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Resolution 2019 (Triple Bill 1)

by on 13 January 2019

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Resolution 2019 (Triple Bill 1)

Void                           Blacklist                   No Sudden Moves

by Jane Chan                           by Joshua Nash                        by Victoria Fox

Jane Chan, Joshua Nash and TRIBE// at Resolution at The Place, Euston, 11th January,  The Festival of New Choreography continues until 23rd February

A review by Mark Aspen

Tension, conflict, aggression. Surging into The Place, London’s sanctuary of contemporary dance, it could be the zeitgeist of the opening days of 2019. The triple bill that formed the first night of Resolution 2019, introduced three new choreographers with the unstated theme of conflicts of identity.

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Void, performed by Hong Kong choreographer Jane Chan has a frustrated fluidity as its narrative illuminates the entrapment of a failing mind struggling within the encompassing coils of Alzheimer’s disease. For Chan this has a personal resonance as her grandmother succumbed to this dreaded and dreadful affliction. White clad within a cell of white light, she writhes within the blockades of its burgeoning assaults. Her hands clutch; clutching at straws. Chan barely moves from centre stage, a prisoner. Then an agitated move dislodges the knot of her bodice, a light streams in from offstage. Her arms stroke the air in confusion, and there is a sense of agonised release. It is as if the voids in the mind seek a transubstantial void.

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There is a more visceral attack in Joshua Nash’s Blacklist. Two dancers, naked to the waist, strut around each other, with the watchful aggressiveness of a pair of cockerels. How are they related? They look the same, same mannerisms, same topknot. They may be brothers, but Nash’s co-performer, Jordan Douglas, emerges as his alter ego. This is a story of three parts. The kinked kinetics of Krump suddenly hit a different note (as does the music) and the inner conflict becomes explicit aggression in a stylised fight sequence, which is smooth and fluent. Then, in another contrast, the triptych reverts to a street-dance fusion; as the protagonists lose their isolation, top-knots free into deluges of dreadlocks. The stomps and pops are still there, but focussed towards a feeling of reconciliation and unity.

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There is a distinct feral feel in No Sudden Moves, a dystopian piece by Brighton-based TRIBE//. A huddled pile of unkempt bodies opens the piece, which explodes into high energy exposition of urgent menace. The five dancers include the choreographer Victoria Fox, who has created impressively tightly coordinated expressions of surging masses, restless and lawless. They are joined on stage by sound designer, Jeph Vanger. Evident in hic sonic presence, he seems to pull the strings, an all-pervading éminence grise. Even before the thrashing of a stylised fight sequence, the air of danger permeates the air. Some of the characters are impelled to hide behind a strange cut-out of a caravan, which is moved around the stage. (Possibly a symbol of impermanence, it would be better in its absence.) In its ominous and changing dynamics, No Sudden Moves successfully conjures up a disquieting picture of post-apocalyptic insecurity.

The first three offerings for Resolution 2019 make a very strong and varied start to a season of dance. These three however do beg the question should dance inform the music or music inform the dance. Diaphragm resonance should not distract from a visual art-form that is dance, and certainly here are three works that deserve to be seen.

Mark Aspen
January 2019

Photography by Simon Richardson and Camilla Greenwell

 

One Comment
  1. celiabard permalink

    This looks good, well worth watching.

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