Just as in life, and boxes of chocolates, with Resolution! you never know what you’re going to get. This is the season’s charm, and also often its downfall. Wednesday night’s programme at The Place, however was thankfully edging towards the charming.
The evening opened with Remote Control from Tangled Feet, an investigation into control using interactive technology: ambitious for a 25 minute piece. The work had some strong moment including a partner dance morphing into an aggressive struggle with the dancers’ bodies projected into news footage of a riot scene. It was at its best when the movement and technology truly interacted. But the massive theme got lost at points with the choreography attempting to represent multiple forms of control and failing to explore any in-depth.
After Dark by Daniel Elliot was reminiscent of a living painting. The six near-naked dancers were paired up in intimate duets. By partnering two women, two men and a man and a woman, gender and sexuality became simultaneously neutralised and brought to the fore. The movement was sculptural contact-work, which generated some striking imagery. A strong male solo showing an individual exploration of the body was somewhat marred by some unnecessary flashing. The soundtrack of answer-phone messages from family, friends and lovers injected entertainment and poignancy to the highly-charged movement.
Traces, choreographed by Christina Brondsholm Anderson for NORD dance was an atmospheric work, starting with white shirts floating in the air and the dancers walking distorted to spooky electronic music. A consideration of loneliness, the three female dancers never acknowledged one another, submerged in their own worlds. With contorted movement, internal focus and possessed whispering it was a compelling piece in its Butoh-esque creepiness.
All in all a good night at The Place, with key components of modern humanity emerging as a spontaneous theme: relationships, control, loneliness and of course, technology.
By Hetty Blades
Resolution! continues at The Place until 18 February. Tickets from £6.
Pictured: NORD Dance.