Blood by Jean Abreu at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House. London 27th June 2013
Brazilian choreographer and performer Jean Abreu brings to life his brand-new show BLOOD, co-commissioned by ROH2. For the first time in 42 years, iconic duo Gilbert & George have allowed their art to be used in dance. Abreu was inspired by their microscopic celebration of bodily fluids, The Fundamental Pictures, to dive deep into his own body and identity to create a powerful and mesmerising solo performance.
Abreu has selected twenty-five images from The Fundamental Pictures, Rudimentary Pictures and New Testamental Pictures created between 1996 and 1998 to create a visual world for BLOOD. Using cutting-edge motion-capture technology and animation, Italian software artists Mirko Arcese and Luca Biada use the Gilbert & George pictures and their own visuals to create a series of projections which respond to Abreu’s movements and speech. On a pure white set, swathes of red corpuscles bloom from an arm gesture, concentric circles emerge from a whisper or shout, a stick-man alter-ego shadows phrases of dance. Abreu pushes himself to the limit with a visceral examination of the body and his own identity.
Abreu’s other high-profile collaborators for BLOOD include fashion designer Richard Nicholl and Paul Wolinski from math rock band 65daysofstatic. Nicholl dresses Abreu in a white suit specially created to act as a screen for the projections. Wolinksi has created a cinematic score which was commissioned with support from the PRS for Music Foundation. Text by Lootie Johansen-Bibby is woven into the dance narrative.
A luxuriantly gifted dancer, Jean Abreu choreographed his first work in 2003 and has since toured throughout the UK, including London’s Dance Umbrella Festival and Southbank Centre, as well as internationally. Winner of the prestigious Jerwood Choreography Award (2003), Jean has been an Associate Artist at the Hat Factory and The Place and Artist-in-Residence at Dance East.