How do you dance dementia? Ugo Dehaes shows us in DMNT
In DMNT, Ugo Dehaes dances in a gentle fashion that makes you reflect, but also wish for more.
In one sentence: The modest approach makes this a delicate yet touching piece on losing your way in your own mind.
Highlight: Kayako Minami’s solo, in which she dances utter confusion by elegantly twisting herself into every possible angle.
Company: kwaad bloed – www.kwaadbloed.com
A brain suffering from dementia must feel like a carousel gone mad. Though in times of crisis everyone has felt that their brain is about to go berserk or completely blank. It was about this brain crash that Ugo Dehaes wanted to create a dance performance, together with Charlotte Vanden Eynde and Kayako Minami. The result is the modest piece DMNT.
At the beginning, the three of them stand calmly on the stage, which is lit sparingly by beams of yellow light. The skeleton of a glider’s wing hangs above the stage. Vanden Eynde is wearing a yellow-ochre dress, Dehaes a grey T-shirt and grey trousers, and Minami a white dress just like a plain nightie. They circle around each other and reach out for each other but fall just short of making contact. In the meantime a vague whistling tone can be heard. The dancers’ movements are gradually frozen. Someone stops, someone else starts moving very quickly or sinks to the floor. They increasingly stick together and fall asleep on each other’s shoulders. The whistling tone is no longer continuous either, but stops, restarts falteringly or transforms into a much more intense sound.
It is as if Dehaes had created a carousel of danced portraits of the brain in which the dancers become increasingly entwined with one another and ultimately move apart again. With a look in their eyes that speaks volumes. Dehaes dances with an almost astonished look in his eyes, Van den Eynde with a slight frown and Minami with a straight face and eyes that stare vacantly into space. They look like the eyes of a bird that no longer knows how to fly. In this way, these three performers express the emotions that arise when you are miles away from the world either briefly or permanently.
This portrait of an illness is much more than just that, however. It is above all a portrait of a state of being in which we all find ourselves at some time or other, a state in which our wings waver for a moment and we are unable to fly through life. Its restraint makes this a delicate and yet touching piece. Though it could have lasted a little longer and communicated more intensively with the audience. You watch the spinning of this brain carousel, but you are less part of it than you would like to be.
- Els Van Steenberghe