Three dissimilar performances coloured last night’s Resolution, with the choreographers using different elements from their palette in terms of dynamic, choreographic material and dramaturgy.
Clélia Vuille’s Saudade commences the evening framing a cloudy feeling of nostalgia, lost love and memory. Two empty ensembles floating on air remind us of the figures of people who once were together. Exploring the sensation of absence, Vuille shapes poignant meeting points between identities with a remarkable connection. When the presence of this feeling is lost, what is left is a blurred remembrance. With its powerful dramaturgy, an exceptional harmony of shared moments and intention, Saudade offers an outstanding depth of emotion and honesty.
Saran Kohli flavours his choreography with a blend of humour, razor-sharp movements and glamourous projections of the performers. The kick off to the dream is a comic video which rapidly dedicates a pointed break-dance choreographic arrangement rhythmically well, interpreting Mercury’s Bohemian Rhapsody. The amusing element ends here, as well as the development of the action. Molecules Of A Dream is presented as piecemeal bits and it neither portrays the wanted transcendent movement nor the subject. In return, we follow a sequel of disconnected scenes consisting of the same high energy manoeuvres that unfortunately remain unwarranted. Yet, the beautiful costume designs made up for it.
The final piece of the evening dawns with a repetitive count to eight, like initiating a dance phrase, delimiting a plethora of theatrically vibrant scenes. A sea full of red and blue umbrellas hides the performer who finds in them a territory, a mask. He's waiting for the audience. Tyrone Isaac-Stuart gives birth to the stormy character of Delroy the immortal clown, directing poignant pictures of threat, fear and blocked flow. Delroy moves in a shaking trembling way expressing his inner need for love, a need he is struggling to fulfil. The Umbrella Man unveils everything before our very eyes during his adventure in which he seeks for an antidote. This phenomenal monologue left me with nothing else but catharsis.
Asteropi Tia Chatzinikola
Saudade is the Portuguese word for yearning, for missing something – the emotion felt in the presence of an absence. That uncanny cusp between presence and absence underpins Clélia Vuille’s dancework of the same name. Two costumes hang like empty casings for absent bodies. Flashes of light catch ephemeral encounters. In one scene, some performers hold real balloons and others hold imaginary ones. In another, three dancers progress in one direction while another reaches back, towards something that exists only in her mind. It’s a thoughtful piece but a little dissipated: individual scenes work well, but together amount to too many treatments of the central theme. Vuille could easily do more with less.
Saran Kohli’s Molecules of a Dream turns upon a similar idea – the yearning to realise a dream – but there the likeness ends. This upbeat, MTV-style showcase of tight-knit formation dancing featuring a sharp-suited Sikh and his equally stylish posse of four, tracks Kohli as he alternately enacts teenboy fantasies – ninja warrior heroics, R&B swaggers, Zen-monk meditations, an acting-out of Bohemian Rhapsody – and more humdrum realities: a scolding parental voice, a girlfriend who dumps him. The dancing is as slick as the music and stylish as the suits, and though it’s not deep – what you see is what you get – it is quite a hoot.
In Umbrella Man: A Love Reharvested, Tyrone Isaac-Stuart emerges from a plastic bin onto a stage strewn with red and blue umbrellas. There’s krump in his style, but he’s more skewed, more blocked and contorted than even that pent-up form of expression. He is an abject creature, battered by the beats and voices on the soundtrack. He trembles behind a carapace of a whorl of umbrellas; stands upside-down, fingers jabbing at his own back, his palms blood-red. A voice speaks of the redemptive power of love, but what we register is pain – even if we can’t fathom its source. A work is as searing as it is perplexing.