Avalanche by Marco D’Agostin is a very ambitious challenge with a brilliant outcome

Marco D'Agostin-Avalanche. ©Alice Brazzit

Resulting from an artistic residence in Trentino, Avalanche investigates themes of archiving and cataloguing. In a world where everything has been swept away, this intense choreographic research sees the two protagonists trying to grasp the last remains of a past history, attempting to collect and store all the knowledge of the human being, with a vibrant passion that keeps the audience suspended between a sense of anxiety and curiosity.

Marco D’Agostin and Teresa Silva, open their performance stating that what we are going to see has already happened somewhere in the past, every gesture originated elsewhere, and from that point the spectator is immersed in a stream of stammering words and short dialogues expressed in five different languages.

Dressed in their blue suits, they look like an alienated duet, the last survivors of a catastrophe that felt the urge to save what has vanished but still echoes in the present. While executing structured dance phrases, they embark in a continuous enumeration of actions, recalling events and happenings, listing possibilities, as if the only repetition would be enough to archive the entire world. It’s overwhelming even just thinking about it.

Clearly articulated gestures inspired by different situations, at times slow and fluid, fragments of phrases, whispers that become sentences and sometimes real dialogues – they are always on the move. It might be hard to follow sometimes as the language keeps changing, but this continuous interchange between moves and words makes the entire performance a very ambitious challenge with a brilliant outcome, full of vitality. You kind of loose the sense of what it is going on, like being in a bubble while inputs come from different ways.

The choreography itself is a challenging memory exercise, the most outstanding feature is the ability Marco and Teresa show in interacting in several different languages while dancing. Words put into choreography, that acquire new meanings. Their actions seem disjointed sometimes, but only if you look at the entire picture you could perceive this beautiful tension triggered by the acknowledge of not being able to collect everything.

In Avalanche the sound is curated by Pablo Esbert Lilienfeld, while the lighting design by Abigail Fowler. The show is co-produced by Rencontres Choréographiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis, VAN, Marche Teatro, CCN de Nantes with the support of O Espaco do Tempo, Central Fies, PACT Zollverein, CSC / OperaEstate Festival, Tanzhaus Zurich, Sala Hiroshima, ResiDance XL.

Avalanche is part of Danza in Rete Festival, a dance festival promoted by Fondazione Teatro Comunale Città di Vicenza and Fondazione Teatro Civico di Schio. Committed to promote dance in all its ways, the Festival takes place between the cities of Vicenza and Schio, in theatres and outdoor spaces.

Reviewed at Teatro Comunale Città di Vicenza on 23 February