Mathilde Monnier b. 1959
Gustavia (1999)
When the French choreographer Mathilde Monnier got together with the Spanish dancer La Ribot, the result was Gustavia, a universe where the spirit of Tati, Keaton, Chaplin and other great figures of burlesque hovers close by. Gustavia is its own particular world, crazy and desolate, where two false twins suffer from a bad case of split personality. With its repetitive slapstick movement, accidents, reversals, rapid changes of direction and the landing and avoiding of blows, this absurd, zany duet manages to turn all the techniques and premises of any situation to comic effect. Underlying apparently gratuitous movement and excessive or total lack of speech is the desire to discuss timeless, classic subjects like women, death, theatre, representation and the artist. This is a rare opportunity to see two seasoned and highly creative artists together on the same stage. Gustavia is an amusing and incisive piece, a breath of fresh air.