Review: Resolution! at The Place

Performance: 5 Jan - 17 Feb 07
Reviewed by Lindsey Clarke - Monday 5 February 2007

Thurs 1 February

Timea Maday Kinga, Working Process; Linda Gieres, White Moment; Jessyka Watson-Galbraith,

Let’s Talk About Love

The programme notes warn that there will be nudity here but that still doesn’t quite prepare you for a totally naked Timea Maday Kinga standing on a box in a beam of light. Once over the initial surprise this is an intense and oppressive piece resembling an overly serious live art installation rather than a dance performance. Maday Kinga’s beautifully lit, strong and graceful body slowly writhes, contracts, arches and strains to a throbbing industrial soundscape. Completely exposed she controls her movement in an attempt to subvert the constraints she is working under. However, the noises, intensity of light and inescapable nudity get claustrophobic quickly and although the commitment to this physical ‘meditation’ is impressive it’s quite an ordeal to sit through.

Linda Gieres’ White Moment returns us to more conventional lyrical contemporary dance, a tinkling score by Arvo Part and impressive execution in full on skirts. Inspired by a quote from the composer, Gieres seeks to explore how the audience perceives the work presented; the audience or listener is the prism that can divide the “white light” of the work into its component parts and meaning. The dancers move united and sometimes out of sync. They shadow and vary each other’s movement, resembling each other in stature and costume, although one of them wore the wrong sort of top for their body shape and looked unreasonably dumpy next to her better dressed friend; this irked me throughout so maybe that’s why I’m really not sure my ‘prism’ was working. It is a poignant and gentle, fluid duet which neither moved me nor interested me very much. Possibly a manifestation of two aspects of one consciousness or perhaps a memory of a lost sister. I’m not sure and it probably doesn’t matter.

Taking Canadian diva, Celine Dion, as the ultimate embodiment of the commercial exploitation of love, Jessyka Watson-Galbraith plays with the idea of what is good and bad quality in several forms: dance, film and music. The cast have been messing around with poor quality videos of them dancing in bedrooms and singing along to Celine onYouTube for months and several of these feature as a backdrop to the performance. The intention, it seems, was to use this tawdry, sentimental music (pop schmaltz ‘low’ culture), contrast it with contemporary dance moves (supposedly a ‘high’ art form but also poking fun at its seriousness) and have it performed by a cast of 13 young women dressed ready for bed but actually convey real emotion through the drama and blowsiness of La Dion. The piece is really good fun and like nothing I’ve seen at Resolution! before. The opening section is the most rehearsed and straightfowardly enjoyable with the ensemble executing serious contemporary dance moves in their own style whilst feeling the love from Celine and lip-synching along. After that, it gets a bit more shambolic – too improvised and shabby for 12 of the cast whilst one, spotlit downstage, almost performs the same dance moves as the girl in the dodgy video behind her – which is effective – but too much undisciplined activity going on around her detracts from it. However, this was very nearly cracking in its shambolic appeal and was definitely the crazy icing on a tasty three tiered Resolution cake.

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