When put to the test to figure out what theatrical companies are resonating with me right now, my mind automatically goes to Europe (I wish mind and body always traveled together…) More specifically, I think of one of the companies I have both worked with and seen in performance: Peeping Tom.
Talk about awesome!!! The first experience I had with Peeping Tom was in Paris. I was with a group of dancers in a program called MADE in France through Washington U. in St. Louis and one day, we were given the opportunity to work with a vocal artist named Euridike de Beul. One of the first exercises we did with her was hold our breaths until we couldn’t breathe so that air would literally rush into our lungs. Later in the workshop, I sang “On The Street Where You Live” while she put me in a backbend and pushed into my mandibular joint to release my sound. It was CRAZY, but really wonderful. I took away a lot from that workshop, and I definitely wanted to know more about this company.
A year and a half later, I was in Arezzo and our movement teacher, Claudia, informed the students that Peeping Tom was coming to Rome to perform. Well…I had to go…and I did.
The piece they were performing was called 32 Rue Vandenbranden and it was a masterpiece of voice, movement and set design. The best way to describe the dance-theatre company’s work is through their own words:
“Their work explores the idiosyncratic behaviour experienced in close relationships and personal experiences, making the audience voyeurs to the realistic yet dreamlike world they create.”
This statement accurately describes their work, but what it doesn’t take into account is how these elements are exploded. The way the actors contort their bodies is breathtaking and shocking. The way the voice interacts with the action is stark. The set design is malleable and eery, especially the one used in 32, and has the potential to artfully overwhelm the players.
This company makes unbelievable work that challenges what we know theatre and dance can be. For me, seeing there work made sense of what I need from “dance” as a theatre artist. I highly recommend checking them out (there’s a link at the top and they have TONS of youtube clips).
Also, I stayed by the stage door after the show if Euridike remembered me. She started singing “On The Street Where You Live!”