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Shades of ‘2001 Space Odyssey’ in ‘mysteriously beautiful’ contemporary dance piece

Enthusiasts of contemporary dance should expect to be taken on a fascinating journey when the intoxicating work “Omphalos,” created in Mexico City five years ago by acclaimed Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet, is staged at the Conjunto Santander de las Artes in Guadalajara October 27 and 28.

pg11bIn 2018, Jalet spent three months in Mexico creating the work with 20 dancers from the Centro de Producción de Danza Contemporánea (Ceprodac).   “I developed a passionate feeling for this land,” he told a French magazine in 2020. “There is something extremely sensory and mysterious about Mexico… the social reality can seem harsh and suffocating and simultaneously inhabited by an enormous vital force and a magnificent culture. Mexico City is a city built on the remains of another; there is something very mysterious in these multiple layers of temporal architecture.”

Omphalos explores forgotten European and indigenous myths about the origins of Mexico, working these up into a reflection on being human and the situatedness of human life in the cosmos.

Said Jalet: “Omphalos is really inspired by the word ‘cosmology,’ which can be approached purely scientifically or mythologically. While these two aspects are often completely separate, I see the stage as a place where the two can merge.”

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