A rare sprinkle of star quality peps up Resolution! excitement with an appearance by Royal Ballet dancer, Edward Watson. As usual the programme notes give no clue as to what might actually happen but nobody cares because Watson will perform a solo in spitting distance of his adoring audience.
I don't suppose any of us expect him to have grown a humpy dinosaur spine, nor to have borrowed the ruff from the Seven Stars' cat. His hands and arms are steeped in blood and there is a green blob on his forehead. The rest of his body is thankfully unmolested in nude bodysuit and we are treated to brief glimpses of his amazing extension, teased with a few catlike arabesques amidst quite a lot of micro body noodling to the electronic soundscape. Choreographer, Kirill Burlov has gone to town, commissioning not only the aforementioned "costume" but original score and a score of animated projections for the dancer to compete with. Coloured cubes accumulate. A marshmallow brick wall almost consumes the stage. The title of the piece "Green" comes into its own as ivy (ooh look at that ivy, swamping Ed Watson) creeps across the stage.
Tonight proves that, sometimes, it pays to have a 4 year old child in the audience, as they will say the unsayable with no respect to the hushed silence: "Mummy, Mummy, who is that man and what is he doing?" We all could have helped out with the first part of the question but the last? Who knows.
It was a relief that the programme opened in a simple and fascinating way with Bharatanatyam and Kathak dancer Divya Kasturi (pictured) performing the solo "Memory". We claim no expertise in South East Asian Dance but Kasturi's artistry and story telling were impeccable, her hands and arms stunningly expressive. The performance was spellbinding, as was the sound of her sonorous and beguiling voice delivering the vocals for the original score - which featured contemporary Tamil verses for the first time in a Kathak work. We were left lamenting our ignorance of the form.
Digitalis Dance Company's "Stones" looks at man's relationship with - um - stones. Two men engage in a clever rough and tumble progression around a game of jacks, which builds up to a brilliantly funky, slow motion sequence of four male dancers skimming stones across the sea. So far, so good. A lone female dancer builds castles out of stones at the back of the stage. One of the men joins her and begins to lift her about. The others join in and suddenly, the tone changes dramatically. There's violence in the air as the woman is thrown between the men like a broken doll. It's very well choreographed and executed but the audience is totally unprepared for the shocking culmination - a stark simulation of a stoning. If the passage from play to politics was more thoughtfully managed, this could be a very powerful piece indeed.
Resolution continues until 18 February at The Place. Tickets from £6.
Edward Watson portrait by Linda Nylind, featured with this interview in the Guardian.