News Story

Hannah Ekholm Stimuli

harrynsmithydog eat dog

Fimbo ButuresLittle Bimbo

The night began with an energised performance of Stimuli choreographed by Hannah Ekholm.
A ‘pas de deux’ of music and movement, live musicians interacted with the dancers and
allowed themselves to influence each other. The physicality of the dancers was hypnotising to
watch as they contorted through Ekholm’s dynamic choreography. This being said, the pacing
and qualities for the duration of the work remained similar. While this did not hinder the
experience, exploring the extremes of these variables could add yet another layer to Stimuli.

Using the hunger of a dog as a metaphor for the greed of the upper class, harrynsmithy’s duet
had a playfulness that resembled the silent movies of times past. Through the quirky gestural
vocabulary of dog eat dog, the arc of the story was clearly told in a manner that may have been
a tad on the nose. Clean partnering and propwork displayed the degradation of the characters
as they slowly became dogs. The final scene, while showing the dancers in their fullest canine
form, did not feel entirely necessary to the story and could have been omitted without reducing
the impact of the work.

One could argue that finding the right balance of absurdity and shock value creates a great
formula for humour. Little Bimbo is the perfect example of this. Unapologetic and bold, this work
satirises the ideal image of women created by Bimbo culture and the male gaze in order to
expose the insanity of it. Movements resembling those of NPC’s in video games, along with
visual projections, blurred the boundaries between the virtual and real world. This coupled with
a soundscape of sexual nature left mixed feelings of unease and humour. Special mention
should be made to Maya Williams’s clever response to a technical difficulty onstage.

Liam Woodvine

Stimuli by Hannah Ekholm is a work of promise that needs some distilling. The piece is about
"tensions between dancer and musician" made abundantly evident by the connected four
musicians/five dancers on stage. And live music - what a treat. I wonder what came first as
stimulus though: the movement or music? The pizzicato harp shown through quivering hands;
the drums by aggressive, bodily isolation. The piece was dense choreographically, to the point
that it was difficult to savour. A duo of non-contact being a theme I'd enjoy seeing further

Dog eat Dog
by HarrynSmithy is a socio-political satire that doesn't quite succeed. At this stage
anyway. Concepts like greed can be communicated in quite obvious, literal ways. But taking
notions further, or into actual dance is a bit trickier. We had corporate tango, frenzied
greed-induced panic and fat cats that became greedy dogs. It was a tad prop heavy - a lot
seemingly riding on a £20 note, which we saw being passed back and forth many times. And
the arrival of dog bowls didn't help with my reservations. A thinker of a piece that needs a little
more thought.

Little Bimbo
by Fimbo Butures was a brilliant finish to the evening. It's the kind of work that
requires effort from the observer: research before, and probably more after - but the pay off is
well worth it. As Gen X I basically didn't have a clue what was going on, but I'm fine with that -
because I was being educated (by Gen Z?). About feminism, bimbofication, agency and much
much, more. A favourite moment was a production mishap: "Place technical department you
didn't give me the password" said one half of Fimbo Butures in an unforgettable manner. The
movement was minimal and glitchy like the computer generated, video backdrop yet
mesmerising throughout. This is a work discussing the digital age and the currencies it runs off.
Fimbo Butures
brought lots to the table in a very unique style - serious heels and minimal attire
predominantly. Need to see more. ASAP.

Matthew Paluch