A visual overload bookends Jack Philp’s Psychoacoustic: a film of crowded streets, double- exposures, rapid-cut collages of webpages and pixellated screens. It overloads the choreography too, which is essentially about sound and movement. Each scene has a distinct aural ambience – chiming gongs, breathy flutes, stuttering rhythms – and choreographic idea: a multidirectional solo; a poised duet; trios of unstable spirals, of ordered unison, of happenstance collisions. More a study than a finished work, Psychoacoustic nevertheless accumulates interest through its sparse style and the unforced clarity of its three female performers – but the film wrapper feels like extraneous packaging.
Everything registers, nothing coheres… Make of that what you will.
Oihana Vesga Bujan’s Calle Leganitos is as clear as it is opaque. The bookends here are a voice recording of old-time comic Victor Borges, riffing about a Mozart opera. Dancers Elly Braund and Nancy Neratzi perform their highly articulated phrases with an aptly Mozartian precision and a theatrically rhetorical style: clean diagonal progressions, canons and recursions; decorative flourishes, polite hand-holds, declamatory gestures. Braund rolls out a green carpet, like a piece of lawn. The music is Mozart, interrupted by marked intervals of silence. Everything registers, nothing coheres. Calle Leganitos, by the way, is a street in the Ópera neighbourhood of Madrid. Make of that what you will.
Family Honour, a solo by Kwame Asafo-Ajei, matches clarity to drama. The stage is split into three zones. The introduction takes place in a horizontal upstage strip, Asafo-Ajei upended on his shoulders, legs beetling, face determinedly hidden. He moves to zone 2, a desk at centre stage. His arms, hands, fingers cut across the table, continually dividing and redividing it as he speaks about freedom, discipline, about his mother who was wise and his father who… He shifts stage left, into the unspoken space of his father. Here, he is caged, disciplined, his rictus limbs twitching with suppression, hands beating his own hands. He returns to the table, a horizontal strip of light illuminating his hands, his face determinedly hidden.