In Anima Ardens, performed earlier this fall in Brussels, choreographer Thierry Smits gathers 11 men, 11 dancers, in a state of nudity that underlines the diversity of their bodies and origins, throwing themselves, body and soul, into this “anima ardens” (burning soul).
Evolving in sound and organic environments created by Francisco Lopez and on the white floor of the dance studio of the Thor Company, those naked men make use of their bodies, their breath, and their voices.
Their dance crescendos to the limits of trance practices, to a modified state of their bodies. Their goal is to reach a collective intense emotional climax, a poetic fury that will lead to a space of freedom — a place where even the spectator would breathe more freely, would let go and liberate himself from the weight of the present.
Those men, those dancers, have been chosen deliberately by Thierry Smits; not for their technical virtuosity, but because they are all gifted with the feel for motion exploration which is at the centre of this production. They come from Belgium, Germany, Poland, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, France, and the United Kingdom.
Together, they are some kind of ephemeral tribe where each one is individual and at the same time fully mindful of and linked to the others. The choreographic rituals are inspired by the theatricality that can be found in possession trances or shamanic trances; they bring us out of ourselves, to the source of our emotions.
Read more about this exploratory performance piece here. The tour continues through December. Photos courtesy of Manuel Moncayo. You can see more of his work here as well as on his Facebook and Instagram pages.