David Roussève / REALITY



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Los Angles Times April 3, 2009
Charles McNulty
“The struggles of Black Americans- oppression and abuse, poverty and neglect AIDS and alienation- register in the body of this dancer-choreographer, whose death-haunted imagination is drawn to the polarity and paradox of bondage and antic freedom.”

“Dante’s collective notion of ‘our life’ is particularly apt as Roussève move from the personal to the historical and on to the universal.”

“…the piece ultimately attains that philosophical state, in which after an episode of grief, a glint of sunlight or a fragrant breeze can simultaneously moisten your eyes and leave you smiling in gratitude.”


Dance Magazine March 2009
Rita Felciano
“David Roussève is a poet as well as a choreographer… his latest work Saudade impressed with the fine articulation of his philosopher/traveler character that tries to make sense of existence.”

“Roussève is an intriguing storyteller with a tall and lanky frame, a face chiseled by idle age and a vocal command that even an opera singer would envy.”


Chicago Tribune March 14, 2009
Sid Smith
“Roussève is a master monologist and artful mimic, seductively charming even as the truth of what he speaks stabs you in the heart.”


Village Voice March 4, 2009
Deborah Jowitt
“…Roussève’s words are not about ideal solutions; they’re about small events that briefly relieve pain or lift spirits.  And about how we remember them.”

“…a marvelous storyteller, and he recounts his tales in beautifully chose, often witty words.”

“When I ponder what I’ve seen, images that seem isolated during the performance coalesce in my mind and link more securely to Roussève’s themes…  Whatever culture we’re from, is that how we eat life- no matter how much it burns?”


San Francisco Chronicle March 7, 2009
“…Roussève remarkably inhabits not only (his characters) pitch and vocal tics but also their movement mannerisms with a poetry that layers potent images verbally and theatrically.”


The New York Times February 14, 2009
Claudia La Rocco
“There are crystalline moments in the frenzy, as when snippets of movement styles (the gamut from classical Indian dance to the flamboyant, stylized gestures known to anyone who has ever seen a couple quarreling on a New York sidewalk) evoke much larger yet specific worlds.”


The Star Ledger (Newark) February 13, 2009
“Words alone cannot satisfy David Roussève, a storyteller turned choreographer whose magical dance-theater piece “Saudade”… is packed with stories- engrossing tales of love and hardship, cliffhanging adventures within the heart’s interior.”

“…fans of Toni Morrison especially will recognize the hallucinatory dilemmas of Rourssève’s characters.  Contradictory, perverse, uplifting- his theater distills the essence of truth, and it is potent.”

The Washington Times February 9, 2009
Jean Battey Lewis
“David Roussève is one of the most provocative figures on the modern dance scene: a multitalented artist, a low-key but incisively compelling performer eloquent in both words and movement, and a choreographer of wide-ranging imagination.  His vibrant theater pieces tend toward the surreal with occasionally a non-sequitor Dadaist touch.”

“Through it all, the exuberant humanity, flashes of wit and sadness shining through this provocative work give it a surprising and haunting afterlife.  Mr. Roussève’s work needs to be seen here more often.  How about the Kennedy Center next time?”


The Washington Post February 7, 2009
Sarah Kaufman
“One day, some breakthrough string-theory of the heart is sure to explain shy beauty and damnation can be perceived at the same moment, why grief and joy can hit you at once.  Until then, David Roussève’s dance-theater work “Saudade”… offers a succinct and lyrical look at how the highs and lows of life collide.”

“Roussève is one of the modern dance world’s great stage personalities.  Tall and lean, with a cascade of graying dreadlocks and the taut, commanding profile of a Cherokee chief, he combines a powerful physical presence with an uncanny ability to channel the experiences of the weakest and most marginalized among us.  He inhabits characters with an eerily convincing depth of feeling.”

“In the end, ‘Saudade’ comes close to the same kind of colliding extremes that sparked its creation.  Only Roussève could layer fado music, a dead cat and a young girl’s simultaneous discovery of evil and redemption into a narrative as tender as it is tough-minded.”