Nicole Mossoux and Patrick Bonté met in 1985. Together they question our incoherencies about the world. Their award winning Belgian company Compagnie Mossoux-Bonte’s creations find themselves somewhere amid dance and theatre. Whispers was created as part of the 8th International Biennial of Puppetry; it’s not what you might expect when thinking of puppetry, but this new innovative performance is perfect for celebrating Manipulate’s 10th year of showcasing visual theatre.
Nicole Mossoux finds herself alone in the spotlight, but she is aware of another presence and she keeps searching for it. Who is the puppet and where is the puppeteer? A silhouette borrowed from a Johannes Vermeer painting brings along phantom figures that seem to have emerged from her body. Mossoux has previously explored the different forms of interactions with silhouettes. Here, her every move is controlled by a different sound – muffled sounds, crunching, creaks and squeaks perfectly timed to her every move. Her movements at times seem natural as if they were improvised in the moment, but whilst the silence haunts her, the whispers control her. Her body is inhabited.
The thing about visual theatre is that you enter with only your own experiences and can only leave taking your own perspective and understanding with you. Whilst watching Mossoux, it’s hard to understand her true intentions, what feelings the choreographer wanted to portray, but that is the beauty of it. Perhaps it was because of the recent Women’s March on Washington or Trump’s Anti-Abortion policy but this performance evoked emotions concerning women and their lack of control over their own bodies. At one point she holds a heavy book on her legs as if to close them.
This wordless performance is uncertain and perhaps indecipherable but it is an alluring, visually engaging spectacle. This 55-minute trance leaves you with your own thoughts and incoherencies about life.