Kidd Pivot: Puppets and goosebumps

Kidd Pivot, Crystal Pite, photo by Christopher Duggan, Peter Chu
Peter Chu of Kidd Pivot in a dress rehearsal of "Dark Matters" / Photo by Christopher Duggan

I’ve seen heaps of dance in my time, but a few weeks ago, I saw one of the most incredible shows I’ve ever seen. It actually took my breath away the moment before the lights came up for intermission, and it took me at least half of intermission to get it back. And I had full body goosebumps through most of the second half. Truly stunning.

It was “Dark Matters” created by Crystal Pite, and performed by her company, Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM.

Though I love words, dance and words are a tricky combo – there’s something so language-defying about movement. Especially movement that is as visceral and powerful as Crystal Pite’s work.

I have pages of scribblings I did in the dark during the show, but none of them really matter. For two hours, it felt like we were witnessing someone’s imagination at work.

It was masterful choreographically. It was both so highly physical and so very narrative (does it get much better than that?!?)

The set was so fully realized – and had moving parts (rare in the Canadian contemporary dance world, it seems!) I wasn’t completely sold on all of costumes (crushed velvet pants? really?) but oh, the puppet in the first act was brilliantly rendered. This non-human creature was so physically articulate.

I am still thinking about what makes an inanimate object move human-ly (the tilt of the head, the articulation of a foot, stepping), and what makes a human move like a puppet (the initiation of movement, followed by suspension, and the collapsing of the backs of the knees…)

It felt like an honour to witness that piece. Really and truly.

(And you can watch a bit of it here!)


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