Ingrid Berger Myhre
Sometimes it pays to be unprepared. Perhaps if I’d seen/read about this delightfully, delicately off-kilter yet vibrant solo beforehand it wouldn’t have felt like such discovery, or that the entrancing performer-creator was letting me into her experiences and sensibility in ways that sent me skipping down the street afterwards. Blame it on her youth. Set against an opaque, pastel-striped wall, Blanks is a deceptively casual, indirectly autobiographical and elaborately DIY concatenation of sweet post-modern ironies involving finger-based mime, balloon animals, a cheap cassette recorder, projected text, sign language and (partial) song. Myrhe radiates an uncloying, unforced, unpredictable charisma; she may not be a virtuoso mover but you sense she loves to dance. Thinking outside the box and, literally, off the stage, she breaks the fourth wall with an insouciant, subtly daring charm. Such playful, evanescent work brings fresh, extended grace-notes of light and optimism to a dance world often characterised by miserablist pretensions. Adorable.
What is the language of dance and what remains when the body disappears? Blanks by Ingrid Berger Myhre is a humorous, witty and inventive choreography that plays with expectations and invites the audience into a game of signs and significations. Evoking childhood memories, Myhre makes animals from balloons, communicates with hand-gestures, walks blindly from one side of the stage to the other counting her steps, building a surreal world that keeps transforming. Lines of text screened on stage announce her next moves, inciting and then contradicting our responses: she always deviates from what is expected. Like Alice in Wonderland, Ingrid Berger Myhre is a curator of images who takes us down her rabbit hole, losing track of time and sparking our imagination.
Ingrid Berger Myhre is a magician. In her solo Blanks, she appears and disappears on and off the stage, materialises birds and rabbits from hand gestures, twists balloons into animals and at time seems to read minds. But her best work as an illusionist resides in her capacity to manipulate time: constantly juggling past and future, she takes us on a charmingly well-crafted choreographic treasure hunt. An old-school cassette player regurgitates the recorded sounds of a previous dance, while a vintage Polaroid photo develops languidly on a live projection. Recollections of romantic anecdotes meet meticulous tales of what’s to come. With witty dramaturgical tricks up her sleeve, Ingrid spells out exactly what is about to happen yet always manages to defy our expectations. Time-travelling between references to the rehearsal process and hints to an impending grand finale, Blanks is poetic, fresh and most definitely timely.