Every January, the Resolution festival sweeps away dance’s Christmassy diet of sparkles and replaces it with – well, almost anything else. The six-week festival is a platform for new choreographers, each evening showcasing works by three entrants. Many established names started out here, but only one thing is certain at the festival: you never know what you’ll get.
Zillwood manages to suggest an expansive vision within a miniature work.
The opening night was as mixed as any. Much the best piece was Crystal Zillwood’s solo Evolutio, a brief, gentle yet far-reaching exploration of the gradations and overlaps between human and animal life. Zillwood morphs from upright biped to stooped ape to loping quadruped, then reverses the sequence. Then she blurs that simple choreographic line with fragmentary phrases in which we catch images of curled foetuses, beetling creatures, froggy squats and tiptoeing dancers, tools, tails, guns. An idle scratch on the snout transmutes into self-conscious making-up at a mirror; a hammering fist becomes a conductor’s tempered arm. An undemonstrative but highly articulate performer, Zillwood manages to suggest an expansive vision within a miniature work.
In Jazz Scene, the seven dancers of Traceworks choreograph a deliberately ragged response to a medley of ragtime, blues and trad jazz. Musical tootles and banjo strums bring on goofball wobbles and scrappy jumps, mournful harmonies cause woozy teeters and scrabbling arms. If the style is carefree the choreography is pretty purposeful, with clear motifs and compositions – but apart from the shortest, each number runs out of steam some time before its music has ended.
Bookended by a voiceover expressing the pain of lost love, Sarah Louise Kristiansen’s laboured An Apple a Day sees seven women in gauzy tunics yearn, twist and emote poetically through mists and moonlight. It’s too decorative and too vague for its own drama, and its admirably ambitious gestures ring hollow. It ends with apples strewn – rather like its choreographic ideas – all over the surface of the stage.