The Lover, a solo by the Icelandic dancer and choreographer Bára Sigfúsdóttir exists in two versions. The original version for the black box included an impressive scenography with photographs by French artist Noémie Goudal, from whose series Les Amants Sigfúsdóttir borrowed the title of her performance.
The short solo consists of two parts, in which one might recognize the rise and decline of a species. The first half is imbued with growth and potency, the second with decay and destruction.
A hunched creature – it could be a prehistoric animal, but just as well a plant species or a single cell: the fact is that it is not an individual being, but an organism, a species, that is emerging. This emergence begins with the vibration of a muscle in the arm, the outward turning of the arm, followed by the slow, outward folding of the body, like a lotus flower. Starting with a writhing of toes, an attempt to get upright, to grow, is made – but the ‘limbs’ of the creature seem not well attuned to each other, the joints fail to do their work and the feet, hands, fingers and arms flail about autonomously like the limbs of a starfish, unhindered by a central, or authoritative guiding consciousness. We witness a process of trial and error: nature evolves by rewarding that which accidentally becomes the most adapted to its environment. At times the growth process comes to a halt, only to, with a sudden shock – a growth surge – start again.
The “lovers” in Sigfúsdóttirs performance are not exactly in a romantic mood; the choreography portrays the relationship between nature and man in a possessive-aggressive sense: the point at which human culture overpowers nature to suck it empty, a love that is so great it becomes destructive.