By Lynne Lancaster of Dance Informa.
This work, part of the Score season of light and movement at Carriageworks, had an atmosphere redolent of 1960’s Happenings and was very much based on the Cunningham/Cage use of chance, playing around with time and space. Cage is acknowledged as a major inspiration for this work, along with Yvonne Rainer of the No. manifesto (which is read out as part of the show) and Fluxus artists.
It begins with the audience filing in, seated on opposite sides of the performance space in the middle. There are several TV screens as part of the set. The performers are at first very relaxed, joking, talking amongst themselves and playing cards. They are all in casual clothes to allow for greatest freedom of movement; the line of the dancing is superb, smooth and creamy. The work is divided into segments such as Task, Music or Dance as indicated on the computer screen, and the duration of the performance is indicated every so often by an electronic voice announcing how much time has passed since the start of the show. At the beginning of the show, there is a repetitive electronic voice on a loop counting one to six for a while.
No stress audience participation is included – we have to blow and pop our paper bag that we are handed upon entry, which also has reading material included in it. At another point, Yoko Ono’s Shake is re-enacted. The performers shake our hand and write down our name. There is also a part using a circle of water bottles filled and emptied to make the water eventually evaporate, which is started by the cast and then at the performance I attended, feverishly and enthusiastically taken over as invited by two audience members. Another section sees the cast of four play a game of Snap while the audience can see every move and card played on the TV screens. There is also a free raffle with a door prize!
From the first Dance segment, a repeated phrase of movement is used throughout the show. Sometimes it is a solo; at other times all four performers work together in unison. It is fascinating to see it on different bodies. Sometimes the demanding choreography uses angular arms. Often a long stretched line of the leg is featured. There is very demanding use of an incredibly flexible lower back and backwards runs – shades of Twyla Tharp perhaps? Another segment of the show involves baking a chocolate cake using a microwave.
Overall, it was fun, even if a little strange! The mostly youngish audience loved it and applauded most enthusiastically with excited comments on leaving.
Photo (top): One Thing Follows Another. Photo by Heidrun Löhr.