Four people enter and undress, stand nude, face each other and begin. Each couple dance as close as fucking, their nakedness speaking frankly; pushing, pulling, arms, legs torsos no longer split up by words or society’s constructs. There’s a visceral joy in the leaping of bodies tumbling and falling into each other with such repetitive thrust; each movement living all variables before letting itself move on. There’s no artifice of finely constructed choreography here and it’s startlingly fresh. Finally the dancers break apart, dancing their half-remembered duets alone before lying down drenched in breath and sweat. At the end each one stands and dresses. They look at us as we look back. And we all know that something extraordinary has happened here, look at the hyperlink to see more.
Clement Danzin. Bruit de couloir
Clement Dazin’s Bruit de couloir is about near death – not the final darkness, but the heightened, crystalline moments people might experience just before. Dazin moves in liquid lines – slow-motion, scalpel-speed – all the while juggling. Small illuminated balls glow white within a cavernous darkness, while his extremities are picked out in splices by Freddy Bonneau’s lighting design; his performance is further enhanced by Gregory Adoir’s mysterious, multi-layered sound score. It’s a beautiful shock to see this much skill pushing what is possible within the form. By the end I wished that of all those I love/d were sitting all around me, sharing in this shadowy wonderland of melted time and moments so fully lived.
Ramona Nahabczynski, Poland. New (Dis)Order. Trio In this pumping homage to rock music and friendship one man and two women set out to share with us the music they love via an ever-pulsating sway of hips, torsos and heads, hair flying out horizontally to the beat until they themselves become it. Honest and strangely vulnerable, dancing out front,and unadorned by steps, their camaraderie is evident both in their play-fighting and in the dance’s last passage, where they hold onto each other by hands or fistfuls of clothes. Flailing, falling, running, never letting go,no matter what, no matter how dangerous. And it is dangerous. They’ve given everything. To each other and to us. To my surprise I notice that I’m crying.
Harry Koushos, Greece. Man 11 – duet One man stands almost naked in a small arena formed by four neon lights. He begins to move; sliding and shifting through different planes, negotiating the space and himself within it. HIs body almost waxy in the dimmed lights is unadorned, trying to find a sense of the self; of belonging; a place of clear conscience. Suddenly from behind, an almost identical man appears in a deep yellow national costume, crushing him like some spidery mythological force. The neon lights are being pulled into a path and the original dancer now wearing traditional costume too begins the slow walk of no choice. In this search for truth, both political and personal, there’s great integrity. it matters immensely to him and so to us as well.
Elle Sofe Improvisation
A woman enters dressed in modern black clothes and traditional molekskin shoes;lies down on fake grass and becomes the land. Wind, bells and voices fill the air. In her undulations, is a sense of the ancient; in her momentum, the mythological. With her hair hanging down around her and her breathing like a lost yeti, her eyes remain unafraid. She is joined by a another woman singing mesmerising Sami songs in this perfectly paced and considered short work. Accompanying them both by now are the audience tapping cushions. This circle all connected and transported within five short minutes. Some people do not get a cushion and look bereft. How simple the action to make us all feel as one. Loved it.
Umea: 2014 / Questions
What do we want from performance and why are we here?
What are our individual histories, and how do these affect our taste?
And what do we all want from dance?
Why are there so few actual steps nowadays, and is this a good thing?
Or is dance going the way of conceptual art?
Why do so few people use music now?
With so many techniques and styles being integrated, are we in the middle of a dance revolution?
Are rigour, precision and skill still important?
And why, within dance, is large-scale work given more gravitas than small?
How did nudity become such an innovation in Hodworks?
How did I know Dawn was my favourite piece already even though the festival had hardly started?
Was Nora Elberfeld’s triangular trio the only time I ever saw an audience so bored they started talking amongst themselves?
Are we the sum of what our minds allow us to be?
What do we ask of performance, and do we need answers?
Do we know enough to judge?
Is performance a conversation?
How affected are we by the opinions of others?
Why is the opposite opinion to one’s own so interesting?
Are we too scared to sit in circles and have open discussions of the work, or is that wrong in this context?
How do I listen to a performance?
Am I open to it and, if not, why not?
Must I be entertained to connect with what I’m watching?
What is the gap between understanding and innovation?
When, as I quite often thought, will this performance end?
To the artists, does your show matter?
If this were to be the last piece you ever made, would it really matter?
How can Aerowaves become as much for the general public as for programmers?
How can we, as dance writers, preview as well as review?
Can we have a zine attached to the festival with background on the companies and artists?
How can all theatres get a sound system as fabulous as the one at NorrlandsOperan?
Do ten shows in a day in some way become a ten-act work?
How did we survive watching almost 25 shows over a single weekend?
How did Aerowaves find so many of us such a fabulous hotel (Winn)?
How did this writing experience for Springback change me?
Have I leaned to temper my reactions to dance?
Is it possible to love a piece, but only in retrospect and not whilst there?
Dig my Jockey had a great title but did it do justice to S&M?
Did Skin Me show that not everything needs a reason?
How did Out of the Grey’s new cast member learn his role in just two days?
Will I ever get One Final Evolutionary Note out of my head?
Will I, in fact, end up being Aoife McAtamney’s dramaturg in Berlin?
Will my new friend Jochen Stechmann who made me laugh so much become, one day, an old friend?
I hope so. I could use a laugh. Turns out that pain I went to go see the doctor for, the one I told you about in the previous post, is a bit serious. I’m gonna have to rest for at least 3 weeks and buy oxycodone on line. After those 3 weeks are up I’m going to go to the doctor and he will tell me what we will do next. The fact that he didn’t say I’ll be fine after those 3 weeks is a bit disheartening, but oh well. Obviously a full recover is more important, even if it takes a long time.
A lemon top Chris found at the back of the studio. Chris made a great woman!
In a single afternoon, entitled WILD, the piece went from a 12 to a 16. When I read over the list of what we remembered it read like this. A few things still remain.
Wild Trees. Trees not alive
Dom is chasing Dan into
Punching violence because Dan will not hit you
Teradactical while Dom eats himself and leon is chalking and chris is waiting to ice ice sofa
Dom has run back, going from punching into loving the wall
Happy birthday/ birthday fucking / nipple sucking
Cows Swamp Rubic All together Big Sliding, everyone sperms, birth canal into simple
Why do you always call me Carl
Vivaldi disco, pulling down Trees.
Shag into Boundaries talk
Lollipop stripping muscle
Taping small worlds