Last Night of Resolution! 2014
Robin Howard Dance Theatre
The Place, London
The Place was buzzing on Saturday night with dancers and critics, who were welcomed to share a free drink celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Resolution. Akiko Dance Project opened the triple bill with Okuni (Kabuki Dancer), an adventurous narrative using speech, contemporary dance and traditional Japanese theatre. The charisma of the performers pulled the disjointed piece together through their comic performance however there is much room to extend and develop the piece. Time allowed for the dancing and theatre to be showcased rather than glimpsed would transform the piece, as would a less literal interpretation of speech through movement.
Moxie Brawl presenting It Started With Jason Donavon, took Resolution! by storm. The honest and hilarious Sarah Blanc took the audience on a journey through her past loves and we laughed and sometimes cringed as her nutty experiences reflected our own. It was refreshing to find devised theatre on a billing that focuses on contemporary dance. I find this type of interdisciplinary, autobiographical work far more inspiring than formal dance pieces, maybe I am in the wrong profession or maybe there is still a gap where work from artists such as Karla Shacklock, Liz Aggiss and Anna Williams fall. There is a large part of me in this type of work and it has set me thinking, how canI take the personality, charisma and intention that seems to imbue devised theatre and combine it with dance and interdisciplinary work.
Just Us Dance Theatre presented I Know I'm a Woman, a woman with Inner Stength, ironically choregraphed by two men. A trio of effeminate, wiry girls embodied the stance of hip-hop gangsters in an entirely different context. The tension between the weighted and sometimes aggressive movements, round shouldered, brooding and twitching sometimes jarred, sometimes worked and sometimes felt over dramatized. The movement vocabulary was interesting and nuanced, brutal and beautiful, and maybe would have felt much more tenable had it not preceded such an overtly silly Sarah Blanc.