Field by Tabea Martin
In total darkness the menacing strains of Dance of the Knights from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, bombards the audience for quite some time. Light ups, and a single dancer stands quietly before the audience with a list in his hand. He proceeds to read out the names of the one hundred best love songs of all time. Well, ninety nine to be precise, playfully refusing to reveal the number one. Then the fun really starts. Field may takes it’s time to get there, lingering a little too long in places, but it’s in no hurry. And when it gets there it is one of the most dynamic, energetic and delightful shows around.
Field’s themes may be heavy, the desperate need to connect, to belong, to be seen, but its three outstanding dancers meet the desperate plight of love not with tragedy but with laughter. Like demented child clowns engaged in a mad game of kiss chasing, bodies desperately whirl and wind about each other like lovers engaged in some deranged threesome, wrestling acrobatically in a constant battle for fusion. In a flurry of energy connections are broken as soon as they’re made. When they can’t find love on stage they turn to the audience. Dancing, prancing, flirting, stripping, they will do anything to be loved. Calling out the names of love songs they fight one last time before collapsing on the floor and the number one love song is cleverly revealed. They might not be happy together, but they’re together. Briefly. Before each walks off, separately and in different directions.
In Field, everything is not what it seems. Its sense of wild abandon is anything but, rather it is realised through Swizz choreographer, Tabea Martin’s painstaking attention to detail. Dancers Stéphanie Bayle, Carl Staff and Luca Cacitti meet Martin’s physically demanding choreography with consummate skill. The result is touching, heart breaking and laugh out loud hilarious. In Field, you cannot choose who you fall in love with. And you cannot choose but to fall in love with Field.
BOKKO –The Ultimate Fusion by Karel van Laere and Vanja Rukavina.
Meet Dutch performers Karel Van Laere and Vanja Rukavina. Self-proclaimed superstars of Korean Bokko, the dance craze they say is sweeping the world. Karel and Vanja know media, know how to use it, how to manipulate it and know it is the ultimate reality. Their adoring fans deal in soundbites and Skype calls and worship them as gods of the Bokko lifestyle. In BOKKO –The Ultimate Fusion we find a vision of the world that fans of Baudrillard will instantly recognise where style and image replace the real as reality. Models of golden cats waving their arm are more real than real cats. Images of the model are more real than the model itself. Manga is the new narrative and sharp silhouettes of sharp dressed men are sharper than the real thing. The real only approximates the imagined, which is always far superior. A thumping soundtrack hypnotises you into feeling the groove and resistance is futile.
Through its clever use of manga imagery, skype calls, rapid dance routines and Fanta commercials, BOKKO – The Ultimate Fusion creates a media drenched world easily and scarily recognisable. Conceptually, this section is initially interesting, but its dance routines soon lose their snap and it rapidly begins to feel like a multi-media installation. Until the Bokko goddesses join our two superstars and then the energy seriously cranks up. Still, you’ve got the point. A media saturated world where the simulated is real and stupid is the new cool. Something you’d never fall for. Yet before you know it you too are part of the Bokko craze, directing your energy towards competing contestants with their Bokko monikers, hanging onto our superstar’s every word and proudly pulling a power stance. And what’s more, you’re loving every minute of it.
BOKKO – The Ultimate Fusion is a dynamic and smart, multi-disciplinary performance that attempts to engage with the new normal rapidly engulfing us. Fiercely energetic, it is a timely reminder that none of us are immune to the pervasive seduction of 21st century media. Text, tweet or Skype everyone you know, BOKKO – The Ultimate Fusion will have you dancing in the aisles.
Field by Tabea Martin, and BOKKO –The Ultimate Fusion by Karel van Laere and Vanja Rukavina, formed Double Bill, which played at the Project Arts Centre as part of the Dublin Dance Festival 2015.
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