There is no point in describing Miss Marin as the Pina Bausch of France. True, like the German exponents of the new ”dance theater” genre, Miss Marin is less interested in conventional dance movement than in bodily expression of any sort that distills movement into drama. But like many other new French choreographers, she is blessed with a sense of fantasy and of the absurd -and in Samuel Beckett’s plays, she has found a perfect focus for meditating upon life’s absurdities.
WITHIN the current phenomenal dance boom in France, whose effects are beginning to trickle over here, the choreographer, Maguy Marin, holds a special place.
Trained since childhood in classical ballet and seen in New York in former years as a member of Maurice Bejart’s company, Miss Marin knows how to put her past behind her and to give innovation a good name. She is always sophisticated and professional. Unlike some of the exuberant young choreographers in France who are making their mark in other ways, Miss Marin is no autodidact.
The title itself refers to Beckett’s affinity for the word ”perhaps” and recalls his own puns. In fact, Miss Marin discussed her piece with the Irish-French playwright, and while the concept of the piece is original, her use of Shubert’s music throughout the work was inspired by Beckett’s remark to her that he liked the composer’s ”Death and the Maiden.”
Miss Marin uses a song from Schubert’s ”Winterreise” cycle – ”The Organ Grinder” as the figures come to life. And when the last sole survivor is left in poignant solitude onstage after the others have repeatedly trudged in and out on a journey to nowhere, the ”Doppelganger” from the same cycle, with its image of a man facing death, strikes the right note.
Optimism within pessimism – this is the Beckett theme Miss Marin has been able to convey. And she does so in the bittersweet birthday party, set to ”Death and the Maiden” when the previously gray characters now come out dressed as identifiable fugitives from specific Beckett plays – Lucky and Pozzo, Krapp, and so on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O0XQzUWJHY