29 January 2017
Author: Asteropi Tia Chatzinikola & Fiona Yates

Sat 28 Jan: Bridget Lappin/Mathieu Geffré/Stephen Quildan

Bridget Lappin Who’s Afraid of a Pussy Cat?

Mathieu Geffré What Songs May Do

Stephen Quildan Not Hard

Bridget Lappin slinks on stage wearing a tiger mask to begin Who’s Afraid of a Pussy Cat? Even after removing the mask, she remains disconnected from the audience as her movement is directed to the back of the space in a coy but aloof kitten-like manner. She has mastered the feline energy with graceful backbends and pawing gestures. Her facing changes to the front and she becomes menacing. Lappin tackles her audience with intimidating, territorial stares, adoring herself with inky war paint. She circles the space so enraptured in her movement that she lets out a seemingly accidental maniacal laugh. However, as she prowls out into the audience she breaks her own illusion and undoes the threat she has created on stage.

Unconventionally, Joseba Yerro Izaguirre and Àngela Boix Duran enter from the front row strolling towards three, suspended red candles. The duet explores Nina Simone’s Feelings. The first section, performed largely in unison, has gestural elements responding to the song’s lyrics. We see understanding turn to affection as the work progresses. Blue lighting accompanies ‘thread the needle’ floor work as the pair weave between each other’s limbs. The energy spikes with pacey lifts in the final part and the two separate, only to be drawn back together. As the recording applauds Simone the two face one another. The ending is quietly intense driven by the clapping in the recording.

Whilst Stephen Quildan’s Not Hard is quite watchable it creates many unresolved issues. The piece offers a kaleidoscope of strong but conflicting imagery: stereotypical hoodies against colourful backdrops; a bike is ridden under hazy blue light; hoodies turn to leotards; and contemporary technique with lots of leg extensions. Then a peculiar lack lustre R‘n’B music video morphs into Lucy Balfour holding out two water bottles and blood curdling scream when she drops them. And that’s that… The end feels as though the piece has been cut off before it can really resolve itself.

Fiona Yates

Three settings of lilies form the scene for Bridget Lappin’s solo Who’s Afraid of a Pussy Cat. Lappin enters from the upstage right corner wearing a mask of a tiger, moving like a feline. She sneakily slides to the centre and picks up a lily - a symbol of pure virginity. The performer uses the lily to paint her inner thighs, sternum and cheeks black. She explores her sexuality through animalistic movement while a female body is being morphed. The choreographic material grows out of body's centre, where fertility and life begin. Lappin fills the entire place with her perfume and builds a prey-hunter relationship with the audience seducing us with her powerful manifesto of the female existence.

Mathieu Geffré magically transforms his duet What Songs May Do into a romantic movie, inspired by Nina Simone’s Feelings. Angela Boix Duran and Joseba Yerro Izaguirre enter the theatre along with the audience and take a seat. Whispers and chit- chat increase with the growing impatience. Magnetically, the performers stand up, and move towards the floating candles in the left corner which are starting to burn, while Simone’s voice reaches our ears. The highly choreographed lyrical piece, is a narrative of a love story without falling into the trap of melodrama. The shaped relationship rises from parallel lives, which eventually crosses with passion. The lights fade out while they utter through Simone’s voice “you will stay in my heart no matter what they say” leaving a smile on our faces.

Both Lappin’s and Geffré’s choreographic excellencies set high standards for Stephen Quildan’s Not Hard, which I am not sure he accomplished. In an urban-garage atmosphere, street-like styles from two youngsters and a bike running on stage lead the scene to three glamorous urban-outfitters' girls. They move dynamically and sing along to the lyrics; they shout like hyenas and shape solos, duets and a three-in-sync choreography. The #hashtag abstract really fits with the chopped action which could be better developed. I keep wondering: is it an ode to the modern city-jungle?

Asteropi Tia Chatzinikola


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