Resolution 2019 presents another varied triple bill, where three out of the eight-one artists chosen for the festival,display their new works live. Rowena Gander, Christopher Thomas Dance and Company Nil have taken this professional development opportunity and produced eccentric and exciting pieces, which vary from pole dancing e to structured contact-improvisation, delivering a diversified and thrilling evening.
Rowena Gander opens the triple bill with the piece Object (Auto) Biography, which invites the audience to reconsider their pre-conceptions or previous experiences of female pole dancers. Upon entering the theatre space, tThe pole was already present upon entering the theatre spaceand its. The dominant physicality andpresenceand dominant physicalityof the pole in the middle of the space was rendered obsolete as Gander the dancer assertedthemselvesherself on stage with a powerful walkthat wasaccentuated with that the strong open stance of her cthe dancer’s chest and shoulders. accentuated. Gander manages to revolutionise the way in which pole dance is perceived. First, the constraints of a much shorter pole than anticipated demonstratedthe extent of play and creativity.to be discovered with pole.ThenConsequently, this piece demands pole dance to be seen as a venerable art form. Ingeniously, Gander brings a literal pole revolution to fruition. In one swift raise, Gander she picks up the circular base of the pole and begins rolling the flipped apparatus. This unexpected act defies the notion of pole dance being submissive and only for the heterosexual male gaze.
Christopher Thomas, a current young associate at Sadler’s Wells, presents a new extended version of Blood’s thicker than Water. Christopher Thomas Dance is a company that unabashedly endeavours to create fantastical and melodramatic narrative-based pieces that are reminiscent of 18th century period dramas. This rich historical framework in which the choreography exists is further embellished by the collaboration team. Akshy Marayen’s ethereal and dainty costumes and Jordan Hunt’s music direction of a composite collage of strings instruments legitimise the authenticity and credibility of the dramaturgy. Vulnerability is a quality that inflects all the movement throughout the twenty-two minute piece. As a result, this honest display of emotion is not only gesticulatory but also facially elevates the already physically demanding and expansive movement. Moments of synchronicity between the five dancers have an almost incantatory effect on the audience. Delicate chaines turns erupt into grand displays of angst articulated through the technical dancer’s swooping ronds de jambe en l’air. These choreographic elements appeared to portray a symbiotic relationship with themes of eighteenth-century gothicism.
To close the evening, Company Nil presents Not Free From Care, a piece that confronts and negotiates the dancer’s sense of inner-self conflict. This multifaceted piece explores the notion of courage, which bifurcates along conceptual and choreographic lines. The dancers were enveloped by the house lights, which expose each dancer's mistakes, impurities and vulnerabilities. This courageous choice of scenography was further complimented by the improvised collaboration between dancers Daniel Phung and James Olivo. Improvisation is a technique that increases spontaneity and surprise but also expands the probability of moments and details to be undervalued or miscalculated by the audience. Hence, pointing to another example of the courageous risk taken by choreographer, Daniel Phung. The dancers explore themes of the dancing agent and passive subject; as one dancer discovers a movement quality where he appears to have no joints, while consequently the dancer who guides him becomes a sort of puppet master or sculptor of clay. An energy reminiscent of Butoh dance-theatre practice is characterised in the opening of the piece as the dancers sat down in a relaxed pedestrian manner. The dancer’s ownership of stillness was suddenly interrupted by the excruciatingly slow and seamless transition from being sat separately to the dancers intertwined.
Edited by Dimitrina Dyakova
January 11 - February 23 2019
The Place - 17 Duke's Road - London WC1H 9PY UK
Tickets: £16 / £12 Concessions