Salva Sanchis: Radical Light
I’ve come to trust my own internal lie detector: shivers run though me and the hairs on my arms stand up if what I’m watching is really doing it for me. Salva Sanchis’s Radical Light provoked one such moment of truth.
They say that once you let up on something you’ve been grafting away at, things slip into place. At his own admission, Sanchis has been taking work very seriously for the last two decades, and Radical Light was announced as his swansong. The idea of combining his musical, structural and improvisational acumen with the pleasure of getting-on-down on the dance-floor came to him while listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The resulting fine-tuned marvel has five dazzling dancers, one woman and four men including Sanchis himself, immersing us in movement generated and synchronised through a choreographic version of Chinese Whispers, on 120 beat-per-minute electro score. We are in communion with their action for the whole hour: the piece confirms how wonderful abstract dance can be.
Euripides Laskaridis: Titans
‘Choreographer’ in Greek literally means ‘writer of dance’. In Euripides Laskaridis’ Titans, ‘writer of space’ might be more fitting. Every aspect of the performance is space and prop-centric – plastic flowers levitate when watered, unsuspecting bins spray jets of water – and each action and scene reacts to them. The stage is an eclectic toy box: carpets, fake flowers, polystyrene, ironing boards, swings and bins litter the space. And it’s these objects that rule this crazy court, while our pantomime host, a mismatched figure with an engorged head, prosthetic nose and clip-on tits, welcomes us to an after-party.
The wacky mix of magic and the mundane provide some nice imagery, but at some point is all this cluttered stash just, well, flash? A constant supply of cheap slapstick and manic, high-pitched laughing quickly turns these inventive quirks into gimmicks.
During his post-show talk, Laskaridis revealed that one of his studio rules was to always feel as happy as he did when he was a child performing on stage. Fine for the child – but Titans left me feeling more like a disgruntled babysitter than a doting parent.