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Amiangelika, Angelina Gorgaeva, Anastasia Vlasova and 1100: ICARUS

Divija Melally: The Skeleton is White

Alex Groves and ZE: Anti/thesis III

Using elements of contemporary dance, Frame Up (a style of sensual heels dancing originating in Russia), live electronic music and real-time projections, the creative team behind ICARUS creates a dark, thematic rendition of the myth of the man who flew too close to the sun. The ensemble builds from one dancer to many as they join in cool contemporary movement gliding through space and along the floor against the morphing projections. While engaging and visually stimulating, there were times I felt distant to the theme and lost clarity of what was happening amidst the vortex of movement and transforming styles.

In The Skeleton is White, Divija Melally shares a bravely vulnerable perspective on the experiences of racism and its lasting effects on how one moves through the world. The movement influenced by contemporary forms, Indian classical dance and physical theatre supports a deconstructed monologue as Melally repeats and interrupts herself trying to get her stories out. Dumping a basket of white styrofoam balls onto the stage, Melally manifests her feelings into physical expressions of her experiences and uses the objects as props to make sense of the movement we saw earlier in the piece. As the work moves forward, I will be excited to see the creator continue developing the qualities and intentions of the movement to find extremes before her resolution.

Anti/thesis III
, the final piece of the night choreographed by ZE and accompanied by the music of Alex Groves, playfully combines a pastiche of Merce Cunningham with contrasting techno and live horn performances against the backdrop of a stripped stage. The performers and choreography feel young but exuberant with shining moments where it all clicks together with dancers traversing through space against the driving techno beats and swirling horns. A final adage adds a lasting moment of juxtaposition before ZE spins with abandon as lights fade to black. In demonstrating these contrasts, I might ask how the work can explore the quality of how the feats are performed to expand the dynamics and find more advanced levels of nuance within the piece.

Sarah Lapinsky

Saturday night's Resolution bill memorably proved to be united by a theme of theatrical showmanship and thinking outside the box. And my goodness did the first piece, ICARUS, deliver on the theatrics with stunning real-time motion capture and manipulated video projections by Amiangelika. Joining her in the downstage gloom was electric music producer 1100 fidgeting on electronic gizmos. The two, and their sound and light output, were formidably watchable and posed serious competition for the seven dancers and sharply-drawn choreography of Angelina Gorgaeva and Anastasia Vlasova. While the movement was crisply executed and a section of spiky-heeled Frame Up dance certainly made one sit up, none of what I saw on stage seemed obviously connected to the Icarus story which left the work feeling rather hollow - if often arrestingly so.

Composer Alex Groves and choreographer ZE's Anti/thesis III was also big on showmanship with four orange-clad Saxophone players spaced apart but permanent fixtures in the middle of the stage and around whom the dancers weaved. The work struggled to assert itself initially, the saxes hard to hear above an attention-grabbing electronic din while the five dancers effortfully delivered rather mediocre lifts and poses. But it gathered pace and some interest, particularly when the dancers split apart and romp and jump at speed expansively around the stage - like the pure joy of seeing gambolling lambs at play!

Divija Melally's
The Skeleton is White proved the thoughtful meat of the evening and explored racism and white power. Melally (contemporary and Indian classical trained) is a magnetic watch as she illuminates the myriad reminders of what a white dominated and shaped world we live and starkly relives her own worries, notably about being attacked while out walking. A strong actress and dancer, her monologues and body language could really punch home although sometimes one got lost in the stream of consciousness approach. Her showmanship involved filling the floor with white balls, a visually stunning image in its own right and a neat metaphor. The most rounded and joined-up piece of the night - I'll certainly look out for more by Melally.

Bruce Marriott