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Laughter is a morbid impulse for Toméo Vergès.
In "Idiotas," the Catalonian choreographer doesn't fall into the trap of a fashionably regressive tone, opting instead for the absurd.

Several minutes are all that are needed for Idiotas, a piece choreographed by Toméo Vergès for five dancers, to take effect. Suddenly a vapid, idiotic smile plays across our mouths. This glimmer of mysterious contentment is delectable, and rare enough today to attest to the success of this incongruous piece.
Something extraordinary is happening onstage at the Théâtre à Châtillon, which has been supporting Catalonian choreography since 2006. A man carries cobblestones; another steals them. Still another talks as he climbs to the top of a giant ashtray. He tells us he suffers from anxiety, as if it were a fulltime job. He has decided to become a hermit perched atop this column.
Lobotomized Adults
It is not so much the piece's content that makes it pleasurable and involving, as it is the mischievous performances (by four men and one woman) and pleasantly nutty atmosphere of this playground for lobotomized adults. Our sense of involvement doesn't come from the dancers playing overtly to the audience, but from the private moments they share onstage—moments punctuated by odd smiles. Stress and loneliness are less food for psychoanalytic lament, than the basis for friendly exchange.
Idiotas happily avoids popular representations of idiocy that so commonly ensnare choreographers and artists alike: the make-believe moron act that involves frowning or doing idiotic things to escape ones own abilities. Idiotas, without betraying its title, takes this regressive tone a step closer to the absurd—beginning with the beige sets and costumes.
Less bloody or unsettling than previous Toméo Vergès's pieces like Pas de panique (1999) or Body Time (2006), Idiotas is in a more detached and lighter vein, though it still has its moments of madness. It would seem the choreograph, who has been living in France since 1980 and who founded the company Man Drake in 1992, has chosen to poke fun at his morbid impulses by opting for a more thoughtful and philosophical route.
Like his past work, this piece subtly puts forward Vergès' existential obsessions—he always seems anxious to puzzle out humankind. Here, too, is his easily recognizable aesthetic touch. The  simple stage design—wrought-iron furniture, ashtrays and greenery—is enough to set the tone for this surrealist workplace saga. Influenced by Luis Buñuel's Simon of the Desert, and Jacques Lacarrière's book The God-Possessed, Idiotas reinforces Vergès' very personal dance-theater. The perfect balance between inventive choreography and the deeper meaning behind the movements creates an oddly explicit series of steps.
Toméo Vergès and his fellow dancers (the terrific Alvaro Morell and the daring Sandrine Maisonneuve, among others) use an unforgettable phrase to sum up the absolute and marvelous disaster of life: "The world began with marriage, and will end with incontinence."
Uncompromising, but indisputable.

Rosita Boisseau, Le Monde, February 26, 2008