Review: Resolution! - Jacob Hobbs / Wolfgang / Cody’s Moving Group

Performance: 8 January
Reviewed by Jeffrey Gordon Baker - Wednesday 9 January 2013

Jacob Hobbs

Jacob Hobbs – Hello Spaceboy / Wolfgang – I am Wolf / Cody’s Moving Group – The Fear Factor

It was Resolution! at its Resolution!-iest. The annual festival of new work submitted by any UK based dance artist, has a reputation for being a cabinet of curiosities. And these three opening night creature features, enjoyable at the very least for their A-for-effort sincerity and original combinations of source material, did not disappoint. Jacob Hobbs was braying into a mic and stomping on a sampling pedal as we entered, and his shouted chants, deafening on a maniacal cacophonous loop, were what you might imagine would be needed to awaken the Norse gods, except he was wearing an astronaut costume.

It felt like being at an open mic night, which in a way we were, as Hobbs sang, quite beautifully in fact, songs by Nick Cave, Bowie and others. His bearded baby face and the whole space man get up went along with that nicely. Much of the rest of the time he spent wanking (graciously simulated), futzing with his costume, taking pills, and cursing amateurishly at his own inability to adequately fill the time I suppose. It was cringe-producing at times, but when Hobbs faced us in a glowing red jockstrap made of what looked to be translucent tampons sewn together, he was sincere. The piece’s more reflective moments (about having really been a dancer once and some other metaphysical musings about space and outerspace and Bowie) were present and intelligent enough to see Hallo Spaceboy as an awkward but promising first outing in need of a vicious edit.

From a company called Wolfgang we have the logically titled I am Wolf, choreographed and performed by Tomos Young and Francesca Roche. Mr Young was also responsible for the video projections in which, preceded by the passing of a giant full moon, we were shown images of arsenals, floods and mushroom clouds whilst he and Ms Roche, clad in baggy drawers, lurked in capoeira shapes, suggestively around one another. These wolves were hungry but it didn’t look like world peace was what they were after. In the whispered words of the gentleman seated behind me: “ooh man, they are hot, and they know it baby!” Then there was a rapid montage of images of wolves in photographs and illustrations, which was maybe the best part.

The programme notes said zombies, but it could just as easily have been clique warfare or severe eczema that was plaguing the sweet young stereo-horror-type chicks in Cody’s Moving Group’s The Fear Factor. I wouldn’t have got zombie without the prompt, but the horror genre tropes abounded, most cleverly in the costumes; a t-shirt with angel wings printed on the back, daisy duke shorts with white stars, bleached blonde hair. The girls crept into the dark, ran around rescuing each other, infecting/zombifying each other and then snarling and trying to eat each other. Occasionally they broke into a group unison number of insectoid-zombie-hop and scratching type moves. The piece was choreographed by Cody Choi.

It was sci-fi fantasy horror legend night at Resolution! and each of the three pieces was definitely a hoot if not quite a hit.

Resolution! continues nightly at The Place until 15 February [not Sundays or Mondays]
www.theplace.org.uk

Jeffrey Gordon Baker is a transplanted New Yorker living in London; an artist and writer who has studied art, performance and aesthetics at New York University, Central St Martins and Birkbeck College.

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