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“...His new latest creation is by far the most significant in terms of artistic research and the result of his highly cultivated company. Sponsored by the Conseil Général de la Seine-Saint-Denis on the occasion of a cultural evening concluding the "Siècle Aragon", Toméo has created a choreographic work for his compatriot Alvaro Morell. "I came across Aragon's work that I hadn't known before. I realised immediately that he did not have any sense of humour at all, which in my opinion, is a major handicap. In the course of time, I discovered Le Con d'Irène, which, in Spain is only published in the erotic literature section. Aragon himself acknowledged this text very late. This quest of identity and the art of collage have inspired me to write a play which involved dance as well as extra text". Asphyxies is the story of two men sharing the same space. Or two little men, should we say, as they are so fragile and vulnerable. The play moves the heart as we realise how rare it is to see men bare themselves in this manner. Toméo Vergès' slow electrocardiogram and low systolic beat result in this violent play where he methodically smashes chairs or compulsively transforms his environment by painting it blue. Alvaro and Toméo have been working together for several years now, which certainly explains this perfect understanding of each other where none has to prove anything to the other. Toméo Vergès does not try to play Aragon. He just puts himself in his shoes. The floor strewn with newspapers and a pair of blue shoes are enough to symbolise the writer's universe. Obsessive and methodical, each one gives importance to a detail and amplifies it. An atmosphere of nagging oddity whose effect is further enhanced by Jean-Jacques Palix's music with traces of Jackson Five. A combination of writing and language, Asphyxies is a choreographic recipe with multiple ingredients where theatre and plastic arts do not barge their way in but come in willingly. The Catalan artist Toméo Vergès is perfectly at ease with surrealism and there are no unpleasant surprises or change in course in his choreography. Every time one of the dancers seems to find his character, Toméo Vergès likes to make him grope another path in order to validate his own. Asphyxies is a work full of minute details highlighted by flashes of auto-derision. These two men only meet rarely but exchange a lot, including their clothes. What if it were two "selves"? Toméo Vergès ends with an endless series of mirrors, doubtless to illustrate his last line, "In order to survive, one must always keep one or two secrets".”

Pierre Hivernat, Les Inrockuptibles, February 10–16 1999

La montagne,
12 november 1998

Aragon presented by Vergès

“... Asphyxies takes place on a floor strewn with newspapers. The choreography starts off with a few quotes from Aragon from his book "Le con d'Irène". They announce the tone of this theatrical piece of choreography, portraying a character and its double. For about fifty minutes, Vergès and Morell become the two facets of the character. Broken chairs and bulbs, strips of tulle and music which is aggressive at times: They result in a violence with a glint of humour and derision. The dialogue is sometimes erotic, whilst within limits. Vergès has depicted a portrait by resorting to collage. Dance and theatre are inextricably blended in a high strung atmosphere, with a dramatic and somewhat intimate touch. The Catalan choreographer has used writing on the wall and especially on the floor where it becomes part of the news print, shadows, various noises and explosion. The audiences were gripped by the power and the beauty of this highly imaginative creation.”

“...Toméo Vergès' starting point was the solo La Logique du Parquet (1997) created for Alvaro Morell, sponsored by the Conseil Général de la Seine-Saint-Denis. The play's central character was the poet although it was not possible to establish a correspondence between the text and the movement. That is what he realises in Asphyxies by creating a dual personality- on the one hand Aragon's soul and on the other hand the wreck that he had later become. The insufferable duo is constantly in struggle with each other, one driven by Instinct and the other by Reason. The way the subject is dealt with is fascinating. Having always been attracted to surrealism, Toméo Vergès adds a dash of it to this creation. Aragon's shoes' blue colour which spreads to his trousers and then to the uprights of the chair; the breaking of the watch signifying the breaking of time; the electric bulb that he breaks by hitting it against the wall symbolising the wish to end this life are some of the more surrealistic instances. Asphyxies is certainly not a misnomer. It is a very serious work charged with anguish which shows the torments that Aragon went through before being rejected by the society.”

Jean-Marie Gourreau, Les Saisons de la Danse, April 1999