A love of music and an appreciation of theatrical structure were the key continua in this well-rounded programme. Tommy Khosia brought the welcome ingredient of live music to Lewis & Lloyd’s Innercide, both manually (his sitar playing was a delight) and digitally (including sounds of birdsong and running water); Hopeless Shokunin’s piece was a sentimental tribute to the Icelandic musician, Ólafur Arnalds (the composer’s voice, recorded at a concert, introducing two of the pieces); and Amy Foskett’s own powerful electronic score provided the thumping momentum for The Wolves.
Lewis Cooke and Lloyd Lovell are an engaging pair, two mates having fun (or three, to include Khosia), with a work that played with ideas of emotion and memories (the latter supposedly oozing out, like unseen blood, from a wound in Cooke’s thumb). They brought an energetic dynamism to brief bouts of strong unified movement but some of their conversation was indistinct (it may have been better, spoken downstage) and linkages between the ideas could have been tighter.
James Olivo (Hopeless Shokunin) has an extraordinary movement quality, which was used to great effect in his Tribute to Ólafur. He has that rare integral quality of making distorted, angular and off-kilter movement seem beautiful, fluid and always balanced and as a performer, he exudes a humility that belies this elite talent. Though Olivo’s solo was from the very top drawer, group pieces are always a refreshing antidote to the regular Resolution fare of solos and duets.
The quartet of dancers in The Wolves (including Foskett, herself) performed a danced treatise on growing up in a rural community. They were well co-ordinated and Foskett’s choreography - full of strenuous lifts - was always absorbing. Each of the works had a strong start (the first pair in progress as the audience arrived) and an emphatic, purposeful end, leaving me with that satisfying feeling of wanting more.
Inncercide is as much a trio as a duet if you include the musician who assumes a prominent position on stage, bringing the movement alive with an eclectic mix of electronic beats, a live sitar and even some Beyonce riffs. The effect is of three friends improvising in their lounge, reinforced by the sofa and novelty cushions on stage. They dance as the audience arrive creating a mood that is welcoming and experimental – with a genuine brotherly rapport, the three seemed in a state of euphoria. The attempt at speech added a comical touch but needed to be clearer. Structurally, the artists could have weaved the sections together more coherently.
Solos are infamously hard to choreograph and sometimes harder to watch – this piece was an exception. Shokunin had such dexterity as he effortlessly articulated every muscle, giving his movement a melting quality. Olafur’s soundtrack was the perfect accompaniment as Shokunin’s body replicated every note of the piano and every breath of the music. The simply placed chair on stage was genius; as he sat in it, he became Olafur at his piano. The dancer traversed the journey of an artist - the anxiety, the highs and lows through his subtle body, weaving through the music so that it became visceral in its impact. I would have loved to see more.
Foskett’s quartet captivates the audience through the intense rapport between the dancers, the physically impressive unison sections and dramatic duets. There is a striking moment when the two female dancers rest their heads on each other’s shoulders, forming a kind of conjoined, headless monster. The dancers were both powerful and fluid but the movement was at times overwhelming - there was so much material that it was hard to differentiate between the sequences.