Phrases by Francesca Matthys.
Bodies in Action advocates for the involvement of all, particularly marginalised identities in up to date dance. That is achieved by means of the curation of their varied occasions resembling Motion Lab that creates area for artists to share their works in course of in a secure and type setting.
As we wait in calm anticipation within the efficiency venue WappArt, the viewers sit on chairs and splay themselves throughout the grassy carpet on this intimately organized area. The backdrop is giant colourfully painted canvases. An area for all, as Creative Director of Our bodies in Motion Julian Nichols, warmly welcomes us.
The night opens with Ahead to Nowhere, a duet by TwoFold Dance Theatre, a brand new collective made up of Jan Wooden and Laurie Case. The 2 embody a rollercoaster of feelings resembling nervousness, confusion and uncertainty, making use of oppositions of their our bodies each individually and collectively. An lively try at discovering which means.
They transfer by means of poignant actions resembling prayer or surrendering. To be absolved from their humanity or to be enlightened by a deeper expertise. Fairly Beckettesque. I instantly ponder on the Kundalini Yoga Sutra ‘The opposite individual is you’ as Jan and Laurie mirror one another and show tender moments of assist and understanding. The pair share lovely moments of weaving out and in of one another, fluidly exploring the damaging area that separates their our bodies. That separates us as human beings.
Jordan Boyle is wearing what seems like layers of striped pyjamas. The beat begins to blare as their eyes develop broad and targeted. Boyle’s improvisation possesses a hip hop like high quality as they dance with no inhibitions. As if being alone of their bed room. Their motion is huge and agile that excites the viewers with its charisma. The bouncy nature of the actions reveals remnants of home as Boyle grooves throughout the area. Their presence is fascinating and hyper conscious as their eyes scan the area for curiosities and even threats. It is rather straightforward to be fully captivated by Boyle’s motion, particularly by means of improvisation the place the ultimate vacation spot is usually a thriller.
The Downside, the headline efficiency of the night catches us off guard as a radio information report and different discussions round prejudice begins to fill the area with context. The controversial voice of broadcaster Piers Morgan might be heard. We’re in the true world with actual issues that infiltrate into our complacent viewing expertise. ‘On Air’ says an indication that hovers above an inflatable mattress.
We’re on edge. We’re floating above water. We should survive.
Performer Moses Ward enters the area wearing layers, shades of black and brown. Ward’s two hooded jackets allude to the damaging stereotypes and concern positioned upon black male our bodies at the moment, merely dwelling their lives. That is contrasted although by the sensitivity of speech as he declares ‘I nonetheless love you’ and proceeds to ask for consent to the touch his fictitious different who resides on the inflatable mattress. His steady repetition of ‘Could I?’ Will also be seen as a plea for relaxation and a plea to exist in his physique in security and freedom.
Ward proceeds to dreamily interact in embodied dialog with the mattress. Superb liquid repetition. As Ward lastly rests in stillness, the literal air beneath him is stolen as an eerie Piers Morgan illustration deflates the mattress. What does it imply to dwell in a society the place the assist beneath you is abruptly taken away? It is a motif all through the work, as Ward should repeatedly reignite his assist. It’s a very actual second in very actual time that permits for a way of breath and self reflection for onlookers. One might say that the mattress is a illustration of his human expertise, of his mortality that he should battle and look after.
Ward begins to bop uneasily, pushed by his hips, pushed by concern, by pressure? Topic to another person’s wishes. These moments of sudden shift in rhythm that break from the domesticity of life, dialogue and ruminative movement are potent and intriguing. Ward is a fantastic mover, who’s bodily storytelling is imbued with pleasant tone and growth. His relationship to the item is rigorously curated, parallel with an unlimited use of the item.
As he prepares to go away the area, armour intact once more, we’re reminded of simply how a lot we every carry in our human vessels. How although our inside landscapes are so complicated, we now have no selection however to face the world and do all of it once more. Maybe a contemplation on care, on resilience, on consciousness of self and different.
The Downside choreographed by Julian Nichols in collaboration with performer Moses Ward, improvisation carried out by Jordan Boyle in collaboration and with steering from Julian Nichols. Ahead to Nowhere choreographed and carried out by Jan Wooden and Laurie Case. Each had been carried out on the twenty first & twenty second July 2023 at WappArt in London.