From De rerum natura by Lucrezio
Every moment is tenuous, and the group of five dancers, intended as a single body, produces gestures in the space, not ritual gestures, but a continuous liberation of one gesture into another.
It opens with a simulacrum, not an image. It is detached from the dancer's or man's body, this image of the mind that has the capacity to shift perception of its own equilibrium: in effect, in nightmares as in reflected images, one can say that the gaze is not turned inwards, but annuls itself to allow space for something else and for the other; and the simulacrum guides us in the dance and in the three scenes.
Venus passes through three ages.
She is first an eleven-year-old, then a two-year-old baby, and finally an eighty-year-old woman. It is not a precise cycle, but a rebound in time; not a temporal inversion but the traces of memory in the adult body. In this sense, the structure has been determined by the posture of the body and how it is constructed in various stages of life. Venus is first suspended; then she comes down to earth, her bust erect and perfectly straight; and finally, in the third scene, looks us in the eyes from a void, belly to the ground. Venus is thus also descent, fall and decline, she is the gaze of each moment, ever more tenuous.
For twenty minutes, Venus never truly sets foot on the ground.
A source of enchantment and delight, suspended, lifted and moved by four men who guide her in her dynamic. Each time limiting herself to an unhurried advancement, one thinks of the inclinations of atoms in an uncertain moment when, during their vertical fall, they encounter an imprecise point lacking matter.
What I have in mind is not so much flight as a mechanism inserted into the score in which Venus' body is clinamen, that tiny swerve and tendency of atoms that Lucretius noted. Streaming images define the body as momentary, a subtle membrane that incessantly tends to detach itself.
And in effect, the dance in the second scene draws images, simulacra, from the dancer's body, and tightens the skin to prepare the "almost organs" that rumble within and that here "frighten" us with the hammering isolation of each figure, of each atom of the dynamic: Venus physically detaches her limbs to arrange them and adapt them to the dance, or rather, to the suspensions of the dance.
The third scene is presented as conjunct and eventum. A momentary encounter produced by the clinamen: continuous vacuums of space in which the old woman, amid inexistent thunderbolts, mists, volcanoes and plagues, offers herself to be used in artfully deviating the gaze to each gesture.
And in all of this being in the spectacle, what are we looking at in the end? There is the space between delight and bitterness that can redeem the theater. And is the theater - not only that of the evening hour, but the bread we sink our teeth into daily as necessity and desire - still that indefinite collision in the "momentariness" of the viewer, and of the participant? Still, today, crossing into the spaces that receive bodies, I always imagine a dancer, or an angel, a blessed being without organs giving birth to the dance of an always extremely tenuous and taut interior music.