The hall is already dim while the audience enters, and gets even darker when the performance begins. A dancer very slowly becomes partly visible, being even more unrecognizable thanks to his all-black suit. Professor, based on the three-parts musical “Professor Bad Trip” composed by avant-garde electronic music composer Fausto Romitelli, offers a genuine synesthetic experience, one that brings together the spatial, the visual and the aural in a very complex way.
The dance has a distinct moving quality focused on the hands and arms; the movement of the body mimics the movement of music in an unconventional and dedicated way. After a while, we really begin to feel the flyer’s promise: watching the music in its intricacy and hearing the sound of this dynamic dance.
The first dancer is swallowed by the back curtain, and a second later we see him with an electric guitar under a single spotlight, contributing live to the recorded music. The second part starts with another dancer’s jump from the rear side; we see a chase, a run, with dancers’ shadows echoing, behind and infront of the curtain.
The three male dancers show slow motion mimics and gestures, with changing emotions, as if performing a real “bad trip” as three alter-egos of the same person. At this point, the performance acts in parallel with the music’s narrative suggestions. This second part functions as a comic relief for an otherwise quite dark and uncanny performance.The final part ends with the convergence of the three, looking to each other as if falling from the ecstatic experience. They stand still, the music dies away and the synesthesia stops.
Romitelli’s score and instrumentalization is so impressive that the choreography might have vanished in it, become unnoticeable, or been praised only for the sake of musicality. Yet Le Pladec’s work does more than feeding on the power of the music. It enhances it, translates it, and fills every corner of its aural space. Thus Maud Le Pladec successfully challenges and matches the intense and sophisticated composition of Romitelli, taking us to a cogent ‘bad trip’ and back.