News: Wayne McGregor's +/- Human: How do you know something is alive?

Tuesday 15 August 2017

+_- Human ©RaviDeepres_AliciaClarke

How do you know something is alive? You’re definitely left pondering this question after witnessing Wayne McGregor’s +/- Human, a new live dance and immersive installation piece at the Roundhouse.

The performance a ‘physical experiment’ where empty space is ‘occupied by dancers both human and non-human’ offers a real reflection on how man and machine continue to connect.

Entering the iconic Roundhouse, the darkened auditorium is thick with ‘another world’ atmosphere. The seating has been stripped away leaving the round performance space open and stark. Only a rope separates the audience from the performance area and as you edge closer a cluster of drones come into sight, white and balloon like, humming above the space.

These drones hover and glide in the spotlights and then, as the dancers enter the space, begin to respond, echoing the movement of the humans below.

It’s hypnotic to watch. The drones feeling both familiar and alien, their apparent weightlessness working with and against the fantastic physicality of the dancers, a mix of Company Wayne McGregor and Royal Ballet members.

The style of McGregor’s choreography – high energy, grounded, fast and deadly controlled – both matches and rebuffs the definite, delicate pace of the drones. There are tantalising moments of acknowledgment between dancer and drone, but their performances never directly unite.

When not moving, the dancers come to stand on the edge of the performance space inevitably blocking some of the audience’s view. This causes us to weave and bob to get a better look, almost in parallel to the drones above.

When the performance ends and the dancers depart, make sure to stick around as the audience is invited in to have a chance to interact with the drones.

+/- Human is at the Roundhouse 10 – 28 August with the live dance performance happening every Friday and Saturday night.

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