Arvo Pärt calls his own music "comforting". And it is. It brings us home to the sometimes repetitive; we catch our breath in the silence with which the score is replete. But perhaps even more striking is that the power that the piece discovers and rediscovers, seems to fall so easily into our own natural rhythm. It is this same sense of comfort that we find in Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's choreography, in the one move that leads to the next and the repetitive cycle of falling, getting up and rising again as it ultimately leads to perpetual change.
Fall is a piece of many layers. We see an evocation of the season of autumn playing out before our eyes. The 29 dancers let the piece carry them, like vividly coloured falling leaves blown by the wind: now all at once, then caught up in a playful duet, then solo. Each the other's ally in this battle of wills against gravity itself. Watching how structures and patterns emerge from this seeming chaos and repeat themselves until they begin to form a gradual evolution, is nothing short of mesmerizing. It is a constant interaction. Each fall contains within it its own rise, driven by the power of the dancers, each setting the others into motion, and each surpassing herself in her flexibility and pirouettes. Each who, every time she falls, dragged to the floor, is brought up again by an invisible force. It is an interaction that alludes to nature.
Meanwhile, on another level, the score dictates the action, and more importantly, the interaction. We hear reflections, we see echoes, repetitions bring movements to crescendo, and we watch as a true transformation takes place before our eyes.
Fall, an ode to the autumn season, would not be the season of introspection it is if this choreography did not deliver the resilience, the unbelievable flexibility, and the capacity for absorption of the human spirit in its full grandeur. However chaotic and desperate it may seem, the eye always falls back to the patterns that we intuitively understand and that lead us into the next stage, like some strange perpetual motion machine.
In balance, every part connected, the primeval essence of human nature.