Dance Review: Itamar Serussi, MONO @ The Place

image: Rob Hogeslag

Israeli-born choreographer Itamar Serussi is an emerging talent in the European dance scene. Now based at Danshuis Station Zuid in the Netherlands, Serussi previously visited the UK with short work Ferrum. MONO, inspired by the life changes brought about by the birth of his twin boys David and Michael, is the young artist’s first full-length work.

The piece begins in a stark, white-box set with a burst of pulsing electronic music and a twisting, convulsive solo by Luca Cacitti. One by one, dancers enter the box with looping kinetic solo phrases, torsos jutting, knees folding and wrists marking the space with urgent precision. Having marked the space with their individual solos, dancers pick up and duplicate one another’s phrases in near-perfect unison; singles become pairs, monos become duos and back again, guided by some unseen causality.

There’s both clarity and complexity to the movement articulated by the six fantastic cast members with superhuman purity, perhaps best exemplified in the eye-poppingly identical duets danced by Milena Twiehaus and Genevieve Osborne. Doubling (or, as the programme note has it, going “in three clicks from mono to duo”) is a key theme here so the illusion of the women’s bodies doubling isn’t merely a pleasant aesthetic tic but vital to the work.

Moments of pedestrian humour mark the material; dancers play golf, chat to unseen partygoers, upjump the boogie and at one point keel over and die a comic death, only to leap up the next moment and start again. Dancers encounter one another, borrow movements, drop in and out of unison, enter and exit again. Although there’s no narrative as such, we see these momentary encounters as emblematic of human interactions – the way two people can choose to relate or not, decisions and revisions that a minute can reverse.

A stylish, original and beautifully-executed work, MONO will be touring in Paris early next year. Keep an eye out in London for future works by this distinctive new artist.

The autumn season of dance at The Place continues with Dance United’s A Holding Space on 20 and 22 October, Eddie Ladd and Judith Roberts’ Gaza/Blaenannerch on 24 October, and Place Prize 2012 winners Lost Dog with It needs Horses and Home for Broken Turns.

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Lisesmith

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