In the Middle with You at the Laban Theatre
In the Middle with You is a mesmerising performance made up of five dancers who interact with one another in a fluid and intimate recital that is humble, yet mature. There are moments of joy, fear, storytelling and even manic laughter, following one long moment of absolute silence. As a viewer, one runs the gamut of pretty much all human emotions throughout the show’s duration.
Choreographer Hagit Yakira explains in the Q&A following the performance that she was interested in portraying the space in life between two highs or lows; the necessary action, or inaction, which humans experience when they are not preoccupied with something of greater importance or significance. “I am a very impatient person, always doing things”, a poised and smiling Yakira states. For her, the “middle” can be a maddeningly mundane space to inhabit, and a source of frustration. Strange, then, that she should be able to transform this into something so enjoyable; being in the audience is at once a soothing, meditative, entertaining and, at times, alarming experience.
In this sense, it is much like life itself, and the show has a certain authenticity heightened by the candidness of the dancers. They occupy a very open space in which the simplicity of the presentation, the lack of any set or props, even their unthreatening, pastel shaded clothing and bare feet, is an invitation for a willing audience to engage with them and their movements. “They are not actors”, Yakira explains, “they are being themselves”. This humanness comes through, especially in the moments of comedic speech or the whimsical interaction of a friendly wave. They also seem to be very close, working as they do through a repertoire of interweaving motions, catching one another, leaning on and supporting one another in feats of strength, which certainly seem effortless.
Overall, In the Middle with You is a gem of a performance, and it seems meant for this transitional and often lulling time of year, in between winter and spring.
In the Middle with You is currently touring. For further information or to book the dance company’s website here.