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Resolution 2019 (Triple Bill 10)

by on 26 January 2019

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Resolution 2019 (Triple Bill 10)

Dreamers               Catch 28                               Milk

by NamYoon Kim            by Christina Dionysopoulou             by Amy Ollett

NYK Dance Company, Christina Dionysopoulou, and Amy Ollett
Resolution at The Place, Euston, 24th January,
The Festival of New Choreography continues until 23rd February

A review by Mark Aspen

resrev10_nyk-dance-coy_dreamers_-james-whiteleyA gramophone crackling, or do we hear the fireplace where the shadow of one dancer mimics another? Like R.L. Stevenson’s My Shadow “She is very, very like me from the heels up to the head …”, but for the two dancers, the eponymous Dreamers, NamYoon Kim and Wai Shan Vivian Luk, the uneasy music and restless moves, the other “she” is uncannily not like “me”. One we see, the other in a shadowgraph on a gauze screen. The dream is not the reality, and the moves of the dreamer are distorted in the dream. Lighting design, Alex Mcmanus has kept the screen small and now we see them, no we don’t. Then birdsong, so perhaps this dream is not unpleasant. The music is more lyrical, the dance insistent but elastic. A reprise of the beat, a male dancer Ryan Charles Ledger appears, but even a Chopin nocturne cannot unravel this dream. The duet has an uneasy animation with hints of aggression. These include some unconventional moves where the dancer’s weight worryingly is taken on the neck. It is clear that dawn has not yet come, even when the lone dancer subsides in crackling uncertainty. The feeling choreographer NamYoon Kim leaves us with also seems uncertain and incomplete. The dreamscape she has created is not a nightmare, but not quite sweet dreams.

resrev10-catch28 (2)Four figures crouch in the darkness, and then a controlled explosion of frenzied dance, a haka re-forms into a tightly coordinated concatenation of constrained tension; convulsive, percussive. Christina Dionysopoulou’s compelling Catch 28 has a raw animalistic feel. It hints at street dance within contemporary dance, but there’s more than that: there is a seething anxiety of something internalised trying to get out. The four performers (Lauren Anthony, Ayten Goksan, Hayleigh Sellors and Nevena Stojkov) move as one, fearful and staccato. Sellors’ painfully flagellatory solo is striking in all senses and highlights the impetus of the ensemble in all its aerobic robustness. The ensemble rolls agitatedly like a breaking surf in a fierce wind. Even a stylised brawl ignites in furious unison. Zack Hemsey has specially adapted the music of Enzio Bosso and the ostinato of the score underpins the edginess of the dance. Dionysopoulou’s choreography has an arresting grab-you-by-the-lapels immediacy that makes an absorbing and mesmerising experience.

resrev10 milk_kerry_curlThe visual impact of Milk is immediate, a bolt of white silk flows from the flies and spills across the stage. Integrating textile design into music and dance, choreographer Amy Ollett makes a bold and intriguing statement. Fabric and dancer move as one creature, creating a talking tissue, bringing a Michelangelo-esque depiction of drapery to life. Ollett has undisputable skills as a fashion designer, an art form that she has developed alongside choreography, pregnant with symbolism. The effect is poetic, but sometimes as the loops and swirls of the rich fabric envelope the dancer, there seems to the danger that she will drown. Henry Jackson Newcomb’s original score expands the lactational theme, pouring in musical milk that drips and gurgles. Here is the canvas for three veiled dancers (Rhiannon Hopkins, Federica Somma and Danielle Summers) to paint an elegant image. The shrouded bodies move with a viscous fluidity, yet one that tells of a struggle with innermost feelings. The fabric conceals; the fabric reveals. Brian J Morrison’s design is stark white and bold red, and the lighting snaps between the same colours to wash out the milk … or the blood.

Mark Aspen
January 2019

Read more at The Place’s Resolution Review

Photography by James Whiteley, Christina Dionysopoulou and Kerry Curl

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