A theme of self- expression runs through three uniquely individual, solo works gathered under the umbrella of Triple Bill. Powerful, moving, humorous, each short work interrogates expression from different perspectives, exploring what aids, or more often, what restricts it. The motif of a puppet or marionette weaves another thin thread of association between the three, but ultimately it is the individuality of the performances which shine through, showcasing the immense talents of three incredible, international performers.
Aurora, by Israeli born, Brussels based dancer and choreographer Meytal Blanaru, sets out to address how much of who we are comes from within and how much is carved by society’s norms. Inspired by the experiences of feral children and dedicated to Genie, a child that spent 13 years of her life strapped to a potty chair, locked away and isolated by abusive parents, Aurora is a painstaking search for self-expression. Influenced by Blanaru’s passion for the Feldenkrais method, which involves minute movements of the body, Blanaru’s disjointed and angular articulations create a sense of a body crushed beneath an overwhelming weight at times, and of a marionette in the hands of a mad puppet master at others. Both she tries to resist, scuttling across the space like a spider on one occasion, the body rising and falling, gently snapping this way and that, seeking its own expression. At times Blanaru’s haunting images appear like cinematic representations of demonic possession, a notion supported by Norm Dorembus dark soundtrack. Throughout, Blanaru leaves nothing to chance, with each movement meticulously crafted, right down to the tremor of a toe.
The multi award winning Qui, Ora, translated as Here Now, by Italian based Claudia Catarzi, contains three parts informed by auditory stimuli. In the opening sequence Catarzi dons a hooded raincoat, the rustle and crinkle of which is picked up by microphones at each corner of the stage. The drab raincoat conceals the dancer’s body, imposing limits as she moves at the behest of unseen forces, pulling on her like puppet strings. Collapsing on the floor, the coat is removed and Catarzi arises as if resurrected into a new being. Responding to Johnny Cash’s version of The Streets of Laredo, with its themes of death, suffering and loneliness, Catarzi executes a series of powerful and beautiful sequences. Strong, sweeping, flowing, the dancer here is in charge of the dance, electing when to begin, when to break and when to finally walk off.
(Sweet)(Bitter) by Brussels based, dancer and choreographer, Thomas Hauert, sees the stage littered with several thin, red lights and one blue, illuminating the stage like glow sticks. Much of the performance is conducted in semi-darkness as Hauert cleverly and humorously attempts to respond to Monteverdi’s baroque madrigal, Si dolce è’l tormento, a powerful operatic expression of the bliss of pursuing an ideal and the torment of knowing it unattainable. The ideal here appears to be a dance form that fits Hauert’s need for expression. Nothing seems to work as each is tested and rejected by Hauert signalling to the sound engineer to cut the music. At Hauert’s signal the music restarts, this time in a different style and a different form is sought. Hauert seems to find the imposed form restrictive, and at one point his tall shadow projected onto the back wall appears like a fixed figurine on a music box, constantly turning. Throughout there is a constant stripping away as items of dance clothing are removed. Finally, with the dancer stripped almost bare and the music stripped back to a simple piano, a moment is found and a short, graceful sequence ensues, ending with the dancer coming to rest.
Individually, either of these pieces would be worth the price of admission, despite their brevity. Together they offer a veritable feast. Triple Bill offers a rare opportunity to see three outstanding, international talents at the top of their game in three technically masterful and profoundly moving works.
Triple Bill featured as part of the Dublin Dance Festival 2015.
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