Resolution! at The Place
For the twenty-third year running, Resolution! returns to The Place for 81 nights of innovative story-telling, communicated to the audience via the movements of some of the UK’s most contemporary dance choreographers. The Place is a literal and metaphorical platform that has the power to propel dancers and choreographers into the light of creativity and success.
Saturday 26th January brought three pieces to the audience’s attention. The first, Medieval Minstrels, was choreographed and devised by Mansoor Ali. With rippling haunches, comic expressions and bloodthirsty enactments, three dancers interpreted the sounds and the historical life of the 15th century. Their vulgar, almost violent hunger for the grotesque and comic appealed to the transfixed audience, with whose attention the performers played and interacted. One moment witches, the next horses, the next a gruesome depiction of a torture chamber, Ali’s tight but spirited choreography encouraged a spontaneity in the dancers’ movement that seemed entirely their own.
A 20-minute interval was much needed to prepare for Revision by Heather Caruso from the Nylon Theatre. An altogether different appreciation of contemporary dance forms, the methodical and measured movements were as structured as the incredible chair structure that the dancers shared the stage with. Bathed in a soft glow, the three female dancers created a symbolic representation of the misinterpretations of memory – what is replica and what is reality? With every sensual and unfolding action in the fabrics and movements, there was a feeling of formality that made the movements appear less Pina Bausch and more self-conscious. The direction of Caruso shows promise however, and the uniting of solid structure and fluidity of movement is something to be positively recognised.
Out of the three pieces, Lost Men performed by the FrogHouse Dance Company was the performance that lit up The Place. The struggles of masculinity within the male community were depicted by an all-male collective, who brought character and power to the already mesmerising choreography of Amy Swalwell. Anger, emotion, brotherhood and competition were conveyed through contrasting combinations of sharp and smooth movement series, strong formations built and subsided, gathered and exploded in controlled yet rippling dance. As the light slowly faded and the silhouettes of the dancers froze, red feathers broken loose from their owners’ tribal belts were the only movements to gently break the silence of the empty black backdrop.
One night at Resolution! brings even the most novice culture-goer to the emerging talent and innovation of Britain’s most ambitious choreographers. This is a fantastic way to experience a snapshot of what young British dance has to offer.
Photos: Alicia Clarke/ Jo Hislop/ Mariza Papadimitriou