Igor and Moreno’s Idiot-Syncrasy begins with the two standing side by side, wearing colourful and ill-fitting rain jackets and sports shoes – a far cry from the designed and often monochrome wear much contemporary dance is performed in. This suggestion at irreverence is but the first in the hour-long show that does justice to its title.
As if cranking an engine into action, the dancers sing Procurade e moderare, an old Sardinian folk song, first softly and then louder and louder, while they start jumping on two feet. After a while, the jackets come off and the jumping and singing reach maximum intensity. This movement will inform most of what is coming, and the physical exertion of the continual jump is proven by the many t-shirts the two go through during the performance.
The set is a white plane with three enormous white sheets as a background, behind which the dancers can escape momentarily. The white floor seems to demarcate the limits of the performance space, but that is soon broken down by the two jumping up into the audience, to the delight of many. Next, a bottle of spirit is produced and Igor pours Moreno a shot (all while jumping, making the scene look feel a bit like a clowns’ act) and vice versa. Two bigger bottles appear and the audience is asked to pour themselves a drink each, in an endeavour to create a space that includes them in a collective action.
The hilarity that ensues is acted upon by an extremely deep, sonorous sound that replicates deafness, or certainly being underwater. The performance takes a more spirited flight, and the two explore patterns across the floor, always in relation to each other, as if there is a force field that keeps them somehow together. The screens are involved, and the speed of jumping and moving on the floor continually altered, as if Igor and Moreno are trying to find an ideal balance. The lights have by now dimmed and a sense of intimacy paired with the occasional comic element (such as the repetition of the neat folding or throwing away of clothes) has arrived on stage. Finally the jumping ceases and the end of the piece is a melancholic pas de deux, while bits of ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ by The Beatles point to old age and dependency as Igor mounts Moreno’s back.
At once loose and improvisation-like, poetic and entertaining, Idiot-Syncrasy does succeed to create moments of strong performance – while further development would be interesting to see.
Idiot-Syncrasy played at The Place until 1 October. For more information, see The Place website.