by Paula Citron.
Choreographed and performed by Martin Bélanger
When I saw Martin Bélanger’s Spoken word/body in 2002 in Montreal, I recognized it as an outstanding piece of dance theatre. Bélanger’s point of departure is “body consciousness”. He begins with the basic mechanics of movement and ends with the existence of the mind as pure energy. The clever dance sequences do not mirror the words, but express subtext, or further explorations of theme.
The droll and charming Bélanger creates a very relaxed tête-à-tête with the audience. Sound/environment designer Jean-Sébastien Durocher is also front and centre. As Bélanger tells us with tongue-in-cheek, the dancer is alone on stage, but not alone.
Six years has not dimmed the work’s lustre, but what is fascinating is how time informs the piece. In 2002, the work seemed a clever, philosophical meditation on the future of the body. In today’s increasingly cynical climate, Bélanger’s dance theatre has become more a yearning for something better.
Spoken word/body runs at Dancemakers Studio until tomorrow.