Georgia Tegou’s Yet Another Day has a striking squared-up structure: four flutists accompany four dancers holding four balls of string tied to four chairs beneath four lamps. Almost as striking are the music (breathy sputters, atonal runs) and the trajectory: separate episodes knotted together by blackouts while the flutists converge onto a single pitch. Least striking is the dance itself. Each scene elaborates different motifs: the dancers winch themselves towards the chairs, sit like enigmatic statues, unravel string through splay-legged rolls. But action and imagery lack the focus of the admirably strong framework, arc and accompaniment.
headlong swoops and knotty lifts cut with gestural detail
Anna Waktins’ Inseparable is marked by the characteristic strengths and weaknesses of her parent company, Tavaziva. Dancers Ellen Yilma and Petro Treklis (also from Tavaziva) chart a couple’s relationship from post-coital tenderness through fighting, indifference, tenderness and finally to an almost brutal display of need as Yilma continues the duet even after her partner’s body has become lifeless. The action is full-blooded and intensely felt, its headlong swoops and knotty lifts cut with gestural detail: a trembling hand, an impatient brush-off. It packs a punch, but relentlessly so, leaving little room for nuance, or breathing space for the audience.
Matthew Robinson’s Vacant Skin has the creepy feel of a Japanese horror film, and depends as much on sound (dense chordal crescendos, smudged with static) and on video (scratchy, jump-cut portraits of women, paper sheets flying upwards) as it does on dance. A lone woman extends the twists and glances on screen into slashing sweeps and gut-wrenched curves before she’s joined on stage by two others, like doppelgangers. The trio stride and strut, crawl and hunch, knitting and reknitting snippets of each other’s action together; two women face off as if in an imaginary mirror. It’s big on atmosphere, imagery and phrasing but its numbers – three women on stage, two on film, one on both – don’t seem to add up. Robinson could do with some of Tegou’s tauter correspondences.