Wim Vandekeybus: Return Of The Old School

A small Stan posse took a trip last night to see Ultima Vez at Warwick Arts Centre. The performance Spiegel, a compilation of scenes from a number of the company’s early shows, was both wonderful and tantalising.

It was a treat to see glimpses these pieces that have past. I am a sucker for bodies flying through the air, trials of strength and trust, running in circles, gestural movements snapping back and forth, collisions and catches; who wouldn’t be. At the curtain call the notion that these generous people have put themselves through all that, in some small way for you, is humbling. You leave feeling exhilarated and feeble. You’re jealous, you spent the whole night wishing that were you on stage with the endorphins pumping. The movement vocabulary is powerful and direct, you can imagine yourself in the thick of it. With a bit of practice you could give it a go, in fact when you get home you will, you’ll give it a go and to hell with the ornaments and soft furnishings.

The show was magnificent in its moments, yet not as satisfying as their previous show Blush had been. There lingered a sense that things weren’t totally coherent, that sometimes ideas, great in themselves, failed to add up, wonderful choreographic ideas were cast adrift. I was always conscious of watching a collage and left having had a great 90 minutes but wishing I could turn the clock back and see all the material again in its original setting.


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