Jérôme Bel: The Show Must Go On
January 21 – 24, 2021
Culturgest, Lisbon, Portugal
20 performers, 19 songs and one DJ. By use of a simple action/reaction mechanism in between the hits and moving bodies, Jérôme Bel has devised a piece which brings together affection and concept, collective subconscious and exhibition of uniqueness. The show must go on, originally a song by Queen, is also the name of one of choreographer Jérôme Bel’s most prolific works. The simplicity of its effects endows it with the value of a conceptual manifesto. However, the performance, with its double covering of referential layers which almost conceals its meaning, is also a statement: “the show must go on”. It becomes an affirmation of the persistence of the moving bodies and of dance. Songs, bodies and statements are what the show is about. It resembles a sort of choreographic karaoke in which the performers do exactly as they are told to do in the words of the songs, thereby shifting the relationship between what we see and what we hear, what we await and what we receive, what we feel and what we perceive. Since its first performance in 2001, The show must go on has never stopped going on (wards).
Photo: Mussachio Laniello