Corps extrêmes (Extreme Bodies) @ Sadler’s Wells Review

We’re capable of incredible things, able to push the limits on what we originally thought possible and push humanity forward. We’ve forever had a fascination with the idea of flight and being able to subvert gravity and suspend over our concrete world. Driven by this fascination with the world up above, dancer and choreographer Rachid Ouramdane explores what it is to dare, to go above and beyond and experience the thrill that this anticipates in Corps extrêmes.

Courtesy of Pascale Cholette

Suspended above a mountainous terrain, trail-blazing highliner Nathan Paulin instinctively crosses a perilous rope in a specially recorded video projected across a vast white arduous rock climbing wall on stage. The rock climbing wall a nod to rock climber Nina Caprez’s fearless world, part of the show honing in on her own practice, Caprez suspended also on a cliff side as she navigates uneven surfaces to reach the summit. We’re gifted two ‘extreme’ worlds, sports that we typically wouldn’t see on our stages presented as a dance work and this is an exciting thing. We’re immediately drawn into their thrill seeking worlds and invited to explore the world up above.

Ouramdane crafts an innovative and inventive evening, one where we’re pushed out of our comfort zones and invited to let go temporarily of what is and just live in the moment. Chaillot –Théâtre national de la Danse, consisting of Hamza Benlabied, Airelle Caen, Yamil Falvella, Löric Fouchereau, Peter Freeman, Ann Raber Cocheril, Belar San Vicente, Maxime Seghers, Seppe Van Looveren delving into what it is to suspend, feats of strength as they band together to form human totem poles, building foundations in which they catapult one another across the stage and also landing effortlessly on the rock climbing wall engrossing to watch – they all inhabiting the inbetween of both Paulin and Caprez’s sporting worlds. A dialogue between sport and performance emerging, a collaboration most welcomed and one to be experienced!

Written by Lucy Basaba.

Corp extrêmes was shown on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th May 2023 at Sadler’s Wells. To find more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop