DADDY, I'VE SEEN THIS PIECE SIX TIMES AND I STILL DON'T KNOW WHY THEY'RE HURTING EACHOTHER
Choreography Robyn Orlin
“Daddy…”, a piece for six dancers created in Johannesburg in 1998, is the work that propelled Robyn Orlin into the spotlight on the European stage. Since it was first performed at La Filature in Mulhouse in April 2000 and at the Théâtre de la Ville, Paris in 2001, the work has toured continuously the world over. Commissioned by FNB Vita Dance Umbrella, “Daddy…” won third prize in the African and Indian Ocean Choreographic Encounters of 1999, the Jan Fabre prize for the most subversive work at the Rencontres Choréographiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis in 2000, and, in London, the Laurence Olivier Award for the most outstanding achievement in dance in 2003.
Source : Robyn Orlin Company
“A ring is set up on the stage where audience and performers gather together […] The stage, for once, is not sacrosanct: the audience share the performance space and wander about as freely as they feel able […] “Daddy”… finds five performers on stage waiting for their choreographer, who will never arrive. The show links a group of playlets, which, under the very funny leadership of Gerard Bester, as the manager panicking at the idea of needing to fill in, follow in a chain of delicious fiascos. “Sorry, we're a very young democracy” he offers by way of excuse. Each flop is the chance for a new hand to be dealt, the restructuring of a set of possibilities.”
Annie Suquet, La Croix, April, 17th 2001
“Robyn Orlin very intelligently chooses the symbol of ballet, spearhead of white culture in the face of ‘savage' dances (the artist grew up on a diet of arabesques before leaving for London, then Chicago, to study contemporary dance), to denounce everything that makes her skin crawl. For instance, there is the legendary scene during which the superb Nelisiwe Xaba, in a white tutu, sprinkles flour over the floor with the aid of a large sieve, drawing frost flowers of a sort, then entirely covers every inch of her black body. This is Swan Lake - the Orlin version: white swan and black swan united in the same woman. The staging, lighting, everything contributes to this symbolic “cannibalistic” magic. Excess, daring to play on the clichés of inconsistency, Robin Orlin uses every means to avoid the feel-good factor of that which it is all too easy to call Post-Apartheid […] All is movement, turmoil. It is totally visual, too. The red of piles of plates, lined up patiently on the floor before being sent flying by an unconcerned kick. The white of flour, sieved like in the village. The yellow of the electric ducks which ape the swans of classical ballet. Leopard-print fabric with lions' faces. Poppy-patterned slips. Good taste, bad taste? That is not the issue. Everything that creates or destroys has its part to play in life. There are stories that are always worth remembering: Senegal, slavery. And that little added extra, adapted to the French situation and so well put over, on the ironic fate of the “sans papiers” (undocumented immigrants). But note, there is no moral, no lesson […] We still laugh just as much, but we understand better where Robyn Orlin wants to take us: into a world of authentic fraternity. Please my Darling, tell me you like me too, as the final song so eloquently puts it.
Dominique Frétard, Le Monde, April, 14th 2001
Chorégraphie, scénographie, costumes et décor Robyn Orlin
Extrait de "Points de vue d'Afrique"
Réalisation Marie-Hélène Rebois date du document vidéo 1999 production Les Films Pénélope, ARTE France
Durée 100 minutes Updating : January 2011