A dialogue between man and machine

Rare experience

Titled ‘Transport Exceptionnels’, the 22-minute-long performance was choreographed by Dominique Boivin and was held at the spacious open area of Brigade Gateway in Malleswaram West. Prior to this performance, the dancers of Attakkalari Repertory Company took the stage and enthralled everyone with their agile dance.

The audience then moved to a bigger area for ‘Transport Exceptionnels’ and was greeted by a huge excavator in the centre of the place. As it wondered what the machine was doing over there, Philippe slowly came out and started performing with it. An emotional duet between a man and a machine, this was an exceptional performance that most Bangaloreans hadn’t seen before.

While Philippe effortlessly moved with the machine, Eric understood every movement of Philippe and handled the excavator accordingly. There was a special connection between Philippe and the excavator, thanks to the excellent coordination between him and Eric.

The excavator seemed extremely human, thanks to the spotless performance and as the dance progressed, a range of emotions were expressed. Exploring the possibilities offered by the arm of the excavator, Dominique, the choreographer, let his imagination go wild and used the arm as a human hand. So while the arm transported Philippe from one spot to the other at times, it pushed him away during other times.

The moments when Philippe went really close to the excavator and narrowly escaped its strong arms had the audience gaping at him in both awe and fear — awe due to the magnitude of the act and fear at the thought of him getting hurt. Then there were moments of triumph when Philippe would stand on top of the machine and feel on top of the world. Sometimes he would hang upside down and sometimes, just be suspended from the machine with the help of one hand.

A truly magnificent show, ‘Transport Exceptionnels’ ‘transported’ the audience to a different world altogether. Shobha, a student of Attakkalari, was pleased not just to see the dancers of her school, but also the grand finale. “It was a really good performance.

It was something extremely different and refreshing at the same time. It was a raw performance, in the sense the energy involved was raw.” The programme ended with Dominique, Philippe and Eric being honoured. The three were garlanded on the occasion, and so was the excavator without which the performance would not have been as exceptional as it turned out to be.

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