Gilles Jobin, A+B=X

Review in Issue 11-1 | Spring 1999

A+B=X provides an elegantly simple solution to the old question of what separates pornography and art. The answer is imagination. For there can be nothing sordid about the naked body when it is used, as it is here, with such sensitive creativity.

This gifted young company combines great physical dexterity with Jobin's hypnotic choreography to produce vivid, fleeting images which burn themselves into the psyche. The dancers are 'shapeshifters', like the vampires of ancient folklore. As soon as one picture is formed, it settles and then dissolves into another. The image of three old men watching the sun set becomes a pile of bodies; reminiscent of photographs taken at the liberation of Auschwitz.

These are my translations, as the viewer is never patronised by definites. They are allowed instead to interpret the visions using their own experience. Strong support is given by Daniel Demont's superb lighting, which casts shadows and silhouettes, creating an atmosphere where nothing is quite what it seems.

The only problem with the production is in the filmed appearance of performance artist Franko B. I found his final monologue both pretentious and passé. It was a great pity that Jobin used this at the conclusion of a thoughtful and beautiful piece. Let's hope that Mr. B's risible diatribe on the nature of art was supposed to be ironic, but even still it was annoying and unnecessary.

Putting this aside, A+B=X is a radiant example of dance theatre from an exciting new company.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 1999

This article in the magazine

Issue 11-1
p. 23