Arts & Culture / Reviews

Currency 2014 – The Place, Wednesday 12 November

DOUBLE BILL: Cia Sònia Sánchez presents El Pliegue
Dányi – Molnár – Vadas presents Skin Me

Another surprising night at the Place filled with passion, more orgasms and unexpectedly a tap solo.

Sònia Sánchez graces the stage first, confronting us with an indulgent exploration of ‘the body as a system that gives rise to a succession of encounters and compositions’. This work comes as a result of research ‘from a series of laboratories called L’immediatament al costat (the immediate alongside)’ which Sánchez has carried out since 2011.

El Pliegue (the fold) appears secretive, as if I am peering in on a private encounter but let in as Sánchez acknowledges her audience in several moments of the work. Clad in red tap shoes she stomps, pitters and patters raw rhythms that you can see delves deep into her soul. Sparks of flamenco emerge, displaying her Spanish roots, the clomping of her feet working their way into fluid wrist action. Bursting into song of her native tongue it can be seen how her entirety is immersed into this performance, feeling touched to be experiencing this with her. Drawing to a close you see Sánchez reach a climatic release thankful to her audience for joining her in this moment and to what can be assumed as God, gesturing towards the sky when she takes her bow. Sánchez gave an admirable performance, throwing down all walls of defense, unafraid of uncovering her vulnerability and showing such compassion to us for being there with her.

Continuing the night of high class performance art we meet Viktória Dányi, Tamara Zsófia Vadas and Csaba Molnár and their live musicians Áron Porteleki and Ádám Czitron in Skin Me. A very provocative, raunchy yet tasteful work with the accompanists fiddling on their instruments while the dancers fiddle with each other. Dashing around Dányi, Vadas and Molnár engage in what can only be described as a ménage à trois finding ways to grope each other while moving beautifully with such a dynamic vocabulary. The sexual tension between the three increases as Porteleki and Czitron on electric guitar and violin become frantic with their playing. Collapsing in a hot mess the three then drift apart and their playful personalities come out in sultry solos.

Photo: David Drucker

Photo: David Drucker

I have seen so many dance works where the live musicians just sit on the stage, often forgotten, but in this piece they are dragged into this orgy of madness. Vadas flirts with Porteleki dismantling his drum kit, teasing him and playing a game of kiss chase. The kiss being smashing upon the different parts of his kit, when Porteleki momentarily catches Vadas. Skin Me gave me faith again that art can be fresh and free producing a new perspective on the age-old theme of ‘physical and emotional extremes’. The trio certainly push to these polarities when Molnár instructs Vadas and Dányi to remove their tops to feel the freedom of nudity, their breasts jiggling whilst performing a range of generic contemporary dance technique exercises. From galloping like a horse to flying through the air and the not so ordinary exercise of leap frogging over each other. Molnár demands more and more before the women walk off stage apathetically and he is left tumbling and jumping in a tiresome whirlwind of energy that made me want to collapse for him! The piece is cleverly constructed with peaks and troughs of activity which pulled me in and then spat me back out, to reel in a comedown from what just occurred. During one lull of intensity Molnár plays the flute, completely naked.

I left the Place this evening feeling a new sense of vitality touched by both pieces and happy that the work performed actually matched the description of what Currency looks to bring – the best in performance work from across Europe.

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