Ugne Dievaityte & Poliana Lima, FLESH


Ugne Dievaityte & Poliana Lima

Two bodies meet each other in the dark, forming an alliance. At first it’s impossible to determine their sex; they’re merely distorted limbs which form one mutated being. This creature is covered in skin, giving a warm feeling to its otherworldly presence. The dancers Poliana Lima and Ugne Dievaityte seem to be telling a canonised personal story of companionship and strong engagement. The sight of them penetrates the viewer’s gaze and distorts the prospect. This flesh carries no character, no narrative. It’s an experiment based in the skin’s ability to expand upon the strength of touch. The name of the piece is as simple as its strategy – Flesh. It is mere skin, a blank canvas open for subjective projections. The bodies, however, end up portraying not much outside the context of dance. Their virtuosity, beauty and liaison are arresting, but their alliance seems to be battling against nothing, instead sinking in dim space.

Niko Hallikainen

A yellow beam floodlights two fractal female figures flowing slowly in a silence broken only by their own breathing. Backs to the audience, they combine their horizontal beheaded shapes in a sandy yet concrete way. A second, disconnected section starts with one of the dancers, clad in a dark elastic fabric that highlights her loose blonde hair, conducting feral actions through her head. Almost effortlessly her body shoots onto the floor, driven by a syncopated release. She’s joined by the second dancer, suddenly resurrected from the sidelines, and the duet continues with an ascending dynamic energy until they strip. The piece then slows towards its end, a good occasion to consider the potential imbalance that exists between qualities of movement belonging to the stage versus the audience. What often occurs naturally during a show is a transfer of some fluid power from artists to public; otherwise the magic doesn’t happen and we’re wondering, apparently in vain, what that means. There’s no reason to talk about taste in contemporary dance, but ‘intention’ can be clarifying. And what a key word it is when it’s missed, as in Flesh.

Gaia Clotilde Chernetich

Facing upstage two unison neo-odalisques caught in an amber glow stretch their Rorschach test headlessness into abstraction. These butohishly nude travelling flesh landscapes display branch arms, puckered lower spines and buttock muzzles. They disappear, returning separately in loose black pyjama-style clothing. First Ugne Dievaityte’s armless blonde worms her way downstage via spiralling, head-led undulations set to industrial noise, visage briefly jutting into fabric a la Martha Graham. Then brunette Poliana Lima re-materialises to crash/smash Moog-like music. Heads flop or are held, breasts remain bared. Shoving apart only to magnetically draw close again, does each power player desire supremacy? The literal drag/fling of someone known well is a kind of togetherness. But where’s the juicy meat in this meeting? Neck-to-neck they revolve pushmi-pullyu style; four arms, one body make a pretty picture. What’s unresolved is when (uh-oh) the b-word (boring) rears its ugly head…

Donald Hutera