Fri 13 May: Paris Crossley/SpotFlowCollective/Instigate Unknown
Paris Crossley Rewire, Rewiring, Rewired
SpotFlowCollective RIMANI (if you can)
Instigate Unknown UNREST
Rewire, Rewiring, Rewired, by Paris Crossley, marries a few different moods and movement qualities: there’s lyrical stretching, machine-like contracting, staggers punctuated with darting eyes and wandering hands. Crossley specialises in popping, and while her solo doesn’t spotlight the usual funk rhythms of this style, it’s full of eye-catching thrusts and isolations, their pace intensifying in line with the clicking, crackling soundtrack, giving the sense of a body hammered into place. There’s not as much texture to the themes; we don’t learn much from the supporting film or the programme notes, which toss around knotty phrases like “embodied neuroplasticity” and “identification shift.” I admired the heady moments of feeling in the final section, though, a fluid, spinning display.
Caterina Danzico and Moses Ward of SpotFlowCollective kick off their duet RIMANI with some tense eye contact, reminding me of George Balanchine’s famous quote: “Put a man and a girl on stage and there is already a story.” The story here is fractured, non-linear, glimpsing a future where human relationships no longer exist. Animated graphics hint at bones and organs; a robotic voiceover muses on the idea of soulmates. Wiggling into each other’s negative space, the dancers tackle this dystopia with lithe, sometimes acrobatic configurations. One of the best scenes sees Danzico arc backwards and balance on her head, her arms adrift like deep-sea tentacles.
Five dancers bounce, dash and pump in Instigate Unknown’sUNREST, catching the backbeat of a twisting electo track from Palestinian producers Filastine. There’s an anxious energy to their pulsing moves, which use dashes of hip-hop to suggest agitation and displacement. They grab their bags and bob on their toes, always on the lookout. The bounding unison sequences expose some disparities across the group, especially in terms of timing, but they also bring the brightest bursts of energy.
In Rewire, Rewiring, Rewired, Paris Crossley presents a body working through tensions, a catalogue of physical memories recounted through frantic gesture. Introduced by a brief dance film, this solo performance-artwork feels like movement research at the stage of invested exploration. Though the onscreen component was visually stimulating, there lacked an interplay between film and live performance, which brought into question its purpose. However, the solo presented an interesting transitional process of shifting identity from ‘dancer’ to ‘movement artist’.
Existing in a dystopian future, against an abstract projection of amorphous shapes reminiscent of anatomy and mycelium, RIMANI offers unsettling vignettes exploring impressions of love. Caterina Danzico and Moses Ward begin by fragmentally echoing one another, scoping each other out, but their confident partner work soon suggests these characters have met before. Slipping in and out of linear time, abrasion and fluidity; the pair are observant, testing the limits of each other’s trust with tentative counterbalances. At times walking on all fours with long extended limbs, hanging upside down hoping their inverted viewpoint offers more clarity. When working with futuristic concepts it’s easy to envisage complete disintegration of humanity, but RIMANI reminds us of the eternal power of touch.
Instigate Unknown’sUNREST is driven by the pulsing fractured rhythms and stirring multi-layered vocals of experimental electronic artist Filastine. Initially caught in loops of mundanity sweeping the floor, holding laundry bags, dusting off a small chalk board; everyday life slowly disintegrates. Destabilised, the quintet rush and rattle, eating up the space through dexterous choreography with contemporary and hip-hop influence. There was no denying the pounding energy of this quintet, but the muscle of the music was at times hard to match and percussive precision challenging to precisely emulate. The audience’s appetite for the work was palpable, eliciting whoops of satisfaction at hard-hitting moments of unison, enhanced by bass drops in the soundtrack.