Antonin Rioche’s GLITTER at Korzo in The Hague

Funny thing, fame. It affects people in different ways.  During the height of Beatlemania it was not uncommon to see Paul McCartney walking down Oxford Street in London, and he has even been seen recently alone on a train, admittedly in a first class seat. Other stars feel insecure unless they are surrounded by an entourage every time they move. Most people dream of fame or success but, as we all know, you must be careful what you wish for. Fame to some people is water off a duck’s back, to others it is the thing that destroys them. The heroine of this evening’s piece, convincingly played by Eve-Marie Dalcourt, was one of the latter.

At the beginning she appears in a spotlight, a sort or Judy Garland character, wearing a red sequined dress. The audience applauds ecstatically; red roses have been thrown onto the stage. She can’t stop talking. She is excited, overwhelmed and emotional. Very emotional. As the lights dim she disappears into the darkness, re-appearing wearing a white hospital gown, as are the other three members of the group. Between themselves they act out their dreams and fantasies, their hopes and fears.

Toon Lobach later also slipped into the gloom, shedding his white gown and emerging in a blue sequined frock to lip-sync to Etta James’ At Last. This was absolutely brilliant and for me the high-spot of the evening. The performance would have graced the stage of any drag-queen cabaret in the world. His dancing was outstanding as well. I also really liked the episode which demonstrated another of the hazards of stardom when one of the “celebrities”  was hounded by a paparazzi television crew, the picture being projected live onto the wall.

There was miming from Ms Dalcourt too, to Edith Piaf’s Je ne regrette rien, except that this was done with her mouth closed and depended on movement – including recoils from slaps and punches. She was joined by Mr Lobach and the other girl dancer, Grace Lyell, to perform the only sustained ensemble dance sequence in the piece. The second guy, Finn Ronsdorf, provided the music at the piano. Singing his own fine songs beautifully, his music was fundamental to the piece but never intrusive.

For the finale a huge glitter-ball, which had been silently waiting above their heads, was lowered into the action, throwing points of light like stars around the room. The performers pushed it backwards and forward, dodging it as it swung.  Did it reflect the past or present, or was it a crystal ball predicting an uncertain future?

The scheduled first run of Korzo long-term maker Antonin Rioche’s brilliant Glitter, a co-production between Korzo and NDT as part of the Holland Dance Festival, was one of those shows affected by the Covid pandemic and it has taken this long to get it back on stage. But it was well worth the wait. There were maybe a couple of things which could have been more successful, and no doubt they will be, and maybe one or two sequences were a little too long, but overall it was excellent and I really enjoyed it.  Michael Hasted   26th January 2024