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Resolution 2019 (Triple Bill 18)

by on 14 February 2019

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Resolution 2019 (Triple Bill 18)

Lighthouse       Ondule                     time/less

by Hazel Lam             by Rouet and Martinez       by Maria Vivas

Resolution at The Place, Euston, 12th February,
The Festival of New Choreography continues until 23rd February

A review by Mark Aspen

Resolution goes to sea! The eighteenth of the triple bills of Resolution 2019 evokes an eerie marine world as more emerging choreographers find watery settings to be an expressionist metaphor for human perception.

ResRev18 Lighthouse 1Lighthouse shows us the way. A violet square of light-rope delineates a world outside a safe emotional harbour. In this piece of object theatre, two protagonist straddle this boundary, one a solo dancer, choreographer Hazel Lam, the other a writhing mass of translucent tubing like the tentacles of an unseen cephalopod. In silence, she approaches apprehensively, quizzical, then probes this alien form, sounding the whip-like feelers, and allows herself in a trance to become enveloped and embraced … then aggressively draws back. But she has crossed a boundary, both emotionally and in the vision of this work. For it is a performance of two halves, for as she releases herself to the sensuality of this relationship, the piece becomes a graceful aerial ballet. The cartilaginous elasticity of the tubing imbues it with a zoological quality while Bert van Dijck and Margot Jensens’s lighting design subtly enhances this feel. The aerial ballet is accompanied by original music by Max Morris, which hints at Nyman in lyrical mode. Lam’s athletic agility amalgamates varied art-forms, all of which require considerable skill. Lighthouse illuminates an effective exploration of strength in femininity, how the tender can overcome the terrifying.

ResRev18 Oudule 1The senses are inundated in Ondule (from ondulé, rippling). Laura Rouzet’s expressionist Laban approach combines full-on video and music into a mesmerising dance-form that remains aquatic in its palpitating, pulsating, pounding fluidity. Rouzet dances with fellow choreographer, Alejandro Martinez, and their performance is dynamic, driven by the cardiac music of Monika Mia, with a bold lighting design by Alejandro Martinez. The sinuous synchronicity of the dancers’ undulating moves are organic. They seem to merge into a single life-form from two twin organisms, girdled and veiled in articulated pink. They become hyperactive decapods, which throb to a heartbeat sound as, in the depths behind them, the cyclorama swirls with hydrodynamic globules. The promise of popping and voguing suggested a more angular and assertive style, but Ondule takes the technique to a much more fluent form, as hypnotically watchable as it is overwhelming.

ResRev18 timeless 1The mood is much different in Mara Vivas’s time/less, a contemplative study of the nature of time. We are in Another Place redolent of Crosby Beach, where cinnamon statues stare motionless out to sea. The superficial rusting on Antony Gormley’s steel men is replicated in the long cinnamon shifts worn by the performers, Lynn Dichon and Tara Silverthorn, two women who stand in silence. There is a palpable tension between the two. One traces figures of eight with a toe, the other raises and lowers her heels. Gradually, by almost imperceptible degrees, they engage with each other and drift together, mirroring each other in the taut exposure of their naked feet. Vivas states that her work references the Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli, who has developed a theory of physics without time. However, for me it began to feel like a choreographed Waiting for Godot. You see, I’m an impatient sort of chap, and ached for action. The, with the inching in of an anxious musical accompaniment, an original soundscape by Portuguese composer Filipe Sousa, action came as slo-mo miming of life’s experiences, perhaps a hint of a things shared. Here is a reflection of time that focusses on human mortality. The background set, which had appeared to be an abandoned breakwater, was top-lit to reveal a random myriad of fine glass jars, which the dancers manipulated to sound of a glass armonica. There is a resolution of the thesis of the piece in this representation of the celestial spheres that gave it an elegiac quality. It is thought that I shall ponder … time/lessly.

Mark Aspen
January 2019

Read more at The Place’s Resolution Review

Photography by Geert Roels, Rouet and Martinez, and Nicole Guarino

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  1. Ondule | Mark Aspen

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