Me:Mo is a dance about memory, played out on stage, on film and in sound. Choreographer Filip Van Huffel’s opening solo is an extended dialogue with his filmed counterpart projected on to the back wall; a conversation between his real and imaginatively remembered selves. Both move in Van Huffel’s distinctive style, with nimble flips and rolls, limbs twisting about his torso.
The film sees him in a succession of settings: in the forecourt of a warehouse; leaning against the radiator in an empty corridor; among the dunes with the sea on the horizon. As the scenes shift, Van Huffel on stage gradually strips down to his underwear, and gradually his movements mirror those of his projected self, as if he were trying to merge with his memories. But they remain apart, ending with the projected figure jumping upwards, while on stage he simply stands and topples. Counterpoising lived and imagined scenes, this section hints at grandly existential ideas – but they remain remote, and Van Huffel’s oddball presence is too cartoonish to carry their weight.
A woman scurries and flails in a bright strip of light, like a bluebottle in an insect-o-cutor
The arrival of three dancers and a musician – Jules Maxwell, who occasionally joins in the dance – brings welcome variety. A narrator recalls family scenes in Italian. A woman frantically scurries and flails in a bright strip of light, like a bluebottle in an insect-o-cutor. The company join together in a playground medley of chase and hopscotch, and there are some excellent solos.
The music works best when it digs into the stage action – as when a duet is spiked by the tango rhythms of its piano accompaniment – but often it’s merely an atmospheric backdrop. And the piece as a whole is both too long and inconsistent. Sometimes it hits its stride and the elements come together; elsewhere they don’t, and veer erratically towards cliche or pretension.