Jordjenta (Soilgirl) – Berstad / Helgebostad / Wigdel

The audience enters an expansive auditorium, lights dimmed, to the hum of machinery. Three blinding lamps hover on stage, however, as the lamps begin to shift through space one realises the performance, Jordjenta, has already begun. Grouping together, the lamps are turned upwards revealing the upper bodies and faces of three female dancers—Kristin Helgebostad, Ida Wigdel and Ingeleiv Berstad from Norway—wearing matching polyester bomber jackets, limp blond hair and cheek retractors familiar to a dentist’s surgery. Continue reading Jordjenta (Soilgirl) – Berstad / Helgebostad / Wigdel

Miss Lithuania – Vilma Pitrinaite / We Compagnie

Vilma Pitrinaite’s solo work, Miss Lithuania, explores the authenticity of performances of nationalism through a parody of beauty pageants. Miss Lithuania expresses her desire to promote and simultaneously escape her country and, in the course of this ambiguous Spiel, compares the European Union to the Soviet Union and confuses the EU flag with the US flag. The programme claims that Miss Lithuania demonstrates a conflict with norms, although the work saw her embody rather than reject popular images. Continue reading Miss Lithuania – Vilma Pitrinaite / We Compagnie

30 Cecil Street – Dan Canham

Still House founder Dan Canham’s solo performance recaptures impressions of the Limerick Athenaeum, an Irish cultural institution that served several purposes prior to being left to rot, with regard to both its physical form and social significance. Evoking the architecture of his source material Canham reconfigures the performance space by marking a blueprint-like topography on the black floor with white masking tape, then places a chair in what one can imagine might be a backstage area. Similarly, the audience bears witness to the backwaters of memory. Continue reading 30 Cecil Street – Dan Canham

EXCERPT // Der Tod und die Malerin – Bridget Breiner (Ballett im Revier)

Breiner’s creative decisions in the second act can only be described as gutsy. On the one hand she incorporates German theatrical conventions, literary metaphors etc., yet on the other presents a perspective on the experiences of Jewish Europeans at the mercy of National Socialism that deviates from formulae typically seen in provincial municipal theatres. In the final moments of the ballet, Salomon and Death perform an emotionally fraught, technically challenging, balletic pas de deux. Breiner has stated in promotional material that the scene intended to show Salomon confronting death and struggling for life, however it also hinted at something much darker. Salomon is not only a passive partner being led, she actively leaps into Death’s arms. Salomon gives into Death’s prevailing influence and with his hands covering her eyes, the dancers exit through the proscenium one final time.

– LUKE AARON FORBES

Excerpt of an article published by Dance Europe, Issue 194, April 2015. Purchase the entire issue here: http://www.danceeurope.net/store/issue-194

EXCERPT // “no ballet” International Choreography Competition

Michael Getman’s Face to face […] bombarded the audience with identifiable gestures and signifiers, triggering fragile association chains and disrupting them a moment later. This was achieved by juxtaposing/conflating concepts such as fascism (Hitler Gruß) and docility (common salutes), homosexuality and bestiality (moaning as one dancer rides the other as a cowboy might a horse). These embodied concepts and images were supplemented with a recording of a text with stark religious references, the male voice alluding to the denial of god, the image of the innocent child, the desperation of beggars, etc. The movement vocabulary remained understated and familiar, a welcome counterpoint in the otherwise challenging work.

– LUKE AARON FORBES

Excerpt of an article published by Dance Europe, Issue 191, January 2015. Purchase the entire issue here: http://www.danceeurope.net/store/issue-191