News & Blogs

11 February 2020
Author: Ka Bradley & Abbie Jones

Fri 21 Feb: Syntrex/ Vasiliki Papapostolou/ Christopher Fonseca

SYNTREX some silver burns

Vasiliki Papapostolou Free Is The Possessed

Dani Harris-Walters Happy Father’s Day

In the seductively futuristic world of some silver burns by SYNTREX, live music, video art, and two performers create a complex visual puzzle. Magnus Westwell’s sophisticated choreography evokes languid growth and naturalistic crawling one moment, then the flicker and stutter of digital manipulation the next. His vision is well served by virtuosic performances from Oscar Li and Olivia Grassot, who approach the cat’s cradle of the choreography’s construct with a gorgeous forensic exactitude. Amy Dang’s projections are striking but less compelling; Ieva Vaiti’s music, however, ties the piece together. some silver burns’s sequences are deliberately impossible to decode, but leave a strong sense of mysterious, algorithmic communication.

At 20 minutes long, Vasiliki Papapostolou’s Free Is The Possessed contains 10 minutes of stylish movement bookended by a puerile stream-of-conscious text projection and a beautiful but tonally confusing solo waltz. The stand-out central section sees a suit-clad performer drifting across the stage by means of infinitesimal footwork, before breaking into ecstatic dervish whirls, swirling between arabesque and abandon. Between spins, the stage darkens and the spotlight focuses on another suit-clad figure kneeling on the floor, a black balloon for a head. What it’s supposed to represent remains opaque, but the aesthetics – and the taut, agile performance – are absorbing.

A last-minute change of programme due to performer incapacity means that the final piece of Resolution 2020 is a favourite from Resolution 2019: Dani Harris-Walters’s Happy Father’s Day. Harris-Walters plays a sperm hopefully chatting up an egg by regaling her with tales from his days in another body. Harris-Walters is such a charismatic, funny narrator that it’s impossible not to be sucked into this bizarre adult Disney world of Rasta sperm elders and special task forces ready to exit via the urethra. His delivery is so natural and witty that the hip hop dance that punctuates and illustrates his seminal chatter feels seamless, an almost inevitable embodiment of a sperm’s excitable, tumbling, slyly sliding journey into blissful union.

Ka Bradley

A kaleidoscope of light, sound and projection repatterns the space in SYNTREX’s some silver burns. Situated within a sphere of infinite dimensionality, the cinematic landscape requires only two additions to fill the spatial void; Oscar Li and Olivia Grassot. Poised in disconnect, the stifled extensions of their limbs and isolated bodily glitches ache for a reaction, eventually found in a collision of bodies and energies - but far sooner than necessary. Weighted freefalling ensues, the duo intertwining through expansions and retractions, floating above the ground toward which they fall. Trance-inducing, the subconscious infiltration of the light resonance, from the projection, allows for relaxed receiving, leaving the viewer to enjoy the stimulating components, with little need to attach a heavy meaning to it.

Free Is The Possessed opens with Vasiliki Papapostolou on stage typing her thoughts, an internal dialogue projected on screen for all to view, seemingly no filter from the mind to the screen. Looking in on itself, the casual language references the process, the emotion and the weight of tonight’s performance (even though it is pre-recorded). What follows is a compartmentalised process of thoughts, from doll-like rigidity and balloon-headed figures to expressive turns and a final dance under the moonlight. Whilst well-executed in movement and textural quality, the work struggled to be comprehensible, possibly due to an overload of ideas.

As the final curtain of Resolution 2020 draws near, an unexpected shift in the programme witnesses Dani Harris-Walters’ Happy Father’s Day replace an injured Christopher Fonseca’s One is All. A favoured performance at the festival last year, Harris-Walters delivers in charismatic personality, as a stand-alone performer, navigating a realm of anecdotal sketch; spoken word, rap and break out moments of dynamic hip-hop movements tracing through each scene. Showered in youthful wit, the theatrical retelling of a sperm struggling to reach its potential and find the illusive ‘egg’ is fully fleshed out in its complexities and nuances, perfectly defining the festival in which it revisits; a coming of age story.

Abbie Jones.


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