Tabac Rouge OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Julieta Cervantes
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    September 30, 2015
    Closing:
    October 4, 2015

    Theater: BAM Howard Gilman Opera House / 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11217

    Synopsis: 

    Physical theater virtuoso James Thierrée is a limber-limbed despot lording over a cockeyed band of subordinates in this smoke-and-mirror filled “choreodrama,” which pushes his inimitable craft firmly into the territory of dance-theater. Below a sprawling steel trellis slung with tarnished glass, Thierrée glides with impeccable gestural control through a steampunk dystopia filled with I-beams, overwrought machinery, tasseled lamps, and deconstructed pianos. At his charismatic bidding, the nine contorting virtuosos of Compagnie du Hanneton crawl, climb, and quite literally bend to Thierrée’s will in this wordless evocation of absolute power levied by a lithe tyrant king.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Tabac Rouge

    ‘Tabac Rouge,’ James Thierrée’s Dystopia, at BAM

    Charles Isherwood

    October 1, 2015: “Tabac Rouge,” a work of dance-drama by the acclaimed French director and performer James Thierrée, achieves the signal feat of giving both dance and drama a bad name. Mr. Thierrée’s grim, fuzzy vision of a dystopic society ruled by a very grouchy fellow occasionally strains for a sliver of humor — and even less occasionally achieves a laugh — but it mostly just offers overwrought flailing, jerking and crawling in place of expressive choreography, and a black hole where the drama might reside. The production, at the Howard Gilman Opera House of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, is directed, designed and choreographed by Mr. Thierrée, who impresses only in his elaborate and imposing scenery. The set, trimmed in mechanical-looking detritus, is dominated by a giant wall that plays a prominent, quasi-symbolic role in the proceedings. On one side is a maze of scaffolding up which performers occasionally scamper; on the other is a patchwork of tarnished mirrors. This mirrored wall tilts and slides and hovers, thundercloud-like, over the proceedings, like some inescapable promise of doom. Often it virtually upstages the frantic activity reflected in those mirrors.

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