Resolution! may be for newcomers, but Cat Ben Abbes’ White Room is a novice work. The action, for three women and a man, has a generic contemporary-class look: tilts, flicks, skims, twists. You can all but hear the dancers counting. Phrases are dutifully built into choreography-class formations; there is use of props (clothing, a cardboard box) and expressive movement (face-strokes, intimate lifts). White Room shows some potential in its consideration of composition, its suggestions of embodied ideas; but currently it is simply undeveloped.
a race between the pudgy thumbs of texting and the twitchy forefinger of Morse
Decode This is consummate, professional-class level. Vocalist Nicolette Corcoran sends Morse code signals to dancer Tamar Daly, who flinches and jolts in time with the dit-dit-dahs. There are bits of a story about a possibly stalkerish phone message; and one about a secret rendezvous coded in the classifieds; and one about a love that must be sealed with an X, via SMS. A sound loop builds up wistful songs and clamorous chatter, Daly spells the alphabet in body rhythm, and there’s a race between the pudgy thumbs of texting and the twitchy forefinger of Morse. All this – plus the implicit idea of our voices and bodies as conduits in a multimedia network – sounds unmanageably complex, yet Daly and Corcoran deftly carry it off with a disarmingly light touch.
Kaonashi company’s Fade doesn’t quite manage its various vibes. There’s masquerade: the four performers look kitted out for a costume party – goth woman, shaolin monk, stockinged dolly-bird, southern gent. There’s trance: the stage is flush with dry ice and trippy synth, the dancers more absorbed in themselves than each other. And trash: Fadehas an exploitation-pic feel, the women hookerish and catfighty, the men aloof, sometimes violent. The dance vibe is pretty compulsive: they’re mighty fine movers, and the mix of martial arts, dancey-dance and jiggle-bop is always watchable. But that’s a lot of vibe for such uncertain purpose. Did I mention the peek-a-boo penguin that winds up getting tucked into with chopsticks? Decode that.