Part silent film, part early video game, there’s a naivety about the visuals that undermines efforts at profundity. The strongest scenes are solos for Osipova and Ivanilova where we focus, simply, on a single performer.
It is a profoundly musical event, its choreography built on ideas of sonority, harmonics and composition. The Tate, dominated by the image, becomes transfused with the formalities, sensualities and detailed logics of music and dance.
On-off searchlights, deafening electronica intercut with snatches of 18th-century baroque music, and chopped-up sections of folksy choreography executed by six dancers.
She’s exploring similar territory to another ballerina, Sylvie Guillem, not least in Russell Maliphant’s Silent Echo, spinning through the shadows while Polunin shows off his ballet leaps.
The performers count out pencil beats in increasingly, impossibly quick succession until the rapid string of numbers sounds like lines of computer code or the digits of pi. It’s mesmerising.
Extraordinary backbreaking lifts – one man supporting the two others – and Osipova curling herself backwards into an almost perfect c-shape are just two of the highlights. The rising wail of Sufi singers adds to the heady, perfumed physicality.
Consummate storytellers, Cherkaoui and Osipova are well suited; his theatrical style gives her plenty of material to work with and her flawless control gives his movements a heightened feel.
Alice Westoby spoke to performers Joel & Laura and Artistic Co-Director Stine, at the performance of their duet 'You and I Know', as part of Dancing City, Canary Wharf... Continue Reading
It has its moments; there’s a great scene where she’s standing, lost and distraught, at the side of the highway, illuminated by passing headlights. And there’s a sweetly tender sequence on a swing.
There are outstanding moments – lifts in which her exceptional suppleness and strength create the illusion that she’s walking, flying or hovering over her partners’ bodies – but they leave us hungry to see more of what Osipova, and Polunin, might achieve.
Osipova becomes a kind of mesmeric predator, stalking the stage, her arms rippling, crouching and leaping, her loose hair and limbs whipping and scoring space.
Osipova delivers many layers of performance excellence to three very different vehicles.... Some of the movement may feel familiar but the delivery is certainly unique. Continue Reading