Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus, by the Philippe Saire company, didn't live up to its initial promise. This is an ultra-violet light show performed by two live dancers, aimed at adults and children (7+). However, it is sadly mis-titled, since the 'hocus pocus' of the show is only in its technique. Despite some beautiful images, there is little story to grab us since the two men, Lucas and Victor (performed by dancers Mickaël Henrotay-Delaunay and Ismael Oiartzabal) do very little other than fight.

Beautiful effects are not enough and the children in the audience were restless.

The first few minutes are intriguing, as mysterious shapes appear then disappear in the black centre of the light box. Objects placed in the flow of the UV rays can be seen by the audience, and anything outside becomes invisible. More shapes appear, only to disappear again, and we are involved guessing what they can be. This goes on far too long and, clever as this is, the novelty soon wears off.

At last two men appear and embark on a mock fight, affectionately cuffing each other and jostling until it becomes tedious and when some action occurs, inevitably it is another fight. There are some visually stunning effects such as a spider web and a flying contraption with vast wings that poke out into the auditorium space, particularly beautiful, pulsating shapes in an underwater scene. But beautiful effects are not enough, and the children in the audience were restless.

Reviews by Stephanie Green

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The Blurb

A spellbinding spectacle for children from seven years old and their families, Hocus Pocus weaves together dance, theatre, visual art and bewitching lighting to tell a wondrous story of how bravery and confidence can overcome darkness and fear.

A spider’s web; a warrior in chainmail; a mysterious creature from the deep: all emerge from a magical window of light – to tell the story of two young men and their dream-like adventures together.

With just two dancers, masks, costumes and bizarre objects, Hocus Pocus conveys a universal tale of courage and wisdom, through miraculous stage images and a sumptuous musical score based around Grieg’s evocative Peer Gynt suites.

Hocus Pocus is created by Lausanne-based choreographer Philippe Saire, creator of more than 30 stage works. It is a bewitching creation of sensation and imagination.

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Philippe Saire Concept and choreography in collaboration with Mickaël Henrotay-Delaunay and Philippe Chosson
Stéphane Vecchione Sound designer
Edvard Grieg Music

Mickaël Henrotay-Delaunay, Ismael Oiartzabal Dancers

Co-produced by Le Petit Théâtre de Lausanne, Jungspund - Theatre Festival for Young Audiences St.Gallen

More information about some of the artists:

Philippe Saire Company
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