of the images which surged through my mind, the piece overall for me, was about the power of the energy of one woman among many. One woman trying to understand herself and finding strength in herself and other women – the power of the Sphinx.

Some of the images felt like they were from a science fiction movie and the choreography resisted perfectly the urge to be constantly symmetrical. Although Ikeda is Japanese she is not trained in Butoh. She lives in France but maintains that her spirit is ‘still in Japan’. However, the power of Butoh has obviously seeped into her veins and her soul so utterly and subconsciously. This is a performance which reaches deep down into the soul. Brilliant and wonderful. Watch out for Carlotta Ikeda at the London International Mime Festival next year.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Date Seen
  1. Aug 1997

This article in the magazine

Issue 9-3
p. 24