The responsibility of opening Resolutions 2020 falls to a trio of works, beginning with Matthew Rawcliffe’s The Sun Rose. We enter into a ‘queer supermarket love story’ performed by Zara Sands and Yemurai Zvaraya. It’s a bold offering from the outset, with Zvaraya directly addressing the audience before breaking into song. However, the beauty of this work lies in the delicacies of Rawcliffe’s choreography. The subtle touches and gentle intimacies shared by the dancers pull us into their world. So much so, that details provided by the set are, in the most part, unnecessary. Sands performs a solo filled with tremors and restraint, deliberately falling short of execution despite her seemingly boundless facility.
Second up is Lynn Dichon’s Rose, a piece that tackles social attitudes towards mental health disorders. Performed by Dichon herself, the solo, while brief, allows touches of humour as well as offering a powerful insight into a difficult topic. Helping to reach this balance is the music composition; an unusual pairing of sound clips from Betty Boop cut alongside shouts and screams. She demonstrates significant control, down to every facial expression, which enables her to convey the opposite, throwing her body into seemingly involuntary spasms of movement. It’s clear that quality over quantity was prioritised here, but it’s difficult to say whether there’s room for exploring this idea further without losing impact.
Concluding the evening is a mesmerizing trio choreographed by Shivaangee Agrawal. The piece relies heavily on the precision and accuracy of the three dancers; Parbati Chaudhury, Meera Patel and Agrawal herself, who spiral in and out of unison with satisfying ease. Using traditional Indian rhythms, it appears the unrelenting beat holds control as the dancers are summoned time and time again into waves of motion. The warm, subtle lighting continuously ebbs and flows just enough to leave the impression of a passing sunrise and sunset, without detracting from the skillfully executed choreography.
A relationship between two young women withers away in Matthew Rawcliffe’s The Sun Rose, a work which frankly captures an emotional world of intimacy and injury. A soulful soundtrack, recorded fragments of conversations and dreamy film sequences help to confer a sense of regret and momentousness, while the pair’s first flickers of attraction are skilfully etched, emerging into an embrace that sees them locked at the lips, murmuring softly into the other’s mouth. But fulfilment eludes them – the kiss doesn’t reach a culmination – and there’s a particular poignancy to Zara’s Sands’ ragged extensions and hollowed-out slump of resignation.
Next up is Lynn Dichon’s solo work Rose, a stark physical rendering of a woman’s dissociative identity disorder and the multiple personas that emerge from it. Dichon has a commanding stage presence, sitting austerely behind an office desk with a neat fringe and blouse to an accompaniment of anguished shrieks and groans. Shudders of compulsive, broken marionette movement then spill forth to the flirtatious trills of Betty Boop’s Red Hot Mama. It’s quite effectively incongruous; a sensory depiction of an unseen disharmony. Dichon handles a sensitive subject matter laudably and it would be interesting to see how she could further develop these promising choreographic ideas.
Ending the evening is Shivaangee Agrawal’s North, a blend of classical Indian dance and cotemporary movement that invokes and interrogates notions of circularity and continuity with bursts of recalcitrant disruption. The trio of performers begin with tightly patterned and precise rounds of percussive footwork and claps, setting up a mesmeric sensory loop. But then order is broken with questioning solos that undo and inveigh against the traditional form – upright poses modulate into gestures of dismay and frustration that effectively convey a sense of individual entrapment within a larger establishment. This is a resonant work, deftly performed.