Group Emile Dubois

Group Emile Dubois

Centre Choregraphique National de Grenoble-Jean-Claude Gallotta

Group Emile Dubois

Ted Shawn Theatre
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
July 19, 2009

Grouop Emile Dubois
Photo: Karli Cadel

 Jean Claude Gallotta’s *Des Gens Qui Dansent* (people who dance) plays out
like a French romantic comedy, ripe with charm, intriguing characters and an
intangible breeziness that goes down like a fine champagne. Gallotta’s
troupe, cryptically called Groupe Emile Dubois (there is no Emile Dubois)
consists of authentic people who dance of all shapes, sizes, ages and
technical ability and therein lies its subtle power. How we love to watch
civilians dance, it reminds us that dance is the domain of the world, which
includes us. And how fitting to see this troupe at Jacob’s Pillow Dance
Festival, a place that honors and supports all forms of dance.

Gallotta harks from a background in painting, theater and film, and it
shows that his interests go beyond dance. *Des Gens Qui Dansent* is
structured with duets, solos, and trios that come and go as they might in
real life. Gallotta himself stumbles about on stage, whispering funny things
into a microphone. He inhabits a persona that falls somewhere between
something rapper and ringmaster. At times he looks lost, or in the wrong
dance. He is both of the group and not, much the way of choreographer
functions in a company setting.

The space, open and un-contained, works as a territory for social
interactions to take place, some tender, some gently combative, others
funny. Each dancer is stunningly unique, making them divinely watchable.
When they partner each other, they come from a place of deep knowing,
allowing the dance to become a communal event with the audience as voyeurs.
There’s such a rare beauty in witnessing this level of honesty. Strigall’s
pulsing electronic score adds a theatrical veneer and at times a pop lift.

A film snippet of Henry Miller on his deathbed talking about his life made
for poignant punctuation to the dancing. His words, “I am alive to the end,”
seemed to sum up the ballet’s lingering perfume.

Nancy Wozny

Mr. Simpson has a BA in Journalism from the University of Southern California and worked as an advertising writer in Los Angeles before moving to New York to pursue a different passion: dance. He danced professionally in New York and Boston before founding a community-based modern dance company, Small City Dance Project, in Newburyport, MA. His fiction has appeared in literary journals and anthologies. He was a teaching fellow at Smith College, where he received his MFA in choreography. While living in the Bay Area for 15 years, he wrote about dance for the San Francisco Chronicle and other periodicals. In 2005, he was a NEA Fellow at the Dance Critics Institute, American Dance Festival. For, he reviews dance, theatre and film. He moved to Santa Fe in October, 2008. He writes for "Pasatiempo," the Arts magazine of the "Santa Fe New Mexican."