The young beautiful and bohemian swarmed into the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Rooms on Friday evening to see the premiere of critically acclaimed artist La Ribot’s latest work Llamame Mariachi (‘Call me Mariachi); a notably European audience for a European artist of note.
Following her appearance at Southbank Centre last year in the duet Gustavia, Spanish born dancer, choreographer and visual artist La Ribot’s new work is one of two halves. Opening with a twenty five minute dance film, impressively shot all in one take, the audience see a warehouse, an owl returning our gaze and then a pair of blue legs that dash us from here to there, ceiling to floor, continually disorientating and perplexing. Books, photos, lamps, fish, fire and feet all flash by in a prism of movement expertly constructed by Ribot and her collaborators, Marie Caroline Hominal and Delphine Rosay.
The three then appear on stage moving in at times painful, contrasting, deliberate slow-motion. Ribot announces ‘let us entertain them’ and that they do; reading and discarding seemingly unlinked but carefully choreographed passages from a sea of books on a cluttered table. Questions of the role of the performer and the audience are raised and wittily mocked. The scene descends into chaos; books are strewn across the stage, there’s trumpet playing and animal noises, cakes are thrown to the floor and bras are worn on heads. Whilst there is no real dance content the audience is simultaneously bemused and amused. In the words of Ribot herself ‘I don’t understand… but I’m not the only one’.
By Jennifer Teale
The exhibition, Move: Choreographing You is on at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank until 9 January 2011.