With his grey shorts, buttoned-up shirt and floppy hair, Thibault Lac looks like a serious schoolboy reciting his homework as he explains the title of the piece we are about to see: Zombie Aporia, by Brussels-based American Daniel Linehan. “Zombie”, he says, means both living and dead, while “aporia” means a logical contradiction. Which might lead you to think that the performance is about paradox or opposition. Actually, it’s more about multi-tasking and fragmentation.
In the opening section, Linehan and Salka Ardal Rosengren, looking equally school-age, sing verses – lines chopped, sliced and tossed together like a Dada word-salad – while Lac approximately matches their rhythms with disjointed snippets of action: semaphore arms, doggy head shakes, squatty poses. In section two, all three dancers lurch and jerk to an invisible autocue on a computer screen. In scene six, Lac becomes the prompter, his hands (largely hidden) gesticulating like a conductor as the other two follow his lead while simultaneously reciting stuttering poetry about the b-b-body.
In another section the three dancers, now in coloured clothes, position themselves in the audience as directed by icons moving about on a giant screen, at the same time as they whisper lines of verse projected on to it, each word disappearing as it’s spoken. The most successful scenes have a narrower focus: Linehan with a camera on his head, giving us a dancer’s eye live-relay of the action; a headbanging lineup, each performer in a differently tassled jacket (white feathers, leathery fringe, silver tinsel); a punky song Rosengren sings while Lac pumps her throat, chest or stomach for a throttled-vibrato effect. But overall, Zombie Aporia feels more like an idea – a textbook stuffed with ideas, actually – than a piece, and left me feeling that I’d picked up fragments, multi-tasked a lot but achieved only a little.