News & Blogs

15 February 2019
Author: Donald Hutera & Katie Hagan

Thu 14 Feb:Tamae Yoneda/Luisa Amorim/Li'An Dance

Tamae Yoneda Don’t worry humans can’t live without Light

Luisa Amorim Laughs and Sex, Husky Voices and My Fear

Li’An Dance Livia Massarelli & Anna Borini Sorella Mia

Alas, unconditional love isn’t automatically on the cards at Resolution, even on Valentine’s Day. Not that the bill wasn’t without its merits. Consider Tamae Yoneda’s Don’t worry humans can’t live without Light. Structured as the vaguely transformative internal journey of one man (a role apparently based on Yoneda’s father, and embodied by the capable yet possibly miscast George Hicks), her ambitious, sincere quintet has a discernible shape, contains passages of vigorous choreography with, at times, a headlong flow, and features part-live music. On the down side the movement isn’t especially distinctive or original, nor is the thematic content truly compelling or illuminating despite a fairly clever use of various symbolic sources of light hand-held – or, in a surreal lampshade episode, worn – by the female dancers, including Yoneda.

Laughs and Sex, Husky Voices and My Fear can claim the night’s second clunky title plus a confident, albeit self-indulgent, turn by performance artist Luisa Amorim. Described as ‘a choreographic poem about jealousy,’ it begins arrestingly before derailing its own potential. Amorim, clutching her ankles while doubled-over in a mustard yellow, mid-thigh length dress, lumbers into a low, roped-off area centrestage. Sturdy and statuesque, with a knack for one-legged balances, she speaks throughout this experimental solo in a deliberately odd, over-enunciatory manner. Amorim is responsible for the oblique text, but the use of repetition gradually negates a fuller engagement both with her somewhat hardened stage persona and the work’s admirably knotty theme.

In Li’An Dance’s Sorella Mia, Livia Massarelli & Anna Borini occupy a strikingly ambiguous circle defined by sheeny fabric liberally dotted with small stones. These stylishly trousered (by Andrea Aquilino) twisted ‘sisters’ touch and tug their way through a layered encounter partly inspired by a study of Sophocles’ Antigone, and somewhat undermined by a very varied yet distractingly insistent contemporary classical soundtrack. Rare spots of synchronicity and tenderness counter the duo’s combative dynamic. Their tussling dance reaches an inconclusive stalemate. Although the work could’ve gone further, sharper and deeper, it betokens a promising choreographic intelligence.

Donald Hutera

Tamae Yoneda’s work presents an autobiographical account of Tamae’s father and his bond with the light that governs human existence. The dancers’ technique is strong, and it is quite clear they all embody movement to reflect different types of light. A dying ember is, for instance, characterised by body-convulsing krump. What this piece requires, however, is a consistent thread. The father’s purpose is ambiguous. Is he suffering from illness or recovering from one? A narrative, however, which could have had greater presence, included the faceless ladies under the lampshades. They were compelling, and it could be a brilliant dance piece in its own right. Promising choreography, but the relationship between the father and light needed to be more discernible.

Pushing boundaries can create new art forms, and Luisa Amorim’s accomplishes just that in her solo. Amorim’s performance-art-cum-monologue wrestles with representations of the female body framed through the eyes of male lovers. But there are two separate concepts floating around here. On the one hand there is a jealous female. On the other Amorim is questioning her non-professional dancing body. How the two relate is equivocal. Maybe this piece is simultaneously denying yet affirming conventional notions of womanhood. Perhaps pursuing one concept rather than both would have made for a stronger piece.

Encased within a microcosmic circle littered with broken fragments of limestone, two sisters assert their different identities. They repeat and mirror the same movement in short floor-based sequences at varying tempos, reflecting the enduring, oxymoronic struggle of trying to be unique when they are two sides of the same coin. Li’An Dance’s choreography is absorbing. The two bodies mutate into one as they lean into each other, alienated and exasperated by this uncomfortable interdependency. After such an intense duel however, the conflict was left unresolved. There was still raw material to be explored. Does the bitter realisation of their coexistence render these two lives obsolete? A stunning work in progress, Sorella Mia needs a more solid finish.

Katie Hagan


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