New Vibes Platform
22nd & 23rd June 2005
Of the twelve new works platformed at the DanceXchange in Birmingham over two full evenings of dance and film, two choreographers Lola Adodo and Marso Riviere were outstanding. Bucking the local trend for incessant and spurious costume changes, Adodo and Riviere and dancers came as they were and let the layers of their artistic visions do the talking.
Lola Adodo’s ‘Okun’ stood out as a proudly independent take on African-based dance: a solo work that filled the stage with it’s shifting strata of energies like frequencies of a spectrum of colour. ‘Okun’ is a constantly evolving mono to dialogue between the poetry of Adodo’s dance and spoken word, complemented by a backscreen video projection and sympathetic live percussion by Godfrey Amoo. Adodo cummulatively “resonated with my reality” and left my nerve endings pulsating with a renewed rhythm.
They’re hip, they’re hop, they’re here and they don’t stop…Step aside for Marso Riviere and dancers/ co-choreographers Nathaniel Conroy and Navala Chaudhari (Shobana Jeyasingh Company/ Sarah da Fonseca). Taking the best from the contemporary dance and hip hop worlds, this trio are the golden children of the upcoming and fast-growing UK hip hop dance theatre scene. The meeting of three masters: Mickael Riviere (breakdance/ locking); Navala Chaudhari (bharatanayam/ contemporary dance); and Nathaniel Conroy (capoeira/ body percussion) to create a work of well-crafted dance theatre has resulted in something magical.
‘Decalage’ is an intriguing love triangle, a collision of dream worlds, and a meeting of original minds. Three diversely trained bodies meet, exchange and engage. Such is the connection between these performers that the unison phrase combining floorwork and capoeira is a hypnotising vision of inverted shapes, perfectly matched movement dynamics and speed trails left on the retina where flying limbs have already passed by.
Riviere possesses such command over his own physical energies that he simply becomes a vehicle for the transference of kinetic motion via deft acrobatics. In slower moments seems able to throw his strength away in an instant as his arms hang limply from his elbows, expression wide-eyed like a chalk-faced mime artist. Chaudhari also is steely strong but playful in her swift, lithe versatility, easily shifting from extremely complex dance phrases, to imitating the physical comedy of her male counterparts and then stopping them in their tracks with a single glance. Her solo stop-frame headspin is a stand-out moment. Conroy is the clown of the pack, trying to slap, clap and stamp his way into Chaudhari’s affections, but failing to impress her with the amazing things he can do with his zipper. Dream on…