Ignis: Introspective Fire-Inspired Dance Theatre

IGNIS, The Print Room, London, UK.

Sara Kestelman in Ignis. Photo: Jane Hobson

We reviewed Hubert Essakow’s water-inspired Flow last year and expected similar things from his latest fire-themed work, Ignis. But while Flow was exuberant and exciting, Ignis is entirely different — a quietly introspective dance theatre piece — and we have to admit that we preferred the former.

In Ignis, Essakow combines contemporary choreography for three dancers with speech and simple movements by actor Sara Kestleman. Her words suggest a deep meaning but are often more baffling than revelatory: “I think it’s impossible to pass from one moment to the next… and then the moment’s gone.”

The dancers appear to be re-enacting Kestleman’s memories, sometimes affectionately, sometimes with real bitterness. There is the sense that Kestleman feels deep regret as she considers “the debris of my life” and tries to retell her story, only to be interrupted by the angry voices of the other performers, seemingly representing her confused thoughts.

These moments were thought-provoking and interesting, but what was lacking in the rest of the work was the dynamic and innovative choreography that made Flow such a joy.

Ignis is at the Print Room until 1 March. Tickets priced £17-23 are available here. Londonist received a complimentary ticket to review this production.

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