Leon and the Wolf
The conceptual ecstasy of invisible time
Time is materialising through the dancers’ bodies although we are not able to clearly catch the moment when their energy becomes a visible metaphor for time. It recalls the timidity of plants hiding from us the very second they should burst into flower. By means of dance, the choreographer creates an optical illusion similar to those of the famous graphic artist Maurits Escher.
Six irregularly dispersed dancers start their long-term, imperceptible bouncing and shifting over the floor toward each other, away from each other. Guided by the power of attraction and laws of chance, they form variations, combinations, permutations, like in a malicious and wayward game of atoms. The minimalistic movement is extremely demanding, it takes huge discipline of both the dancers’ bodies and faces; at the forefront are two girls with no-nonsense expressions on view. The repetition principle is a direct way to the state of ecstasy; ecstasy being an intense thunder-bold of Time.
Either it grabs you, or it loses you: Elvedon does not compromise, it is a feat of persistence on both the audience and performers’ part. Six dancers painfully yet tantalisingly pattern the stage, their relationships frustratingly random. Their bodies move constantly and repetitively, but only a little, a continuing bounce, a slight swing of the arms and short steps of the feet. At times a duet seems imminent, or the possibility of variation peeks slyly at us, only for us to be denied such overt development. The soundscape gestures to the minimalism of Steve Reich, a scraping, pumping, and industrial accumulation of rhythms. The ending builds to a collapse, but stillness is still denied: the dancers twitch in their fallen places, before slowly rising to begin again.
An admirable piece that demands and rewards an attentive audience.