Resolution 2014

Resolution is The Place’s annual festival of new dance, which also supports numerous emerging choreographers. Many of the UK’s most renowned artists, including Wayne McGregor, first made their mark through this opportunity, which provides dancers with the space to experiment.

The evening started strongly with a piece from Jenni Wren’s Slanjayvah Danza entitled Minor Tears, the title reflecting the attitude with which dancers’ injuries are typically treated. The piece was enhanced with the athletic and supple display from its two performers Azzura Ardovini and Ioannis Tsigkris. The music builds gradually, the rhythms quicken but the two remain elegant, demonstrating their ability to be strong in spite of pain. Their simple costuming offered only a basic covering allowing the audience to see the ripple of every muscle and the power in every movement and pose. The final reveal is where the piece really hits home, as we discover that every carefully-placed piece of coloured strapping on their bodies represents a different injury, pain or complaint both past and present; each has been the source of minor tears.

I found LCP Dance Theatre’s piece Am I, exploring trafficking and the role of the victim and trafficker, rather less successful. It is a heavy topic that requires endless research. On the surface, with their high heels, suspenders and smeared lipstick the performers look interesting, but the execution was weaker. The use of the chairs in synchronisation resembled a lacklustre ‘Cell Block Tango’ and the video projection was powerful but served as a distraction as the dancers performed in front of it.

Comic relief was offered in the form of Y-Fronts, an original piece by emerging Irish-Ukrainian choreographer Holasz. Performed by the incredibly charismatic Georges Hann and Charlie Ford, the audience returned from the interval to be confronted with the former already cavorting to the accompanying percussion in floral shirt, trainers and, of course, his Y-fronts. With unsuspecting audience members already on stage, Ford attempts to win them over with a series of poses, gasps and thrusting. The two proceed to lark about in a similar way in a series of exotic lifts, friezes and buttock clenching. Add into this already bizarre ensemble a Ukrainian folk singer and free vodka shots for the audience, and you about have about the measure of it. Y-fronts attempts to examine issues of politics and feminism with a varying degree of success, however this doesn’t stop it being jolly good fun featuring two very engaging performers.

Resolution is playing at The Place until 15 February with a varying lineup. To Find out more and to book tickets, see The Place website.