Ellye Van Grieken (Silver-Tongue) Devil Fish
Jiwon OhPicture Us Now
TwoFold Dance Theatre Forward To Nowhere
For me there is something satisfying about the process of untying a knot. You find yourself enthralled in a tactile inspection of the material, stimulated by the tracing of an entangled thread, and exhilarated by its opening and undoing. This evening’s triple bill resonated as such.
Picture Us Now by Jiwon Oh was the first piece of the evening. A visceral contemporary dance solo of inward turning. Oh’s performance is gentle and curious. Marked by careful investigations of the spine through undulation and meticulous inspection of the hands and feet in contact with the surrounding space, this work feels meditative. Witnessing Oh’s introspective and extrospective journey within this piece is an intriguing journey to behold, and while its invitation to awaken the audience’s own senses didn’t necessarily reach me, I was content watching Oh’s performance of uncovering her own.
Forward to Nowhere by Twofold Dance Theatre followed in the evening’s works. Twofold’sLaurie Case and Jan Wood are captivating movement artists. Their ability to thread their limbs together has a kaleidoscopic effect as they weave through various shapes and angles with craft and ease. In this work that unpicks and detangles the creative process, I was personally intrigued by moments of repetition and accumulation that tracked the development of a choreographic ideal (though these moments were brief and fleeting). Twofold is certainly on to something brilliant and I look forward to the continuation of their unique approach to movement being present in dance.
The final piece of the evening, Devil Fish by Silver-Tongue Studios is an energetic and dramatic trio inspired by the octopus. While it sets out to explore “what it means to be called a monster?”, the piece seems to be more, an exploration of aquatic aesthetics and octopus-inspired movement textures. Like the fabric that is snatched off the dancers at the onset of the piece, it pulls back the veil of the unknown and brings the audience in proximity to this mysterious creature.
My third and last Resolution bill and it proved the most satisfying and broadly enjoyable night of them all. It began with the surprise that is Jiwon Oh'sPicture Us Now, a happily mysterious solo that started (dancewise) with the merest hint of a flickering finger and ended with her ceaselessly pogoing to our rather astounded enjoyment. But much of Oh's performance was about taking what you might think of as gym or yoga-style poses and isolating movement to a single limb or two, which sounds tedious, yet I found it rather mesmerising and absorbing. That said I'm not sure if the ever-changing abstract projections on the floor and smiling tourist picture-snapping of the rolling start added very much. Quite how Oh might take forward such an idiosyncratic style I can't imagine, but count me interested.
Forward to Nowhere, by Laurie Case and Jan Wood, aka TwoFold Dance Theatre, also pleased with the quality of its movement, in this case a heavy dose of Hip-hop threading with a sprinkling of more expressive contemporary freedom. It's a piece about creating a work as the two try possibilities, relax and try again. But it wasn't the drama that drew me in so much as the mesmerising knotting and joining that threading can produce, and which they vividly brought to life. Forward to Nowhere also featured a particularly fine custom score by Seirian Griffiths: vaguely jazzy, it strongly supported the ebb and flow of the action. All up, TwoFold delivered the most polished production of the evening, and I look forward to seeing more of what they do.
The evening ended with the most sophisticated-looking work, Devil Fish by Silver-Tongue Studios. Intriguingly, it's about the octopus and its bad PR — the fear it raises in us. For three dancers, identically dressed in red bathing wear and lengths of shimmering gauze, Devil Fish has some beautiful undulating, enveloping and slithery moments that brought an octopus to vivid life. But at other times it felt rather off-piste as the three wanted to just show their contemporary dance chops, and with it the magic was broken. There's an interesting work here, if it currently feels still in development. But that's Resolution and why we come — to see experiments from new generations of dance makes — and bravo I say to all of them.