DANCE EUROPE, 7/8.2001

Donald Hutera

Salzburg's Sommerszene features weeks of some of the most unusual, innovative international programming of any sunshine-season festival.(Example: would you vacate your home so that the gifted Canadian artist Sarah Chase could occupy it and, after three days, present a performance for you and your invited guests?)

Body-Builders, an installation/performance by four Frenchmen dubbed SUPERAMAS, occurred on the stage of the Stadtkino. The audience sat facing each other, three rows deep, behind low barriers. At the centre were two benches from which white iron rods gracefully sprang, in a kind of fairground feel. At either end was a large screen upon which were projected either a hockey game, or cleverly manipulated extracts from Hitchcock's sick-romantic classic Vertigo. In this arena the quartet, bulky in

hockeygear, struck perfectly frozen, sporty action-poses. The lighting --- the whole event, in fact --- was beautifully deliberate. Incongruities and associations accumulated carefully. The spectators were directly involved, too. But was it a dance piece? I'd say so. Body language, and ideas about motion, were embedded in the group's genuinely witty, subtly surreal conceptualism.