Review: Hofesh Shechter in Political Mother at Sadler's Wells

Performance: Friday, July 16th 2010
- Thursday 29 July 2010

I Went to see Hofesh Shechter’s ‘Political Mother’ on Friday. I met him at a workshop a group called Spiral Dance Theatre were running at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Baker St in 2003, shortly after he’d first arrived in Britain from Israel I think and I recall a rather soulful, respectful person. He performed a solo piece at the performance platform Spiral Dance were organising. Political Mother is my introduction to his work at this point of his career. What I loved was his language of dance, his intricate interconnection of a kind of folk idiom with funky physical theatre-esque shifts in weight, countered with rapid-fire shakes and juts of limbs. Also, the musicality of his rhythms – so good! The soft, rounded lyricism of the movement style is distinctive and a pleasure to watch. Of the grandeur of the staging and soundtrack, whilst I found it compelling and to an extent thought provoking (conflict, idolatry, alienation and tenderness..) and clever in its sudden shifts in tempo and volume level and, oh yes, I’m a sucker for a bit of Joni of a show…, I also had the sense of a young person’s reading of matters. There’s that ‘in yer faceness’ to the presentation of ideas that’s so popular with the press and certain sections of the dance community. Despite the hyperbole, I’d suggest it doesn’t have quite the depth that it could have with regard to providing a reading of life experience. But, again, the moves – whoa, way to go…!

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