Théâtre de la Ville Presents IGOR X MORENO KARRASEKARE Review — Our Wild Beating Hearts

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Editor’s Note:  Read a related story— SATRIANO CARNIVAL Review – The Trees That Walk

We are greeted by a lone man standing on what seems like a rough mountainous terrain that might be breathing.  He begins a lonesome song that plays back in echoes to allow him to become a chorus.  All is shrouded in darkness and mist.  He then turns to reveal the carnival mask and costume on his back.

Théâtre de la Ville IGOR ET MORENO
Photo: Peter Kachergis

This is not your joyous celebration of earth that you might know are the cornerstones of pagan rites elsewhere.  Like the mist shrouded stage, this Karrasekare (Carnival) is dark.  Naked dancers who seem dazed emerge from the sidelines.  As their numbers multiply the volume goes up until they are a chorus of wailing moans.  There is blood. There is a suggestion that they all are without tongues because they have been cut out.  You too might feel nauseous at this point— and yet, the action has only barely begun.

Théâtre de la Ville Hosts a Unique Work Celebrating Basque and Sardinian Pagan Rites

Igor X Moreno’s Karrasekare never quite leaves this dark terrain shrouded in mystery.  When the troupe joins in circling folk dance with stomping boot moves we never feel joy or celebration.  When a dancer grabs centerstage in whirling dervish style we are trained to expect that it will end with some permutation of wail or moan, not joyful ecstasy.  

Costume and stagecraft creativity keeps us rapt, even if part of us wants to look away.  The lighting on the rugged terrain keeps it constantly morphing— sometimes visually dancing almost as much as the troupe.  The troupe dons carnival garb of masks and animal forms.  There is frolic and abandon.  There  are communal bonds made visceral by forming and reforming of circling and coordinated stomping dances.  For this writer though, the opening creates a filter that shrouds all the dancing with threats of darkness, blood or both.

SPOILER ALERT:  In the finale this landscape becomes a storm cloud— a change so cleverly executed that in this writer’s view it alone makes this performance worth the price of admission.   We then peek at a quiet scene.  Perhaps it is a ram or lamb in the shadows coming to sip the puddle of water under the storm cloud.  If time or the performance began then we might see this moment as a pastoral calm. You too might feel that this is now impossible. We have been swimming in a deep sea of primal pagan urges for more than an hour.  

Expect the darkness of IGOR X MORENO ’s KARRASEKARE to cling to you.


For information on more dance performances in this season and the 2024/2025 season, visit the Théâtre de la Ville website.

Photos courtesy of Théâtre de la Ville, unless otherwise indicated.

Théâtre de la Ville IGOR ET MORENO
Photo: Peter Kachergis
Amy Munice

About the Author: Amy Munice

Amy Munice is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher of Picture This Post. She covers books, dance, film, theater, music, museums and travel. Prior to founding Picture This Post, Amy was a freelance writer and global PR specialist for decades—writing and ghostwriting thousands of articles and promotional communications on a wide range of technical and not-so-technical topics.


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