With this performance from choreographer Nacera Belaza, contemporary dance is that much larger for a work that moves boundaries—but does so more with grace than with force. We begin in darkness, hearing pounding drums and plaintive vocals: half song, half chant. Two bodies move, at first so close to each other that they seem as one. As they separate it looks like a birth in the dark—a new creation. The dancing is liquid, with postures taken and abandoned in a perpetual movement; it’s like a never-ending reincarnation. As the patch of light widens, the two figures move in a bigger space, still coming together only to part.
This is dance at its most dynamic. Belaza, who also performs in the work, creates a new way of movement, one that feels hypnotic— narcotic, even. As the performers stretch their bodies they stretch time, taking us on an adventure of duration. The music and the vocals loop again and again, folding us into the rhythm as the dancers move. The whole piece is like a river that flows inexorably, bending around the rocks in its path. It’s the journey that matters here, and while the performance will end, the movement it expresses is eternal.
Pushing the bodies to their limit, Le Temps scelle finally attains quasi-natural movements of an unheard and hypnotic freedom.