marcela levi


Sonja Mäkelä
February 2018

Infernal dance

Tonight's other work, Iron Mouth by Brazilian Marcela Levi and Lucía Russo, is disturbing and fun and in some way undeniably tragic. As we enter the small hall, this time a black box without benches, the dancer Ícaro dos Passos Gaya is already on. With his naked upper body and half-closed eyes, he dances fervently, to a music only he can hear. His feet create the beat. He moves through and around the audience, scattered in the hall. He dances, and dances - and dances. Until the mouth is frothed and the body is dripping out of perspiration. It is uncomfortable to look at him, it is somewhat animalish and obsessed in his being.

Just when you risk becoming really restless, the speakers suddenly rumble and we hear a second for what he hears: the furious dance music tecnobrega from northern Brazil. Then silence, and he collapses. Start bleeding from the hairline, the whole face is colored red.

The whole remaining work is then painful, vibrating still images in silence, as well as wild chaotic dance sequences to the music at infectious pace. The spit flies, the sweat flies, the blood drops, dos Passos Gaya rolls over the floor, moves between the crowd. Repeats rows of songs that seem absurdly taken from their context.

It is an extremely physical achievement, extreme disclosure. Dos Passos Gaya's face expresses unconventional feelings, from reference to pain, and his body is an eternity machine, on the verge of madness. The applause afterwards is resounding, and rightly so, it has been an almost supernatural achievement. Levi's and Russo's choreography is offensive, provocative - captivating.

It is not the grotesque body that breaks the norms, but, on the contrary, a society that sees its bodies as identical, autonomous, and supposedly rational, giving birth to monsters.

Sonja Mäkelä - Theater critic