Review - Au-Dela Du Temps - Le P en V Innovative Platform


by Nuria Palau


For generations, artists have found inspiration in sorrow, loss and melancholy. Every discipline finds a way to sublimate this pain into something beautiful. For Chong Chan Po, the medium is dance. His show Au-delà du Temps, in his own words, invites the audience “to cast away sorrows from past losses” in a ceremonious ritual for the transcendence of time.


The show begins with a powerful number including most of the contemporary dancers in the company. Slow and steady, it wins over the audience and lures you into this melancholic world. The brilliant lighting design by Claudia Chan frames the performance in a way that tricks you into believing that, in that moment, the stage is the only thing that exists. The dancers begin to fade into the dark one by one leaving the brilliant Jerry Deng to deliver an exquisite solo while a stream of sand falls onto a corner of the stage like a beautiful sand clock. The imagery is breathtakingly dreamlike.


However, instead of building from this climactic opening, the lights go full on so the stage can be swept - a collapse of dramatic tension from which the following pieces struggle to recover.


This is symptomatic of how, by its close, Au-dela du Temps' professional production values and talented cast have delivered an overall sense of satisfaction yet have not developed the show's full potential - so obviously there - to be out-and-out amazing.


The lighting and set designs encapsulate the stage and play with the space in a way which is pure and beautiful in its minimalism; however, the repeated use of multimedia screen projections overexploit the overall themes.


A further example of how the show kicks its audience out of a fictional universe they have only just accepted is 'Retrospection', a traditional Chinese dance number slapped down in the middle of the show more as an intermission than a development of its themes.


While the performers display flashes of astounding talent, these are only glimpses of their full potential. King Lo, Jasper Lai and Sarah Xiao demonstrate impeccable technique and achieve a perfect balance between strength and sensitivity, yet we never see them take a risk. Throughout the show there is a sense of 'playing it safe'  that leaves the audience wanting more.


Overall, Au-delà du Temps is both crowd-pleasing and technically accomplished, showcasing virtuoso dancing skills.  However, to release the full therapeutic power of this work, with its call for the creation of a beautiful universe within our sorrows by which to heal them,  these 'rules' must be not only mastered but broken. 



This show has now closed.

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