Currency: An International Exchange of Danced Ideas is a three-night event, presented by The Place, that includes dinner and performance. The environment is ideal for discussions about performance art, and the dance exhibits are sure to be conversation starters. We went to the Currency 2 performance on Friday 23 November, which showcased two distinct acts.
Italian artist Alessandro Sciarroni fuses technology, dance and humour into a solo performance that leaves the audience crying from laughter. With the help of a projector and a giant screen, he dances in front of his computer to Bjork, Bowie and others.
After a quick wardrobe change into a Batman costume, he bewilders Chat Roulette webcam users with his choreography. Their unknowing reactions to Sciarroni’s antics become the highlight of the piece.
Joseph ends with Alessandro signaling the technicians to turn the audience lights on, thus revealing to his web viewers that he was not alone.
After a 15-minute interlude, the giddy audience experiences a dramatic change of atmosphere. Flatland, created by Israeli-born, Netherlands-based choreographer Mor Shani, is a mockumentary-style performance based on a TED.com lecture: A Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor.
One actor and three male dancers tell the story of why he became a neurologist, and how his stroke changed his view on life. The physical nature of the show was hard to watch, yet captivating. Towards the end, one of the dancers goes nude, prompting two women to leave early.
Flatland was less accessible and more challenging. Where the first performance left the audience happy and chatty, the second one left them confused and a little disturbed. Although harder to grasp, the performance is successful in starting a completely different conversation.
Preview: Currency 3
Currency 3 plays on Tuesday 27 November. The performances for the night will be Duet For Two Dancers, created by Swiss choreographer Tabea Martin, and Travail, by Swedish artist Alma Söderberg.
Duet For Two Dancers explores the anxiety that is faced by many trying to live up to social and professional expectations. Travail focuses on creating meaning through creative uses of cut newspaper. The artist uses language, movement and music to tell her story.
The main performances start at 8pm, but there are three, half-hour pre-show “blind date” slots to chose from. The blind date is a sharing of what happens when artists from the Place and across Europe meet, in this case Frauke Requardt and Alessandro Sciarroni. These happen at 6:30, 7 and 7:30pm, and they’re included in the price of the ticket. As is dinner, which is served 6-7:45pm.
Currency 3 is at The Place, 17 Duke’s Road, WC1H 9PY, 27 November 2012. Tickets are £14-£17.
By Laura Kramer