Who determines identity?
The Double Bill presented by Candoco at Sadler’s Wells is a sharp exploration and comment on the nature of identity. Yasmeen Godder, ”Leading choreographer of the Israeli new wave” (The Observer newspaper) and Hetain Patel, one of the UK’s most exciting visual artist and recent choreographer, lead the Company. The result of their efforts is a pair of extremely clever works, which acutely challenge and broaden the conception of art and ability. Always shifting into the provocative, the two pieces conserve the distinctive and delicate touch that the Company have established over the last 30 years.
Per la regia di Yasmeen Godder e Hetain Patel, Candoco Dance Company porta in scena due spettacoli in cui destrezza tecnica e profondità concettuale spingono la danza ad allargare i suoi orizzonti poetici e il pubblico a re-immaginare la propria percezione dell’essere abile e disabile. Danza e critica sociale collaborano in un’ironica esplorazione sulla natura dell’identità, e il Sadler’s Wells Theatre diventa un laboratorio in cui osservare criticamente i nostri costrutti sociali ed esplorarne le alternative.
Mostly based on uninhibited movement and physical, erotically charged interactions between performers, Face In – directed by Yasmeen Godder – joyfully exposes hidden desires. After a rather slow start, the performers don’t take long to get busy and wild. Their gestures become increasingly effusive, their impulses unleash. They all wear brightly coloured clothes, some torn, some later ripped off. With exceptional technical dexterity, the seven performers create solos, duets, and trios, arrangements bristling with intimacy, longing and forgetfulness. The performers are so liberated that the concept of social norms and predictable behaviours are simply ignored.
By creating unusual shapes, inventing and holding various and intricate postures and balances, they subvert our perceptions by showing us their world – in which they couldn’t care less about our expectations. With blithe indifference both to gender barriers and all aspects of individual physical features, the dancers furiously ride on each other’s backs, tussle and clasp, mock and seduce. Absorbed in a genuine, wild celebration of something that we cannot entirely second guess, they show a complicity between each other that is at times painfully excluding, bust still irresistibly enticing.
Hetain Patel’s Let’s Talk About Dis tackles the slippery notion of prejudice and pre-judgement. If disability still serves as an important definition of a contemporary dance Company, then the question is: who determines identity and how should we talk about it? Candoco performers choose their distinctive subtle irony to make their point. Brief sketches interweave, exposing personal stories that capture the anxiety which undermines the conversation about disability. The performers liberate the discussion of ability and disability through mischief and mockery of the language of political correctness.
What is mostly powerful in Candoco’s Double Bill presented at Sadler’s Wells is the opportunity for the audience to enjoy the performance. It isn’t social commentary, but we can’t entirely ignore the social construct of disability. Instead, we see all aspects: different bodies, various skills, and numerous styles, just as we would if it was any other ensemble. We are simply invited to a high quality dance performance.
Face In and Let’s Talk About Dis were staged at:
Sadler’s Wells Theatre
Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4TN
Fri 9 and Sat 10 March, h 19.30
concept, choreography & direction by Yasmeen Godder
dramaturgy by Itzik Giuli
set design by Gareth Green
lighting design by Seth Rook Williams
costume design by Adam Kalderon
sound edit by Nathan Johnson
music The Night by Joe Colley and Jason Lescallee; Away from my Body by Brandt Brauer Frick (live); Pretend by The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble feat Emika (live at Concergebouw Brugge)
co-commissioned by Festival Oriente Occidente and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Musi\a\\c and Dance
Let’s Talk about Dis
concept, choreography & direction by Hetain Patel
associate choreographer Lorena Randi
written by Hetain Patel with the Company
lighting design by Jackie Shemesh
costume design by Valentina Golfieri
dramaturgy by Eva Martinez
funded by Cockayne and The London Community Foundation and co-commissioned by ArtsDepot
choir consultant Dom Stichbury
BSL interpretation by fingersmiths Jean St Clair and Jeni Draper
access consultant Deepa Shastri
original cast Tanja Erhart, Adam Gain, Andrew Graham, Mirjam Gurtner, Laura Patay, Rick Rodgers and Toke Broni Strandby