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 Post subject: The Time Out Project
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2000 12:45 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The Time Out Project at London's Laban Centre is a varied dance evening with established performers taking a break from their usual companies. It is the brain child of Jamie Watton and Fiona Edwards of Physical Recall.<P>The first work, 'Garrison' by Jamie Watton, opens with a flowing section performed by Watton to a folk song in which contemporary movement is married to occasional popular dance steps to create a light, relaxed mood. But then the tone of the piece becomes more intense as Watton moves are bounded within a rectangle of light at the rear of the stage and then darkens as he is lead morosely by a path of light to the front of the stage. <P>In one striking sequence he dances to a minimalist score of repetitions and distortions of spoken word. He seems to be at the mercy of the accompaniment and is manipulated by the music like a hip-hop puppet. Some in the audience thought this amusing, but I found the oppression of the performer unsettling. <P>Fiona Edwards joins Watton at the back of the stage and we see variations on moves from earlier in the work with the dancers constrained by their different light zones. In the final sequence Edwards follows another light walkway and joins Watton in the front rectangle for a short coda.<P>This enigmatic work held my attention through the variety of movement on show, the quality of Watton's dancing, the precision of the duet sequences and the imaginative use of lighting by Lucy Carter. <BR> <BR>'Held' is an intense pas de deux by Yael Flexer for Chris Devaney and Jamie Watton and was the highlight of the evening for me. After a short solo, Devaney, the dominant figure throughout, initiates contact with Watton at the back of the stage and a sequence of dialogues unfold. To a background of ambient music we hear several recorded monologues describing problems encountered by the two narrators, presumably the dancers. These problems and disharmonies are reflected in the dance as Flexer finds a movement language of holds and sharp interactions to convey these tensions. In one memorable tableau the dancers stand side by side with their arms shooting out across the other's body as if they are joined at the shoulder. The dancing is of a high standard and illuminates the troubled nature of the theme. <P>The final work is 'Same, same but different' with and by Steve Kirkham and James Hewison. It begins with the two very uncool men in tight pullovers and glasses moving in awkward staccato unison along a narrow diagonal shaft of light, emphasising their constrained natures. When the work moves out to occupy the full stage, the synchronisation begins to break down much to their frustration and aggravation with muttered asides at every pratfall. Later two chairs appear, as if by magic and a pas de quatre follows, climaxing in an entertaining striptease until all that's left are the strategically placed chairs. A good time was had by all.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited August 01, 2000).]

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