Annie Hanauer Dance: A space for all our tomorrows

The Place, London
May 4, 2024

A space for all our tomorrows is billed as a show that looks at utopia through the lens of disability; a show about the search for this intangible, imaginary, subjective place, about collective imagining and disabled dreaming. It promised much. Unfortunately, what transpired was an hour of largely unengaging, unimaginative movement set to a toneless score, which intermittently produced high-pitched elongated musical ‘screams’ so loud and piercing as to hurt the ears.

Annie Hanauer, a member of Candoco Dance Company between 2008 and 2014, now works as an independent dance artist, choreographer, and teacher. Disabled herself, she works with other disabled artists. Ideas for A space for all our tomorrows generated through conversations with disabled (and non-disabled) artists, workshop participants and students across Switzerland and internationally over the course of two years.

She says that she likes to joyfully disrupt ideas of what normal is, using space to offer alternative perceptions. Unfortunately, A space for all our tomorrows does neither of those. The space is indeed used by dancers walking, running, and sometimes crawling into it. However, far from opening-up new perceptions of it, the more repeated movement sequences were, the less and less interesting things became.

The three performers, Giuseppe Comuniello, Laila White and Hanauer herself did their best, but could not overcome the Lennie and Patrice Grente’s music, or the relentless unfathomability of the songs, some sung live by Lennie. Inspired by Monte Verità, a historic artists’ community in Switzerland, the text comes in many languages. While it is displayed on a screen above the stage, it’s in its original, untranslated form; and was often hard to make out the singing over the music in any event.

Marzio Poicchetti’s lighting, rather than offering some light and inspiration, was dark and foreboding, presaging not utopia, but Armageddon.

It has to be noted that, at the conclusion, some in the audience rose to their feet. I left with a feeling of sadness. A piece that could have offered so much, should have offered so much, had ended-up offering nothing for our tomorrows.