Les Ballets C de la B / Ted Stoffer, Aphasiadisiac

Review in Issue 21-1 | Spring 2009

Our failure to construct coherent language in the face of love for someone comes under a charming assault in the latest work from the C de la B stable. In Ted Stoffer’s Aphasiadisiac an intimate quintet scrambles through a series of interactions in which the stage lovers find themselves lost in a sea of verbal and physical utterances. Stoffer offers us a delicately absurd world of inscribed bricks, incomplete walls, gentle desperation and drumming.

The piece opens on two lovers constructing and scaling prison towers of wooden brick, a genuinely piquant image that summarises the ensuing action. Moving briskly and haltingly towards a scattered and broken conclusion, the piece lends us no resolution but articulately evokes the crippling limitations of pronouncements of love. A man is turned upside down and inside out as his partner lists the ways in which she loves him and two lovers, eye socket-to-eye socket, tumble through the space. In delightful contrast, it is music that articulates feelings more closely, as another two lovers eek out a shared bond in the face of their physical separation: one firmly earthbound and the other suspended from the wall of his apartment – the passion of crashing drums the thread that allows their hearts to touch.

Aphasiadisiac has an experimental feel, as if a study for a longer, more intense experience; but its brevity is also its charm. Wit plays a significant role and the gentle frustrations of the inability to convey the deepest feelings of love brings not only a wry chuckle but also that glimpse of recognition that lightens the heart.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2008

This article in the magazine

Issue 21-1
p. 31