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Physical Physics 'Cassis Caput,' Zephyr in Zanussi 'Zero Aviation,' Caller Company 'Lyrical Request'

by Lyndsey Winship

February 12, 2004 -- The Place, London


Nora Heilmann and her sonic partner Monica Page bring new meaning to the terms "air guitar" and "headbanging" in "Cassis Caput." An electric guitar and bass are lying on the floor surrounded by the empty buzz that signals an amp turned up loud. Four anonymous dancers wearing crash helmets run across the stage, jumping heavily next to the instruments, shaking the strings and making sound belch from the speakers.

The helmets on their heads turn these dancers into oddly proportioned beings, with gravity pulling their heavy skulls to the ground. Their helmets beat against the floor or scrape along the stage, duetting with squeaking feet and slapping limbs. It's as if they're wired up, waiting for an electric charge to propel them into blasts or twitches of movement.










Physical Physics - "Cassis Caput"

The strongest parts of "Cassis Caput" are where sound and movement depend on each other. Other than that, there are many of dance theatre's usual devices -- gratuitous flashing, an animal cameo (a cute King Charles spaniel called Molly), some playing with props and ropes -- but there's enough originality here to make an impact.

One of "Cassis Caput's" props is a batch of paper planes that a dancer launches into the audience. You have to wonder if tonight's second company, "Zephyr in Zanussi," feel hard done by when it turns out that the same stunt is part of their piece, "Zero Aviation."

After this initial amusement, "Zero Aviation" takes a little while to pick up speed; there's a couple, lazily jiving their way through the easy listening age, not really going anywhere. Thankfully, disinterest gives way to a deliciously sadistic duel. Now, when he goes to fall back into her arms, she deftly moves aside and leaves him to plummet to the floor. He picks her up and throws her to the ground. She sends him flying. He carries her right up to a pile of crash mats and drops her millimetres from them. Ouch! She hooks herself up to a harness hanging from the ceiling and launches herself at him like a wrecking ball. It's like something out of "Looney Tunes" -- cruel, clever and very funny -- but I'd hate to count the bruises at the end of the night.

The final piece, "Lyrical Request" by Caller Company, goes overboard in the multimedia arena. There's dance, film, projected text, spoken word, written statements and live vocals all in the mix. The three dancers are confident performers, and Kim Kalan has a sweet, soulful soprano voice, but the material just isn't strong enough.

Lyndsey Winship’s 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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