Resolution 2019: Festival of New Choreography is the current edition of the annual platform for bourgeoning choreographers. Upcoming artists showcase their most recent works and present the audience with the perfect opportunity to engage with the next generation of dance makers. Multiple evenings of triple bills throughout the months of January and February celebrate inter-disciplinary and collaboration-based choreographic processes. The choreographers, Jane Chan, Joshua Nash and TRIBE//, inaugurated Resolutions 2019 last Friday night.
Conceptualised, choreographed and performed by Jane Chan, the first piece is a narrative-driven work that undulates between internal and external movement. Void is inspired by the choreographer’s late grandmother and other people she encountered through community and hospital-based dance projects. Chan personifies and performs these personal experiences through the realisation of the delicate balance between the striking and the soft. The choreographer embellishes this 23-minute solo with detailed and concentrated moments that demand an emotional response from the audience.
The way in which the solo develops and grows enables themes of strength and fragility, charm and grotesque, joy and sorrow to secrete from each turn of the head, gaze towards the audience and undulation of the arm. The solo begins with the dancer sat down with her back to the audience, slow movement crescendos as she falls to the floor. Indulgent and soft touches of the face draw the attention of the audience. Anguish and tension inflect the choreography. Sudden bursts of energy, which transition into harsh and striking tensions in the arms above the head, help the audience to register the pain and anguish within the experiences the dancer is sharing.
Scenography helps to ameliorate the aporias threaded throughout her movement. A square box of light covers the whole dancer throughout (perhaps a comfort zone). Another box of light upstage is a space for the performer to project yearning arm movements, reminiscing of Martha Graham’s practices. This piece succeeds in communicating its concept, and, furthermore, there is no superfluous content. However, gestural manifestations of sadness and forlorn slowly begin to be exhausted.
Krump as a choreographic vernacular also featured in this evening’s triple bill. Joshua Nash presents Blacklist, which explores the coping mechanisms of inner battles and conflicts, which are based on personal experiences. The twenty-five minute piece explores themes of brotherhood, friendship and isolation. The use of two dancers enables nuanced interpretations that can be experienced by the audience, with moments of flawless synchronicity contrasting self-determined movement.
The dancers entered the stage from the two opposing wings, maintaining a low gaze and hunched, rolled shoulders. The lack of mutual eye contact fostered a sense of confrontation and, thus, transformed the space into a choreographic arena. Menacing turns of the head, that punctuated the trap-embellished score by Torben Lars Sylvest, developed into recognisable Krump such as the archetypal accented feet stamps. The way in which both rigidity and fluidity are present in the dancers' arms is exemplified in the physical stamina and technicality of both the dancers.
TRIBE// company presented a short excerpt from their new full length work No Sudden Moves. Immersive scenography, music and movement, created a dark and sombre dystopian atmosphere. Much to the audience’s delight, the inter-disciplinary elements are inescapable. The presence of the sound designer, Jeph Vanger, is a testament to this work’s thorough creative process; as the opening sonic boom fits perfectly with the mass of dancers' bodies intertwined and draped in dusty tunics. A makeshift wall, with grey gauzed windows, created a spatial tension that the two teams of dancers exacerbated. Swift and angular kicks that projected at the audience from ninety-degree angles contrasted an animalistic type crawling on the floor that had an adage quality to it.
Edited by Evangeline Stanford
January 11 - February 23 2019
The Place - 17 Duke's Road - London WC1H 9PY UK
Tickets: £16 / £12 Concessions