Reviewed by Paula Citron.
Rachid Ouramdane’s dance theatre Loin…(Far…) is saved from being complete pretentious twaddle because it is well meaning.
The subject is fascinating. The French choreographer is looking at perspectives of foreignness and identity inspired by, first, his Algerian father being sent to fight in the Indochina war. The second, his own trip to Viet Nam and Cambodia, where he, Algerian through and through, was considered belonging to the French colonial past.
Solo performer Fabrice Lambert, with his face concealed from us most of the time by a hoodie, mixes in his own spoken text between the recorded interviews by Algerians and Vietnamese. The stage is festooned with whirling loud speakers and sound control pedals. There is also a screen with grainy black and white filmed art shots of the interviewees.
What should have been an emotional show is sunk by Ouramdane’s poetic text, the speed at which the translation is played, and the lack of meaningful movement.
Loin… continues at the Enwave Theatre until Mar. 13.
Choreographed by Rachid Ouramdane
Performed by Fabrice Lambert
Enwave Theatre, Mar. 11 to 13, 2010