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Chair de Poule

Carmen defying the Law
Bizet's colourful heroine, be it in the choreography by Mats Ek or Toméo
Vergès, is in complete contrast with the conventional image and arguments.
Toméo Vergès' Carmen - the very incarnation of delicacy

“...Toméo Vergès' characters are also colourful although they do not adopt the same spectrum. Two couples go berserk in a space including the wings. Divided into playlets, fragmented into kaleidoscopic images, the performance refers as much to Buster Keaton as to the Karl Valentin's satirical cabaret or to Pina Bausch. But it bears the distinct mark of a Catalan choreographer presently living in France, Toméo Vergès, a recent revelation. After working as an artist under Maguy Marin, Régine Chopinot and François Verret, Toméo Vergès is now orchestrating choreography and this is his very first choreography in collaboration with Françoise Coupat, for four dancers. And one can already recognise his style from the little tricks, his eye for detail and from his narrative style which emphasises on fragments in order to counteract any figurative ambition. The quadrille in which the butcher is the matador advances at a great pace. Just as they settle into a situation, the dancers-cum-actors quickly change into other ones, which are sometimes funny and always tongue-in-cheek. In their frenzied run to find love, the couples disintegrate into small excited atoms. In this stylised farce which may well turn into a tragedy, the man-woman duo becomes sort of aberrant. The art of dance is glorified in the superb solo performance full of grace and concentration by Roser Montllo. Chair de Poule, a thrilling experience for the senses.”

Marie-Christine Vernay and Quang-Tri Tran Diey, Libération, 28 septembre 1992

Toméo Vergès' gallinacean
“Chair de Poule, a theatrical choreographic piece created at the Biennale*de Lyon, is a cocktail of humour, derision and absurdity with castanets as an extra. By portraying two couples - a magician, a butcher and their wives - Toméo Vergès, a Catalan choreographer, has created a world of his own, punctuated with hilarious incidents. With nervous twitches transformed into gallinaceans' behaviour or change of partners at a mind-boggling rate, he knows how to create unusual images with the help of dancers of exceptional talent. Watch out for what follows.”

J.Pailley, Danser, November 1992


TOMEO VERGES  Chair de Poule

Thierry Guérin, La République du Centre
23 April 1999
Chair de Poule: A thrilling experience
Excellent piece of choreography by Toméo Vergès. A must.
“...The title perfectly suits this excellent choreographic piece by Toméo Vergès which deals with all-pervading sensuality and this strange restaurant. Chair de Poule involves two couples, the magician and his wife and the butcher and his spouse, who meet, seek out and confront each other. They get to know each other and then start interacting. Symbolically speaking, they are the flesh and the spirit, appearance and real, refinement or even reserve and animality. The Spanish choreographer has created a rich artistic work which is a combination of theatre, dance and mime and is faithful to the surrealistic trend proper to Spain. Love and death are the lead players and tragedy co-exists with the burlesque. The audience laughs and quivers - emotion rides high. Toméo Vergès excels in the art of alternating sequences in which the frenzy builds up to delirious heights or even to suffering with others where the tensions are released comparable to the calm after the tempest subsides. This requires artists of exceptional talent capable of total concentration, of switching over from an almost volcanic spurt to deep stillness. Roser Montilo, Alvaro Morell, Anna Rodriguez and T. Verges are apparently artists who possess all such qualities. They won over the audiences thanks to their energy, their drive and their cohesion. The four dancers perfectly managed to accomplish the arduous task of combining fluidity and force - frenetic if the situation demands, very much physically present but also portraying an abandoned state. All in all, Chair de Poule is a total success and a real thrill to the senses, which is good to feel.”

TOMEO VERGES  Chair de Poule
A. Mafra, Lyon Matin
28 September 1992
Guess who’s coming home for dinner?
“...Halfway between dance and theatre, Chair de Poule depicts a stark and surrealistic portrait of two couples (a butcher, a magician and their wives) set in a touched up Buñuelesque atmosphere characterised by an "unobtrusive charm of the Bourgeoisie". To this "high society reception", the sober settings made up of accessories dating back to the 60s and the original sound-track by Guedalia Tazartes add a touch of the shady world where each person plays a role which is not his. This innovative production is characterised by deadpan humour and an uneasy feeling prompted by the shocking or sometimes even violent situations. Toméo Vergès, along with his three dancers, is in perfect control of the scenario. By analysing each step of this striking meeting, including details such as the least movements of the guests seated on their chairs, the service protocol, unconventional desires, Verges concatenates various events of the evening which ends in a derisory death. Why Chair de Poule? May be because of the plucked chicken that one of the dancers drags on the floor after a castanet wake. But is that important? Verges, the magician, leads us into a fascinating as well as a hilarious universe of his own, where only intense emotions, sometimes exacerbated due to repeated effects, aroused during this hour-long show count.”