After suffering thermal shock from temperatures of minus 30 degrees during a winter tour of Canada, the dancer and choreographer Michèle Anne De Mey suddenly fell into a coma, in Toronto airport, from which she did not immediately recover.
This “near-death experience”, as it is scientifically named, gave rise to a potent vision of light and warmth in her subconscious, producing an overwhelming feeling of love for her nearest and dearest. On the other side of the mirror—of life, of death?—Lewis Carroll is not that far away, nor are the existential and metaphysical questions asked by Alice in a land full of surprise and wonder. A mirror without silvering the same size as the set, possibly a veranda, forms the screen
which spawns dreamlike, fanciful scenes, via images of landscapes or the elements filmed by Julien Lambert and Giacinto Caponio, enhanced by music which conjures up the shores of darkness, in the same way as the queen’s “Lament” in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas .
It also suggests the insubstantial boundary that exists between the agony of dying and death itself, in a no-man’s-land chaotically inhabited by absurd and meaningless elements.
After the collaborative, hugely successful invention of a digital “nano-dance” with Kiss and Cry and Cold Blood , Jaco Van Dormael and Michèle Anne De Mey are defending their reputation with this experimental new style of writing for the stage.