On the face of it, To Suit is an amusing and playful discourse. Some engaging moments see Alys North and Charlie Dearnley stood still, crying out and shrieking- an allusion to Lizzie J Klotz’s investigation of animal courtship- which greatly amuses the audience. However, somewhere between putting two fingers up to the man and disco dancing to a Bach Brandenburg Concerto, Klotz seems to lose her way. To Suit has a great deal of potential, but needs a little more coherence.
‘I never sin halfway’ remarks Anne Burgi, as she admits to her guilty pleasures of ice cream and chocolate. And indeed Maria Fonseca’s refreshing examination of ageing in IDADE is thoroughly considered. Fonseca plays the role of a curious young woman, while Burgi muses on the revelations of maturity. The women are inseparable in their connection. They slip between crisp gestural phrases and quirky counterbalances, gently shifting one over the other’s shoulder or hip. Overall, IDADE is honest and frank in discussing the happiness and fear that comes with the inevitability of ageing.
With its fusions of contemporary and hip-hop, What is Written Dance Company’s provocative performance of Dialect of War ended the night on a high. An uncertain opening of flashing lights and jarring floorwork thankfully gave way to a high energy performance. Daniela Sablone and Viviana Rocha move in crisp unison, executing percussive isolations muddled with loose-limbed, whirling arms. Shifts in lighting, pounding music and changing spatial formations create a well-rounded work. There is a sense of struggle, as the dancers push against their own exhaustion and the driving rhythm of David Devyne and Jean Pierre’s original score. The tone remains primal throughout, reflecting the strength communities call upon in the struggle for survival.
Two alumni of London Studio Centre command the Resolution stage tonight with evocative and textured duets. The theme of courtship inspires Lizzie J Klotz in her investigation of communication between a man and a woman. Charlie Dearnley describes the daily rituals of Alys North as she dances around the stage in search of her object of desire. Articulate detailed gesture and intricate choreography matches the rich delivery of his text; her dancing builds to a joyful and ecstatic climax when she finds him. Then both, be- suited, explore further means of expression through guttural utterings, panting and giggling. Orgasmic, primitive wailing is suddenly replaced by the sophisticated harmonies of Bach – with further juxtapositions of popular dance, pedestrian action and contemporary technique. It’s an inventive little piece which ends too abruptly – we’re left wanting more from this unusual and seductive couple.
Maria Fonseca and Anne Burgi are a perfect match – they look very similar, only Burgi is ‘ageing’ and Fonseca is ‘young’. Both are much more interested in ageing and together they tackle this inevitable process through intimate questions and investigative movement. Fonseca’s grounded fluidity and playful athleticism envelopes Burgi who meets her exuberant physicality with a more measured, but equally honest tone. Comical, touching and optimistic, they successfully dismiss the negative image of ageing even there is a nuance of hippie-therapy speak.
Dialect of War paints a gruesome, dystopian landscape through harsh grinding music, dramatic lighting and jerky physical impulses which hurl the four dancers all over the stage. It’s a shocking antithesis to Fonseca’s wholesome world. Eerie, grating sound relentlessly punishes my ear drums. I want it to stop. The dancers appear to be in agony as well, through their percussive dynamics and agonised expressions, the victims of satanic rituals and Voodoo magic as well as war. Choreographers Jean Pierre and Viviana Rocha are successful in creating a piece that is powerfully atmospheric even if it is dynamically unvaried.