The Place, London
January 22, 2019
Resolution offers budding choreographers the opportunity for a twenty-minute platform in a welcoming space filled with friends and students. It is always an adventure with ups and down and plenty of surprises. However, this evening’s works balanced very well and proved most satisfying.
Bridget Lappin’s, Where We’ve Been, Little One is a soliloquy, a personal journey of self-exploration as she searches through layers of unwanted thoughts to find her pure self. The dialogue with her often angry self, speaking on a scratchy tape recording, spurs the movement. This ranges from fierce gestures as she claws her body, a moment of release in a dance of wild abandon to an Irish reel, or a self-destructive pounding until she collapses in a heap to a flood of expletives. Her journey finally reaches a cathartic upland moment. Accompanied by gentle humming and plucked strings, she arrives at a point of self-knowledge where each gesture feels very right and real.
Lappin presents her work with an appealing mix of vulnerability and bravery, the mix of text, music and movement is well structured to create a satisfying work where a sense of common humanity overrides the merely personal.
Aporia, by Thomas Page Dances, was the most dance rich work of the evening. The theme is the balance between the opposing forces of war and peace. It is a big one, one that engages some of the best minds on the planet and with very little success. However, it does offer rewarding opportunities to explore movement at different ends of the spectrum.
Page, working with a cast of five, shows skill in crafting a variety of movement to express these opposing states and the subtler shades of discourse in between. The ensemble sections were well structured, but it was the duets where the shaping of the dance was particularly innovative. Short solos gave individual dancers their opportunities, notable Gabriel Ciulli and Clara Cowen in a gentle expressive solo that contrasted well with her earlier war-like mode.
Text that is neither sung nor written in poetic meter can be difficult to marry with movement and in Aporia, the words, rather too many of them, struggled to find a comfortable home between the dance and the music (an interesting score by Max Winter). However, this is work in progress and Page has constructed a promising foundation for a work that would benefit from further experimentation with the text.
Jay Yule’s Viva la Vulva scored with a catchy title and hard-hitting feminist programme notes, but she delivered her message in a playful mood. The opening moment is intriguing. Ronja Kasemi sits messily slurping a blood orange positioned between her splayed legs. Beside her Yule kneels with gripped thighs doing less well as she bites and dribbles her way through a pile of cherry tomatoes. Meantime, the quiet voices in the background speak frankly about women enjoying women. It’s an eye-catching moment of conceptual art.
The pair then don costumes; dolly dresses, designed by Rosie Whiting, and best described as Georgia O’Keeffe in motion (think of her Red Canna in shades of pink, mauve and green). The two women eye each other up and start a mating game, accompanied by chirps and trills, hopping around the stage for some time before ending in the required simultaneous climactic shriek. It’s clever, it’s fun and it worked, drawing laughter and applause. I feel the second half would benefit from more content, but it is another promising work on an interesting theme.