INFAUST is a poetic storm of feeling, a dance on the dark side of the human psyche, beautiful, compelling, and provocative. Performed by the imPerfect Dancers Company, the work is choreographed by the company’s co-Artistic Directors Walter Matteini and Ina Broeckx. Freely inspired by Goethe’s Faust, the work is set to an exquisite soundtrack that includes selections from Arvo Part, Max Richter, Philip Glass, Ezio Rosso, and Guiseppe Verdi. The entire cast, including onstage visual artist Bazooka Joe, gave an excellent performance.
INFAUST offers that elusive opportunity to revisit a classic tale, and experience it anew, differently. This is a production replete with imagery, sound, and movement, there are often several focal points onstage, each dramatic, intriguing and compelling. This sensory overload creates a narrative of excess, a concept that resonates well with the story of Faust. This theme of excess may be seen in the dramatis personae as well. The infamous character of Mephistopheles is doubled here, performed by a male and female dancer, clad in stylish red suits with bare torsos painted in red, a merging of contrasts. They are dangerously enchanting throughout as they swirl, leap, and slither onstage. The temptation is palpable. In Goethe’s original, Mephistopheles makes a wager with God, here, God is nowhere to be seen. Instead, there is a new character – Satana (Ina Broeckx), described as “evil personified.” She is the one who sets the story in motion. Broeckx portrayal of Satana is mesmerizing, she exudes a magnificent power in every movement and nuance of expression, creating a being terrifying and intense, made all the more intriguing by the unexpected vulnerability she reveals.
Ido Tadmor is excellently cast as Faust. A dancer of impressive physical ability that has endured almost miraculously into his fifties (pact with the devil?), he has always possessed a wonderful capacity for conveying emotion, both in his performance and his own choreography. Coming into the role of Faust as a mature dancer, he invests the character with a depth of experience, and the extremes of feeling. Bazooka Joe’s presence, painting on three large canvases set up at the back of the stage, establishes an additional layer of imagery and meaning. A visual response or commentary on the action, a reflection on the role of art and the artist, yet another perspective on the relationship to the raw material of the emotions.
The sensory overload makes the viewing experience incredibly intense, it also made it difficult for me to follow the narrative, yet I wasn’t bothered by that aspect. I think that even a viewer coming to the performance without a knowledge of Faust and his story, would easily enter into this imaginative world of denial, desire, and temptation, the tensions between control and surrender of control, human urges, passions, and their transformation into art.
Read more about INFAUST and the imPerfect Dancers Company here.
An additional performance of INFAUST will take place Saturday, June 3rd at 20:00.
Ticket prices range from 269 NIS – 299 NIS, and may be ordered online from the Israeli Opera.