nu: TEMPO experimental dance company performed in London on 6th October 2003 at Jacksons Lane Theatre. The audience filled with friends and well-wishers gave a very warm reception for choreographer, Everaldo Pereira and dancers who had worked over the last few months to make an evening of enjoyable dance. Nice and tidy, the stage space was dressed with blacks for legs and a floor to ceiling white cyc that doubled as a projection screen.
The evening began with a stunning documentary video made by Fernando Barberá revealing some of the more insightful moments in the creative process between dancers and choreographer. Several of the dancers talked about their interaction with Pereira to shape movement material, the discipline he demanded and varied sources of imagery used by dancers to accomplish Pereira’s directions. The first work, So eu sei o que passei, was a good opener but not entirely representative of Pereira’s talent. The movement of this dance drew on contemporary and ballet conventions and shone the technical skills of the dancers. This first work seemed of necessity not of passion.
The second dance, Relaçoes was definitely born out of passion; Pereira had something to say in this work. Here the dancers used verbal text and their individual movement revealed an effort of Pereira to design specific characters. Relaçoes as written in the program, is about relationships: ”the eternal search for happiness or madness. The madness of searching for what everyone calls ‘love’”. This work had sections of solid composition; a duet between Gerrard Martin and Ivan Martinez Moreno, between Kristine Lindmark Pederssen and Ivan Martinez Moreno were especially expressive and the male quartet with Gerrard Martin, Ivan Martinez Moreno, Peter Baldwin, and Rain de Rye Barret was danced with conviction. These sections were sound choreographic statements. Relaçoes though suffered from missed opportunities to enforce these key relationships, distracting wandering of dancers, need for a more discriminating use of space and the two chairs that at times obscured the choreography.
Some of Pereira’s choices for movement and music could also benefit from more exploration. If the company is experimental and drawing on a fusion between Latin American, African and Western dance styles more evidence of this kind of experimentation needs to be in evidence. A collection of varied styles does not mean fusion. Also a collection of varied styles does not necessarily coalesce into profound dance theatre unless they merge into a single voice. The choreographer’s choices have to make this merger serve a key vision; reveal the crux of the work. In both works, Pereira uses ballet and conventional contemporary movement with only slight manipulation. Connecting steps to create a work of art requires passion and science; a particular objectivity that knows when to discard or dig deeper. There is no question that Pereira can connect steps. There is now a choice to be made by the young choreographer, Pereira; to make enjoyable dance or exceptional dance theatre. There is a difference and I wager Pereira will, in time, discover which deserves his time and passion.
THEA NERISSA BARNES