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Hannah Connor and Nadine Elise Muncey Landscape No. 8

Anhelo Collective Anhelando

ella|ella with MOŸ MOŸ collective Matter of Course

This evening’s performances took place centralised to the surrounding audience; rows of seats encompassed performers from all four walls. Landscape No. 8 is meditative and medial; Hannah Connor and Nadine Elise Muncey move with a shared breadth and breath, navigating the “centring and powerful” impact of mindfulness practices. With a liquid warmth, the pair transition between contemporary-class floor sequences and yoga-like stances, driven by intentional breath and reverberating choral calls, atop a vibrational, trance-like pulse. Undulating centrally, Connor and Muncey draw upon an earth-bound energy, sustaining control in deep lunges and back bends; the effective use of gradually pulsating light compliments the growing glow of the piece. Most impactful are the opening and closing oscillations, with moments in-between feeling disassociated from the solidity and quietude of moments post and prior.

Three individual strands intertwine in a conversational rendezvous. Anhelo Collective’s Anhelandois playful, a warm and relaxed invitation to friendship upon entry to the auditorium. Under warm light, Laura Ahumada Garcia, Annie Edwards, and Alejandra Gissler engage in attentive togetherness, braiding union through a series of interwoven improvisations. With hyper-focus, Garcia, Edwards, and Gissler illustrate their palpable friendship in supported reclines and resting rotations, melting into one another’s embrace. In what reads as scattered memories, littered with shared understandings and communicative thought, Anhelando delivers a post-it-note collage of desire and essential togetherness.

What is going on?-the first articulation of thought scribbled upon initial observation of ella|ella with MOŸ MOŸ collective. Equivocal and sporadic, Matter of Course presents a peculiar and perplexing portrait of parallel realties; significantly more tangible is an eerily ever-present essence of childlike wonderment, playing out akin to physical theatre. Darting between chaos and equanimity, Ella Holappa and Ella Posti curatorially command the space, expertly accompanied, live, by Yoav Feinberg and Omri Kochavi. The duet expertly shift from siren-like serenity, as they sing beneath a suspended ocean-blue tarpaulin, to moments laced with light humour, performing a contemporary take on the inarguably profound ‘The Ketchup Song’.

Jodie Nunn

Openness is largely embodied by ella|ella with MOŸ MOŸ collective’s Matter of Course, mostly because it requires an open mind to tease out its many layers. Two peeled clementines are placed on stage and two dancers are their human representations. Ella Posti and Ella Holappa jog around the stage under and awkward silence before halting at the foot of the fruits. After eating a carpel each, they scuttle on all fours like a game of cat and mouse. The programme notes states we’re asked to ‘find the origin of something vaguely familiar’. That may be in the form of 'The Ketchup Song' which the duo deconstructs in movement alongside Omri Kochavi’s guitar and Yoav Feinberg's flute rendition. It’s a confusing experience, yet oddly enchanting – its 25-minute length went by in a flash.

Connection is exemplified by Anhelo Collective’s Anhelando; an intuitive, contact improv piece focused on a trio navigating the stage together after a period of isolation. There’s a call-and-response approach, and each dancer complements the other, taking turn to draw them in. Annie Edwards’ breakin’ toprock steps into whip fast floor rolls were a personal joy to watch. The stillness in this work is equally captivating. Laura Ahumada Garcia’s tender embrace and Alejandra Gissler's rooted backbend come together with Edward’s outstretched frame to create beautiful family portrait-like visuals. The use of stream-of-consciousness text is quite jolting and mostly inaudible when it breaks the silence, but adds to the playful essence of the work.

Meditation comes in the form of Landscape No. 8 as Hannah Connor and Nadine Elise Muncey sit cross-legged opposite each other to begin. It’s a soft, gentle moment which they return to throughout the performance as a form of grounding. The movement is enjoyable and uncomplicated, with moments of floor work rippling in canon the duet’s forte. The music’s psychedelic tones and the lighting’s soft pulses add an exciting dynamic. Despite a sharp, disorientating change in tone halfway, Landscape No. 8 is a soothing and serene demonstration of the power of dance.

Isaac Ouro-Gnao