Javier de Frutos, Out of J

Review in Issue 8-3 | Autumn 1996

Choreographer Javier de Frutos, one-time resident artist at Chisenhale U Dance Space and new wunderkind on the block, returned to Chisenhale recently with Out of J. This piece was presented on a bare stage in daylight and, with the exception of two brief interludes of Handel, was performed with no musical score save the sounds of surrounding Mile End.

This is certainly a digression for de Frutos who is more commonly known for his colourful and humorous solo work. Whilst his presence remains strong – de Frutos lies naked and foetal, with his back to the audience for much of the performance – this piece focused on two women: Kate Gower and Anna Williams of Ricochet Dance Company. Moving around the stage, their pale bodies entwined, their gestures disjointed, the two passed deftly through countless character and mood transitions – sometimes supporting each other, sometimes in synchronicity, sometimes discordant and separate.

In an after-show discussion de Frutos explained that the two women represented his alter ego, dancing out his fear of death and mortality. But while de Frutos has woven his presence into the fabric of the piece his naked corpse is essential to its overall balance – the two women have gently stretched and pushed his movements into something unmistakably feminine, taking it to a place where not even de Frutos can step. A place reminiscent of Tennessee Williams’ fading Southern Belles – all gasping breath and feigned elegance, desperately clinging to youth and sexuality. A touching and powerful piece.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 1996

This article in the magazine

Issue 8-3
p. 18