Compagnie Moussoux Bonté, Twin Houses

Review in Issue 18-2 | Summer 2006

Compagnie Mossoux-Bonté have a diverse output. The husband and wife team have created more than fifteen pieces of dance and film, and the promising influence of a cinematic graphic eye can be felt throughout in the evocative and beautiful compositions of light and body in evidence throughout this performance. The presentation too is highly skilled: precise choreography elegantly brings to life a series of mannequins, animated by arm, leg or hip by Nicole Mossoux to people her world, raising intriguing possibilities of power and sexual dynamics, relationship and archetype.

Beauty and craft can be justifiable in their own right, but unfortunately the company try to overlay this with a significance not actually merited by the material. A succession of scenes is introduced, each with different characters, dynamic and tone (and mannequins), from the very recognisable (two lovers, sibling rivalry) to the fantastically bizarre – a trio of manic, mythic sorcerers and a brewing witch – but none succeeds in surpassing its initial premise. Just as they start to stray into unexpected territory, the scene is abruptly curtailed, often suspended on a deliberately ambiguous image which initially seems provocative but which, without development within any of the scene’s content, emerges as frustratingly empty; a coy gesture towards meaning that the performance doesn’t deliver. Gesturing towards subtlety is only intriguing if there remains the possibility that the cheque can be cashed in: Mossoux-Bonté’s bounces, leaving only an awareness of dramaturgically repetitive patterns, however beautifully executed, and the crashingly portentous score.

Only in the final image was a more sophisticated reading of the vignettes opened up, but after the performance’s consistent suggestiveness, this felt like too little too late. Twin Houses remained, for me, a triumph of style over substance.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-2
p. 27