Bilbobasso: Amor at the Norwich Light Festival 2020

Between 13th and 15th February 2020, the city of Norwich greeted visitors from near and far for their Love Light Festival. Inspired by the topic of love and Valentine’s day, the whole city brought light installations and shows to life. We saw installations in different locations over the city and several events took place. One of them was the performance “Amor” by Compagnie Bilbobasso.

This French dance company was formed in 2006 by Hervé Perrin and Delphine Dartus. Their shows combine Argentinian Tango, other types of couple’s dance with impressive pyrotechnics. Through dance, fire and explosions, they bring emotions of everyday situations to the streets. Instead of a stage, they use an arena of sand that allows for play with fire.

Amor

The performance “Amor” by Bilbobasso takes the topic of marriage and approaches it in a satirical way. Everything seems rosy at the beginning of the show: It is their wedding day, they kiss each other in the arena, court each other, dance happily to positive sounds and start the fire by forming a burning heart in the sand.

Hervé Perrin and Delphine Dartus dance Tango. They are surrounded by a ring of fire that takes the shape of a heart. She is wearing a short white dress and a bridal veil. They face each other in a dance post.

Hervé Perrin and Delphine Dartus dance Tango in Amor. (c) Julia-Carolin Zeng

But as time goes by, the music becomes more melancholic, emotions intensify on stage and in the audience and the couple starts fighting. When they are not fighting, they behave indifferently towards each other. Daily routines such as reading the paper, washing the dishes or cleaning the floor turn into explosive situations (literally!). Through acting and dancing, situations are shown that insinuate sexual attraction and negligence as well as violence. It all is interrupted by humorous scenes such as the husband returning home after an extended visit to the local pub.

The music has been carefully selected and accompanies every emotional stage the couple is in. Even though the lyrics are in different languages, the audience can understand and follow through the conveyed emotions.

All in all, it is an entertaining performance, with stunning pyrotechnics and different dance elements, even on cold winter evenings outdoors.

The author Julia-Carolin Zeng saw this performance by chance during a stay in Norwich for a travel report of the Love Light Festival 2020.