A&O Presents: The Growing-up Game
Shades of Bray Presents: Head Over Heels
Zjana Muraro & Gianna Burright presents: Untitled 3 + X
Wednesday 22 February
Resolution 2017, the annual platform for new dance held at The Place London, is nearly over and after Saturday would have presented work from 78 companies. On 22 February I went along to see A&O, Shades of Bray and Zjanna Muraro & Gianna Burright, and what a mixed bag it was in more ways than one!
Opening the triple bill was A&O, a playful physical theatre company combining the talents of choreographer Fabrízio Amanajás and dramaturg Will Osmond. The Growing-up Game is an interesting, yet literal concept, looking at the baggage we carry from childhood into adulthood and the workplace. The trio compete for employee of the month, relying on their backpacks to carry the message of struggling to be in the limelight, being bullied and relationships. A highlight however was the clarity of each of the three dancers’ distinct personalities: Louis Nelhams in the shadow of his peers, Jasmin McCarroll bubbly yet determined and Amanajás, the golden boy who cheats his way to the top. But the piece did not quite gel together and their seemed to be some uncertainty in their performance.
Stealing the show, without a doubt, was Shades of Bray’s Head Over Heels. Choreographed by Jacob Bray, Head Over Heels is a clever commentary on contemporary dance. Fresh from training, his perspective of the dance industry and its straight-faced nature of ‘arriving in the space’ and finding that ‘choreographic intention from deep within’ is refreshing. Referring to the aftermath of Brexit makes Head Over Heels accessible. Art is a great outlet to comment on contemporary issues but rightly so, as Bray communicates, we need not take ourselves too seriously in the dire circumstances we’re up against, when joy is often hard to find. Full of comedy, with punny takes on music lyrics, a club inspired dance vocabulary and strong ensemble Shades of Bray is a company to keep your eye on.
Drawing the evening to a close Zjana Muraro & Gianna Burright presented a very polished and technically clean performance of Untitled 3 + X. As a rather serious piece it was hard not to watch this work without looking at it through the lens of Bray, as his work essentially ripped this kind of contemporary dance to shreds. With live musicians, an actress and dancer Muraro & Burright delivered a rather hypnotic but aesthetically pleasing performance.
Read on to click and find out more about Resolution and each of the companies reviewed: