2 Faced Dance: Dreaming in Code - Theatre ☆☆☆☆4
Showing from - Thursday, August 20, 2015 through till Sunday, August 30, 2015
Edinburgh Fringe 2015 - Edinburgh
Rachel Elderkin | Saturday, August 22, 2015
Two dancers wrestle with each other, switching between forests, water and the maze of Hampton Court Palace...Three tents glow softly on stage. A single man emerges, lamp in hand, and calls out into the darkness; a monologue of broken phrases, hinting at loneliness and fear. Eddie Kay’s Milk Night, the first work in 2 Faced Dance Company’s double bill Dreaming in Code, plays on the company’s all-male status to question how men would survive in a world without women.
The piece moves through a series of scenes as it explores these ideas, providing the audience with a tantalising glimpse of a wider picture; one which is never quite revealed. One moment a dancer is hunched, twitching, stuttering snippets of dialogue; the next they are disco dancing beneath the glittering light of a mirror ball. Milk Night flits between such moments of seriousness and light-heartedness, which only heightens the scenes of isolationthat recur throughout the piece.
The only female presence is a brief projection of a skype call, watched by a shadowed male figure. It’s an uncomfortable image of longing and frustration and a recognition of the necessity of both sexes. Such moments give Milk Night a distinct vulnerability that continually challenges its scenes of male bravado.
The short film that follows develops the playfulness of the male relationships seen on stage. Two dancers wrestle with each other, switching between forests, water and the maze of Hampton Court Palace, before one is left alone in the confines of a white box. The film may give its onstage counterpart the space to breathe but in Milk Night, despite the solace of male companionship, there seems no real escape from its opening sense of loss and confusion.
Tamsin Fitzgerald’s Lucid Grounds bursts onto the stage in an explosion of energy. It offers a change in pace and allows the dancers to showcase their technical skill. Their movements breathe strength and masculinity as they throw themselves across the space; one instant diving, balancing and lifting each other, the next switching to a graceful ease as they move through more intricate choreography.
Inspired by memories, Lucid Grounds explores the blurred line between what is remembered and what is reality. This may not be obvious on watching, but it matters little. The relentless pace of the choreography builds a mounting tension like caged energy and this resounds through every element of the piece. The backdrop of mirrored sheets shimmers with the pulsating bass of the music, while in their surface we catch glimpses of reflected movement as the dancers swirl by in grey, matrix-style coats. It runs at full pelt to its close and, like the blurred line between memory and reality, there is no clear resolution among Lucid Grounds’ abstract imagery. Even as the dancers melt into the blackness of the stage the tension of the piece remains, like an ever tightening elastic band which never quite breaks.
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