De La Guarda, Periodo Villa Villa

Review in Issue 9-3 | Autumn 1997

Sure it’s only athleticism and ropes and lights and pounding rhythm but, oh, the wonder of it! To start: an overhead screen, behind it silhouettes fly above our heads like maniacal benign spirits. Then the screen tears, laughing like lunatics the spirits bungee into the crowd as balloons and gifts and paper come tumbling down on us. Next the performers slam-dance through the air in a rainstorm. Then women run up and along the walls caught in the incessant flicker of a punishing strobe light.

And all the time drumming. The drums pounded and pounded throughout and the audience were dancing along, gracelessly and gleefully. Soon it was impossible to tell who was audience and who was cast. Some of the audience actually flew above the others’ heads. People started planting kisses on one another. The cast initiated this but people were not slow to grab their moment in the spotlight. The audience cheered and whooped like a crèche gone mad. What strange voodoo was this?

Then two men stood on a suspended platform – one upright and clothed, the other upside down and naked. They sprayed flour down on the audience. If it went in the audience’s eyes it didn’t matter – no one blinked, people gazed through smarting eyes unwilling to miss a moment – etching the mad spectacle on their retinas. And still the pounding of the drums, the perfect counterpoint to these extraordinary people celebrating their skill, physicality and virility. At the end, the applause drove on and on and on. Truly, a splendid evening.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 1997

This article in the magazine

Issue 9-3
p. 22