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(Germany) 'Dressed Dance,' Erica Stanton and Dancers 'Matter of Gravity,'
Kate Brown 'having begun'
by Vicky Costello
February 6, 2004
-- The Place, London
Selfish Shellfish (Germany)
Choreographed and performed by
"Dressed Dance" was in part an exploration of the role clothes
play in influencing or masking our personalities, and in part (according
to the programme notes) a reaction to the proliferation of undressing
in contemporary dance.
The piece opened with Katja Wachter in black knickers and vest, swathed
in metallic light and music, moving with precision through a dynamic stream
of isolated yet elastic movement, grabbing at her clothes and body and
revealing sections of skin. It then continued with a more theatrical mood,
as Wachter moved about the stage putting on various clothes from plastic
bags. As she added and disregarded items of clothing, she took on different
personalities and movement quirks, shifting between suspended movement,
disjointed text, lashing arms, and sweeping falls. Predictably, the music
changed too, to reflect each mood. At one stage, whilst uttering what
might have been excerpts of a phone conversation or a diary, Wachter put
on three versions of the same top, identical but for the varying labels,
notes, and photographs that were attached.
The piece ended on a satirical note, as one by one, planted performers
(many of whom were staff from The Place) rose from the audience and walked
onto the stage, where they began to slowly remove items of clothing, as
Wachter, seemingly unaware, continued to dance between them.
Katja Wachter's exploration of the topic could have been deeper, but nevertheless
"Dressed Dance" was a thoughtful, well performed, and reasonably
Erica Stanton and Dancers
"Matter of Gravity"
Directed and Choreographed by Erica
Choreographed and performed by Marina Collard, Fiona Edwards, Amanda Gough,
"Matter of Gravity" presented a calm flow of movement and a
cacophony of sounds. The piece explored falling, resulting in a constant,
smooth stream of swinging, rocking, and suspensions. The four female dancers
largely seemed to be caught in their own individual stream of movement,
coming together for seemingly chance moments of contact or unison. The
work had some captivating moments of simple suspension and falling --
in fact, it was the simplest moments that were the most interesting.
A line-up of experienced dancers can often help a Resolution! work stand
out from the rest. But, unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to make "Matter
of Gravity" shine. The piece was performed well, but was generally
Choreography by Kate Brown
Dancers: Kate Brown, Kate Gower, Henry Montes, David Waring
"having begun" was a captivating exploration into the act of
beginning. The opening section looked like a moment within a rehearsal,
with each of the four dancers sitting around the stage absorbed in writing
notes. We can't be sure what they were writing, but a fair assumption
would be that they were working out how to begin. One by one they got
up and began a movement phrase. Then just as soon as they'd started, they
stopped. This decision/failure/necessity to stop, having just begun, was
reflected in the soundscore, which introduced various tunes and styles,
only to silence them within seconds.
As the piece progressed, so too did the level of movement. However, whilst
the dancers were moving for longer periods of time, the movement was still
constantly exploring the notion of the beginning. During one section,
the dancers traveled across the stage and back again, passing a chain
of movements across the group, with one beginning starting another. During
another, a series of lifts explored the moment when flight might begin.
A particularly intriguing section played with starting at the wrong time,
with amusing and clever results. The soundscore was as successful as the
movement in building the concept. As the performance progressed, the disjointed
stopping and starting of music became sounds consumed by white noise to
produce strange, hypnotic tunes.
"having begun" took a simple concept and revealed its complexity
through thoroughly considered choreography and superb performance.
Edited by Lori Ibay
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