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Pièce(s) détachée(s)

Dance: Toméo Vergès' disturbing fantasies
“Vanves: With his new creations Pièce(s) détachée(s) for five artists, Toméo Vergès consolidates his luck as the author of choreographic crime thrillers. Although there are no bodies torn to pieces in the cold room, this Catalan artist, born of a butcher, a medical degree-holder, knows that fear comes from within. Influenced by film-makers such as Luis Buñuel, Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch, snatches of whose music and text Vergès uses, his psychodramatic net is woven using the ordinary fibres from day-to-day life and is a form of a trap for ordinary people who mistake ashtrays for crutches and crutches for vibrators. That is what happens to one of the protagonists of Pièce(s) détachée(s). An apparently "normal" man in every way, who simply flies off the handle all off a sudden as he keeps fighting the stress in his day-to-day life. From this delirious situation which is funny but terrifying at the same time, the protagonist comes out exhausted, ready to start off a building game with camping tables. On the scene which is partially covered up by a transparent plastic curtain, the absurd seems to take on the beauty of make-do furniture in a greenhouse where all plants are of the same species. Once the tension is released - we not only hear the flies but also the sound of spoons used to stir coffee - one takes refuge in a white artificial fur blanket and hears his own heartbeat. Toméo Vergès has the sense of silence; silence which releases a spurt of adrenaline and builds up suspense; silence which makes the most innocent noises are amplified transforming themselves into nightmares. Fortunately, Toméo Vergès, whose taste for the surreal puts him at the verge of an abyss, turns the latter into the burlesque, to such an extent that the whole exercise is close to a musical comedy. The only way to reassure oneself in this crazy world is to dance. Dance or rather wriggle about like one does at home. Toméo Vergès' theatrical action dance accomplishes the extraordinary feat of integrating something as concrete as day-to-day life without resorting to futile gestures. Although never demonstrative, Vergès' dance is evidence itself in spite of its oddity. In the fragmented universe of this expert choreographer who is in a volte-face mode, the show brings together bodies torn apart due to anxiety, even if it is for a short moment.Collaborations with directors such as Michel Deutsch, Jean Jourdheuil and Jean-François Peyret have doubtless reinforced this penchant for the essence rather than for the movements. Since 1992 and the memorable Chair de Poule in which he seems to settle scores with the butcher's shop with which he was familiar in his childhood days, Toméo Vergès portrays the fears and urges which constitute a serious impediment in the way to happiness. After having appropriated an intriguing text (Aragon's Le Con d'Irène) and using it with limited means in Asphyxies (1998), he draws inspiration from a stray incident for Pas de Panique (1999), the stomach being the root of all terror in the latter. His shows, which are as anxiety-causing as liberating, are often put up in collaboration with the extremely talented Alvaro Morell and are often entertaining.”

Rosita Boisseau, Le Monde, 26 February 2002


Cleverly juxtaposed frames
“Odd atmosphere! A cafeteria springing up from no where in the midst of several succulent plants in an aquarium is the backdrop of this odd scene. Music suited to crime thrillers fills the air. A few snatches of text along with some television-like faces give the finishing touch to the whole set up. The gesture, rather surrealist in such a place, remains always relevant, to the point that one would nearly finish by no longer noticing the dance.  Yet, it is that which gives the piece all its tone. The dancer-actors are exceptional: the humour comes almost from nothing if it is not from their performance and one lets oneself be captivated by this offbeat universe that could sink quickly into dereliction. Death some times makes it appearance at the end of a sentence, then escapes and is finally caught up by life. But Toméo Vergès knows how to avoid a tragedy and the gravity remains light.”

A. Izrine, Danser, March 2002