As the festival’s shortest piece, Aurora’s duration is its ultimate strength. The choreography is very neat, compact and therefore mesmerising. Meytal Blanaru starts by producing movement in character, her body diving into a vertigo of perpetual motion – like a Newton’s cradle in therapeutic practice. Blanaru looks as if she’s hypnotised, oozing psychic excess. She puts the viewer under the same spell. I start to feel myself drifting away from the space on her lead. My thought patterns break as the piece releases a sudden impulse of different, vague ideas in my head, and these wash over her body. The actual sounds of a tide arise, and the space sinks underwater. The piece ends when she’s about to come above the surface, leaving me puzzled as to what happened to her and what just happened between us.
Isolated, she stands downstage, feet overbuilt stuck in a pair of black laced shoes from which candid socks timidly peep out. Israeli but Belgium-based Maytal Blanaru’s Aurora speaks with an intense, delicate intimacy. Wearing a grey pleated dress, she displays an angelic allure shook by sudden seizures. Once her socks and shoes are off, starting from her corner she extends the limits of her personal space within her 15 minutes solo. The focus of Blanaru’s strong presence is in her eyes, wide open and gifted with that piercing faculty that only children or blind gazes have. She seems entrapped in her own world, where social norms allow little elasticity. Her dancing body turns down ghosts and expectations, releasing tensions and rigours giving the feeling of something that’s endlessly falling down. So it is the last image Meytal Blanaru delivers to us, a silky fabric plummeted from far away, drawing an alien soft triangle laying on the floor, her arms and legs wrapped beneath her bust, recalling the softness of a light-shaded auroral sky.
She waits, nervously blank and innocently wide-eyed, in gorgeous garb (shiny blouse, pleated skirt) and neatly pinned-up hair dark as blackberries. Removing shoes and socks she steps forward hesitantly into large, almost virginal white space. But will she claim it, and my deeper interest? Isolation’s the operative word for Israeli-born, Brussels-based Meytal Blanaru’s quarter-hour solo Aurora. Memories are stored in the jerky ooze and unsteady, automaton vulnerability of a possibly post-traumatised body. Alas, I’m not feeling sufficiently let in to her carefully internalised world to care much. Towards the open-ended finish Blanaru seems to semi-salute waves of droning, scraping and finally vibrating sound, then slides upon her shoes and knees upstage before freezing in a half-sprawl with one leg raised in the air. At which point the lights fade, leaving me under-illuminated. I’ve been given a taste of this not-negligible work, but any flavour on my tongue can’t be strongly defined.