Each January, the Place brings in the new year with Resolution!, a packed season of contemporary dance, playing six nights a week with three pieces in each show. A platform for choreographic newcomers, its quality, subjects and styles vary wildly, but this unpredictability can make it fertile ground for spotting new talent or next year’s trends.
The opening night featured three of the best pieces from last year. In Sarah Fahie’s Fugue for a Furnished Flat, she and Antonio Caporilli begin at separate tables. His is set with a record player, hers with a CD player and a gramophone. Who is dancing to whose tune? There are tangles and struggles, but finally it’s Caporilli who sets the score, if only by his persistent indifference to her attempts to engage. It’s a competent and occasionally comic piece that covers familiar ground.
By contrast, the couple in Jean Abreu’s Hibrido are harmonious and airy. Abreu has a panther-like intensity, his sinewy twists and weighty lunges drawing Natasha Gilmore into a dreamy duet of soft lifts and earthy rolls. The piece is atmospheric rather than dramatic, washed by mood music that lulls (and sometimes dulls) the senses.
the alienated, almost psychotic undercurrents of this intelligent and quietly gripping piece
The best piece of the evening cuts the deepest. Gildas Diquero’s Aftermath is another duet about coming together, but here the relationship is chilling. Diquero performs a superbly nuanced solo, scything arms alternating with sharp gestures, his sweeping strides punctuated by juddering steps. Dylan Elmore’s solo centres on a slow circling of his arms, as if he were cradling his own personal space. As the music swells with foreboding, their earlier fluidity becomes antagonistic and defensive. Jules Maxwell’s score is apt and effective, and though the spoken narration sometimes jars, it is vital in revealing the alienated, almost psychotic undercurrents of this intelligent and quietly gripping piece.