Agape Dance Group’s Surviving Prometheus is one of those contemporary dances where you know that something deep is going on, but you really don’t know what. Dressed in angelic white tunics, two supple women coil and ripple, while a man twists sinuously and spins into neat tumbling rolls. A projection shows a neon grid, then a chequerboard of computer-animated shapes. Music thuds and whines portentously. The dancers scarcely register each other’s presence, except for a brief section of synchrony. This moment of focus soon dissolves, leading nowhere. Surviving Prometheus is well danced and well crafted, but is frustratingly insubstantial.
The closing image of clouds is apt for this drifty, nebulous work.
Chris Clow’s In a place of uncertainty, has a lot in common with it. Once again there two women and one man, wandering about in their separate worlds. There are projections: a leafless tree, an open road. And there is one sharpening of focus: a man and one woman shifting restlessly on the floor, like a couple sharing a bed but lost in their separate dreams, before the two women circle each other in a mix of empathy and confrontation. But the clarity dissipates, leaving only vague impressions of melancholy and listlessness. The closing image of clouds is apt for this drifty, nebulous work.
It was left to Christian Frome and Laure Bachelot to wake us all up. There’s a huge digital clock in 1200, counting down minutes, seconds and sometimes microseconds. Frome and Bachelot twitch and jerk, nerves firing their limbs as they jiggle and dodge like hyperactive laboratory mice. Or, as Frome says, like rush-hour commuters. There’s a breathless, madcap humour to all this, and when it’s time for a quick coffee break, the couple ham it up happily, bopping away to the sound of ‘Bear Necessities’ as the clock slows down. But pretty soon they’re speeding again, now buzzing with caffeine as they race against the final countdown. 1200 is neither deep nor grand, but it hits the spot like a shot of espresso.