Emio Greco – Passione in Due Suzanne Dellal, May 7

Dance Review: Acclaimed performer keeps audience "breathlessly excited" during second visit to Israel.

Emio Greco 370 (photo credit: Jean-Pierre Maurin )
Emio Greco 370
(photo credit: Jean-Pierre Maurin )
Emio Greco, on his second visit to Israel, opened TLV Dance events at Suzanne Dellal.
Thirteen years had passed since Greco, an acclaimed, intense performer with ascetic and dramatic flair, kept the viewers breathlessly excited on the same stage.
Now, dressed to kill in long, silver- sequined outfit, he demonstrated that he still has some performance tricks up his sleeve, however, his attempt to match his clownish approach to the free reinterpretation of Bach’s sublime “St. Mathew’s Passion” seemed to drive both sides of the equation away from each other, rather than forming unique encounter with added value.
It began with a couple of interesting scenes, as Greco stood behind a microphone, moving his arms echoing the musical phrases, letting the body respond to what he called “consciousness of the body.” The stage was darkened for the second scene and only one spot lit the top of the piano. Greco played his agile arms through the beam which in turn illuminated his silvery outfit, which sparked like electric fish in a dark pond. It was an amazing, yet simple double reflection interplay.
At some point, the effort to produce more and more gimmicks, took over. A great gap opened between the impressive intellectualization of the dramaturgical aspects of the dance and musical transcription, proposed by Greco’s long-time partner Pieter C.
Scholten, and the performance aspect of the dance.
Force-feeding the pianist – the excellent musician Franck Krawczyk – a banana, overriding the music with sharp whistle blows and deploying slapstick instead of smart humor, were all more ludicrous than amusing.