Laying Bare Relationships
Essay by Gloria Hickey
The stage is a simple white square space defined on the floor. There is an absence of colour and props. The drama of Solitudes Duo is in the body of the dancers: simple pairs, masculine and feminine, sometimes mixed, who are themselves stripped down to trunks and occasionally t-shirts. There is something of the everyman about this pared down production and the universality of relationships.
Bodies overlap on the floor, intertwine, struggle and release.
It all starts with the stylized circling of hips, a contemporary, choreographed mating call. Bodies brush up against each other, a tentative but purposeful entering of each other’s space. Quick, articulate gestures keep time to the insistent rhythms of a Bach harpsichord composition. There is concatenation as the gestures link together to form movements that express states of emotional being and compatible character. We see the birth of a couple as the individuals interconnect to form a single entity. And then often through a series of dramatic lifts and supporting moves we see things come undone, defeated by gravity and human expectations. Frequently, there are memorable slow descents filled with tension.
And then often through a series of dramatic lifts and supporting moves we see things come undone, defeated by gravity and human expectations.
Bodies overlap on the floor, intertwine, struggle and release. This is the push and pull of relationships that is at times serene and others frantic and even humorous. But it is always sensual. The music shifts into a moody, pop-rock ballad.
Some of the passages are dramatically acrobatic others gentle. Yet, despite the great clusters of interconnected limbs, the dependence, trust and balance of one dancer’s weight upon the other there is surprisingly little eye contact, which might explain the solitudes in Solitudes Duo.