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Joe Landini '4 Stories,' Pasgetti 'Going Nowhere Fast,' Satu Tuomisto Dance 'Toxic'

by Katie Phillips

February 3, 2004 -- The Place, London

"4 Stories/Beauty" by Joe Landini aims to deal with the elements of beauty and inherent loneliness -- simple themes that are only just constrained within this seventeen minute piece. Beginning with a shrieking soundscape, screeches, scratches, and squeaks are soon controlled by a smooth, temperate guitar melody. The movement is slow, controlled, and melancholic with tiny, flinchy details locking up the larger movements. Blue flickering lights give a taste of moonlight; darkness combined with a warm, earthy weightiness alludes to a summers evening -- the dancers, glowing white like stars, seem illuminated and detached. All this is cross wired with the sound of intimate dinner party chit-chat and is segregated by projected quotes about beauty and the soul. A duet exploring social politics is juxtaposed with a solo; dancers run past the solitary dancer, adding to sense of remote loneliness. Furthering this idea of aloof seclusion and solitude, we are presented with a singing drag queen -- an alternative image of beauty and false perfection.

Pasgetti's "Going Nowhere Fast" opens with hammy jetes and the foreboding threat of a piece in the style of a Parisian soap opera -- with mirrored gesticulation above a table and forced gender relations. However, the work opens into a lyrical and gently flowing piece of choreography. There is a mix of dancers -- one lyrical, one with a more dynamic range, and one with a more individual movement physicality. Although the definition and structure are lucid, there needs to be a more cohesive driving force to make for really enjoyable viewing, and although some musical themes are apparent and obvious, there is always a danger of aural bombardment when mixing lots of music together.

Satu Tuomisto's "Toxic" is a sensible balance of original vocabulary and conceptual idea. The piece has a very clear, clean, and concise structure without confusion of styles and no attempt to crowd too much into this short piece. There is strong conviction in the rhythmical soundscape -- again, a simple idea reminiscent of a metronome as arms sway forward and back in time like clocks. There is also some nice attitude from the dancers, and I don't mean in the balletic sense.

Katie Phillips' article was written for Resolution! Review on the Place's website.  For more, click here: Resolution! Review

Edited by Lori Ibay

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