Alessandro Sciarroni: Augusto. 20.09.2018, in the frame of La Biennale de la Danse, Théâtre de la Croix Rousse, Lyon.

They come on stage, sit down next to each other to form a row, facing the audience with their backs and look at the empty stage in front of them, like boxers before a fight, like sprinters before a run, meditating, gathering forces.

One after the other they stand up to run in a wide circle, trying to catch each other’s gaze, a crucial necessity to fire off that which will last for the entire length of the show: laughter.

An intriguing game of „comical endurance”: human expression is not always in accordance with its social requirements – compressed air pushed through vocal chords following a crescendo rhythm produces sounds of laughter, and so does a good joke or an unusual situation people find themselves in.

Yet, despite their difference in genesis – one being a conscious sequencing of physiological actions, the other an instantaneous reaction to an outside event – they sound and look exactly the same, hence the dancer’s performative fluctuation between authenticity and mere body-mechanics evokes questions about how ingrained a certain gesture, a certain facial expression is in our social behaviour, that we are not willing to let go, to dissect or even accept its use in a context where clearly we are not asked to be part of the „laughing gang”.

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